A Fable

                                                                                                     A Fable

hall


Picture a large well decorated hall with high ceilings  walls lined with art works. Soft indirect light and candles illuminate the hall. There is a slight chill in the hall, but a great fireplace, filled with blazing logs, at the end of the hall partially offsets the chill. At the entrance an enormous buffet containing dishes from food from all over the earth and there are two rows of  tables running the length of the hall.  The tables are set with expensive china, goblets, and silverware. The table cloth and napkins are of the best quality. Flowers and lighted candles add to the luxury of the setting. Never in the history of the country has such luxury been laid for so many dinners.


The door opens and a small group enters the hall. They take plates at the top of the buffet, fill them with the dishes of their choice and seat themselves near the fireplace. Another group enters and repeats the process, but are ignored by the first group seated by the fire, so they take seats about half way down the table and on the opposite side. A third group enters and are hailed by member of the first group, so also take seats near the fireplace. The process continues with groups taking places where they seem welcome. Eventually there is only room at the cool end of the hall and some late comers notice that the dishes containing more expensive food are empty, however there is much food remaining, especially vegetables.
As the meal continues, a young man, at the cool end of the hall rises and begins to complain about the lack of foie gras available and the unfairness of being seated at the cool end of the hall. Others, who had not noticed the coolness or even know what foie gras is began to grumble. Another man stands up and says the system that made the arrangements for dinner is flawed and should be changed. Yet another man stands and says the group seated by the fire are to blame and should be removed from the hall. More grumbling.


Next a pie is tossed hitting one of the ladies seated near the fire. Several men stand up and face off with the men seated in the direction of the tossed pie and in a flash the melee begins. Somehow, a log rolls from the fireplace setting the table afire. The fire spreads and the dinners are forced from the hall. Once outside the group from the cool side and the group from the warm side watch the hall burn and scream and point fingers at one another. The great hall burns to the ground and the system that built the hall with it.


Thus ends the greatest banquet in the country's history. Soon the cool tribe and the warm tribe live apart in hovels, eat gruel and plot attacks on their respective enemy. This is, naturally, great fun.


Moreover, they are all equally miserable.

                                                                                                   Fin