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Posted on 09 November 2009

1.
Before the insect entered the donkey’s ear, it bit the elderly caretaker and landed briefly on the child’s sweat-stained undershirt.

Beautiful, seductive and hungry, the insect seemed fearless.

Amidst several mysterious, yet predictable cycles, the insect, like many of the wealthy men of the fourteenth century, hunted for fulfillment in the blood and toil of the poor.

The several small pieces of copper discovered in the bitten donkey’s feces had nothing to do with the insect, but the poor old caretaker who owned the donkey did not want to believe this. There had to be some advantage in his misfortunes. The man’s children, who had discovered the copper, became known for making fine pottery textured with tiny seeds.

2.
Several centuries later, following a hint of interest from the new pope’s most successful imposter, the fourteenth century returned from the textbooks to learn the modern art of self-promotion. In this it was only modestly successful. Everyone believed what the fourteenth century said, but no one cared.

The imposter turned out to be the author of an entomological textbook with an inordinate fondness for copper jewelry.

3.
Following the war to end all wars, beautiful, seductive and hungry entomological obsessions began to influence modern peasants. The distant descendants of the caretaker’s children welcomed them, but inside the modern donkey’s ear, something was biting so gently it might have been a breeze from the future.

The fourteenth century, carrying a gratuitous selection of copper-colored apologies contained in several fine pieces of seed pottery, paused to reflect upon entry into the chapel and entered the swimming pool instead, unaware that a current membership was required.

Modern children continued to grow agitated. Not even the modern donkey’s ancient whisper could hold still. The problem, of course, continued to be fear, as it had been for centuries, but the aging children, who had appeared one at a time without their wigs, may have been the real imposters.


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