My short piece The Parable of the Matador and the Juggler was published this week in The Woven Tale Press (Volume II, Issue 6). You can follow the link to view this impressive magazine filled with writing, photography and artwork or you can check out the embedded version in the right sidebar of this blog.
There once was a man who learned how to juggle. He found joy in the act of bringing flight to inanimate objects and comfort in the fact that he was performing an activity with no practical application. It brought peace to his wandering mind and pleasure to stray audiences.
The juggler’s father was a hard-working man, toiling each day from sunrise to sunset, planting and harvesting, chopping and toting, heaving and hoeing, and generally sacrificing his body to a lifetime of labor. He was glad to have a son to ease his burden and share his load. But the boy had other plans. When the juggler showed his unique ability to his father and declared his intention to make it his life’s work the old man’s heart crumbled to dust in his chest. Undeterred, the juggler set off from his family’s home and wandered the countryside honing his craft.
There once was a man who learned how to fight bulls. The man was no match physically, in weight or musculature, for the raw strength of the bull. The man had only a thin fur and the woven threads of plants or skins of other animals to protect his own; the bull had two sharp horns protruding from the top of its thick skull. So the man crafted a horn of his own from melted stone.
The juggler’s wanderings led him to an orchard whose apples were the perfect fit for his hands so he set as many as he could flying. He followed the apples away from the low hanging branches of the orchard to a field where the matador and the bull were paying attention to nothing but each other. When the matador caught sight of the juggler he was amazed.
“What strength that must take,” thought the matador, loudly enough for the juggler to hear.
“Juggling takes no strength,” the juggler told the matador, “just enough flexibility to let the laws of nature work in your favor.”
The juggler’s strange talent also caught the eyes of the bull. The matador watched the reflections of the apples in the bull’s eyes and was inspired. This distraction was just the opening he needed to plunge his sword deep into the neck of the beast. He drew his sword. The bull forgot all about the juggler and returned his attention to the matador.
If he distracts the bull from me, I will kill the bull, thought the matador. If he distracts me from the bull, the bull will kill me. The matador turned this information over to his brain for processing and concluded that this could not be allowed. The juggler’s attention was devoted to keeping seven apples aloft so he was unprepared when the matador plunged the sword deep into his neck. The apples and the juggler simultaneously succumbed to the law of gravity.