Once there was a boy who was chased by the other boys. He didn’t know if they were playing a game with him or intended to cause harm.
The boy discovered an entrance to a cave, so he ventured inside. The cave was very dark. It was cold and wet. The boy could hear the other children in pursuit, so he ventured even deeper inside, though he felt afraid.
There were bats in the cave — the boy could see them hanging from the ceiling. He was scared of bats, but he was even more scared of being punched or kicked. Not wanting to wake the bats, he made an effort to walk quietly.
Past the bats the boy encountered a sleeping bear. The bear was very large — indeed, it was larger than any person the boy had ever known. It was also soft and warm. The boy decided he should wait here until the other children had desisted. They wouldn’t be brave enough to enter the cave, he reasoned with himself, and if they did so they wouldn’t be brave enough to go past the bats, and if they did so they wouldn’t be brave enough to wake the bear. The boy laid down and went to sleep.
The other boys grew bored and eventually desisted.
When the boy did emerge from the cave he was taller and stronger — people noticed a difference immediately. Other children didn’t scare him anymore. In fact, instead of chasing the boy around they followed wherever he led.
“I have shared a cave with the Bear King,” he said to them. “I have learned from him everything there is to know about being a leader.”
The people believed him. Soon it wasn’t just children who followed the boy around but adults, too. When he told them how to settle their disputes, they listened to him. When he gave them instructions about their crops, or border disputes with neighboring clans, they obeyed his commands without question.
“I have shared a cave with the Bear King,” the boy often liked to remind them. “I am a leader of men, just as he is a leader of the bears.”
Soon his authority was absolute. But he knew he’d only possess real power if the bear was dead.
This is a repository for JY's original content that's yet to be bound in a book -- essays, short fiction, etc. There's little rhyme or reason, so jump in!