Star of wonder, p.11

Star of Wonder, page 11


Star of Wonder

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  “The first gift of the Kings is gold.” Suncrest opened his hands, revealing to the firelight a pile of glittering ornaments, necklaces, rings, and bracelets heaped atop one another. “Gold, mined from the earth, given by a king to the King of Kings. Gold, to symbolize wealth, and the power that comes from having much wealth.”

  “But the first gift of the Sisters is home.” Duskdance cradled in her own hands a small model of a tent, the sort the rovers of Free Sky put up to shelter themselves every night as they followed their herds along the migration paths, or erected and tore down in one of the pageants they had crafted to show the people of the greater galaxy the lives they once had lived. “For what good is gold, if it cannot buy what is most needed? And what could be more needed than a home, a place of rest and safety?”

  “And yet a home is only a place of pain, if want and ignorance live there,” Suncrest countered. “Walls and a roof can keep off rain and snow, but they can also hold in anger and misery. With gold, we can buy food and clothing, blankets and cushions, learning and help.”

  “With the work of our hands, we can also obtain everything you have named.” Duskdance flicked her ears loftily. “And with the work of our hearts, we can find happiness, which gold can never buy.” Her mien softened. “And yet…”

  “And yet, gold is not evil.” Suncrest lifted his handful of metal as Duskdance removed the top of her tent, revealing it to be a cleverly worked box. “If it is put to use in the service of the home, and the ones who live there…” He poured the adornments carefully into the box, all except for one necklace, which he caught on a fingertip. “It is a very great good.”

  “As all things can be good, properly used.” Duskdance placed the lid back on her box and set it aside, then leaned forward to allow Suncrest to place the necklace about her neck. “So both gifts work together to teach us this lesson,” she said to her attentive clan. “That when your gold buys you a home and its furnishings, when it puts food in your mouth and clothing on your back, when you can help your children set their feet upon their life-paths and even spare a little for some things which are only beautiful…” She laid her fingertips against her necklace. “When you have all that you need, and some of what you want—that, in the goods of the body, is enough.”
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