the jewels and the rat

In the middle of the forest, there is an old stump full of jewels. Many men have searched for it, only to have lost their lives to the strange beasts that inhabit the area around it. The jewels are actually a myth, an illusion created by her to test the men and creatures to see who would be strong enough to serve her.

Photo by Jonny Lew on

One of the beasts is the minotaur, which bore the head of a bull and the body of an enormous, muscular man. The minotaur had few enemies because he quickly dispatched those who opposed him. 

Most people and animals wouldn’t volunteer for the job as her second in command. Still, he gladly did so, relying on his size to rescue him. At first, it seemed to be a good strategy, the minotaur stayed alive for a few days longer than most of his predecessors. But in the end, he suffered the same ill fate as all the rest. 

One day, there appeared a small white rat applying for the station. Everyone laughed, there’s no way a small rodent could survive when all these other more massive and stronger beasts have tried and perished. The rat begged for the chance to prove himself and was finally granted an audience.

Photo by Himanshu Sharma on

She was pouring over an old tomb when he was escorted into the room by two massive guards. She didn’t look up as she gave her prepared and rehearsed welcome, still running a finger along the column of the text. She can’t be reading that fast. The rat thought to himself, and suddenly there was a knife at his throat from one of the guards.

“Why aren’t you guarding your thoughts?!” It bellowed.

He didn’t know how to answer that because he had no idea what the guard was talking about. Guard his thoughts? How the hell was he supposed to do that? Could everyone hear what he was thinking right now?

“Yes,” said both guards, strained and tired.

“Ok, old people,” said the cheeky little rat. “I’m going to play nice and speak instead of thinking. So instead of thinking anything, I’m going to try to just talk everything through. Sound good?” He didn’t want them to know that he was actually there to infiltrate the organization and then orchestrate her demise. He took a step towards her. She looked up at him through heavy eyelids, a look of scorn on her face. He wondered what she had to feel scornful about – she couldn’t possibly know of his plans, except that she could. Too late, he turned to try to escape. She reached out a long, bony arm and snatched the rat, crushing him with her hand. The guards leaned away, trying to avoid the gore splashing on them, but were unsuccessful.

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