A Curious Tale
Here told is the tale of GALAVAR, who arose from the billowing winds of the desert at the edge of the world to become the holder of the Meretange, who kindled the convictions of the peoples of the nations, and who would bring forth the last war of Relance.
Section I: Episode 1
July 20, 2014
"What is this, Pupil?"
Galavar peered at the brown lump resting in his teacher's right hand.
"An egg, ordinarily."
"Good. We must not overlook the obvious…even when trying to impress our teachers." Koro grinned at him. "When one presents you with an obvious problem, perhaps they are not aware that the solution is obvious. Beware 'obvious,' which depends upon perception.
"Now then, as you suspect, I have another lesson in mind. The eggness of this is a convenience, that our words may have economy. It is a label, not a part of the thing itself. This is proved by the fact that in other languages they do not call it egg. Egg is arbitrary."
She reached out her arm. He reached out his left, and she put the egg into his hand.
"So, what is it?"
The breeze was warm and pleasant today, and unrelenting as a desert wind always was.
"There are many things that it is," he said. "A collection of matter in parts, for one: the encompassing shell…the nourishing albumen…the protective membrane…the yolk. It is also a food. It is an important component of other foods, a binder and an enrichment. Sometimes it acts as a tool of barter. When flung, a weapon. When broken, a mess.
"And there are many things that the egg can be said to represent: renewal…birth…the continuity of life…the humbleness of our origins. When I think of an egg as anything besides an egg I remember my Jelbeito, who wrote 'In the egg, no trace of the hawk.'"
Now he peered at Koro. It was one of those "goods." A gust picked up, pushed on him. Galavar braced as he sat, cross-legged on his wicker mat, trying to maintain the illusion of a serene poise, and waited for the blast of early afternoon wind to recede before he spoke.
"I have not found the answer your want?"
Koro laughed at him.
"I want no answer. You want the answer. The egg is all those things you have said, but one greater is there that binds all disparate purposes and symbols together. Think of the tool. The weapon. Think of encompassment. Nourishment. Renewal. Humbleness. Continuity. What unifies them?"
Now Galavar really set to it, churning his thoughts. He sat for some time, eyes pointed blankly at the ground, stilly holding his elegant poise. But after a time he began to notice the heat of the sun on his left side, and realized he had failed.
"Ah. I am distracted."
"Leave it for the far corners of your mind. They will continue to think on it. For now, you have a relay later this afternoon, do you not?"
"Yes, Philosopher. I'm looking forward to it. I think I will win."
"You are not the fastest runner."
"But I am on the fastest team."
She chuckled, so softly that it came out as a hum.
"I do not expect that is a coincidence."
"In truth, Philosopher, I am not going to be running. My part is to climb a series of ropes and lift three heavy baskets. Our team captain asked me to join. So, I am not the fastest, but I did have something else to offer."
"Another fine lesson. Go early and prepare."
He handed the egg back to her.
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!