December 25, 2002

A Tale Most Hideous: One Blogger's Story

Readers Digest Version: my redirects have been terminated by others. You can't get here from there, anymore. Or, the longer allegory...

Once upon a time, there was a Strange Farmer who in the spring of the year happened upon a mysterious tool. The marvelous device he called Spot and learned that people all over the world knew of it, and spoke of themselves and their lives using the curious device. Spot allowed the farmer to display his curios and trinkets, memorabilia and scraps and old photographs to those few who wandered down the gravel road along the creek banks into the peaceful valley. This was most important to him, for reasons he could not quite say. Along his road, he laid out insects and turtle, garden vegetables and stories of snakes, pictures of clouds and millipedes and all sorts of odd and quirky bric-a-brac, and hoped that those passing would know his joy and pleasure in these things. Some even signed the chalkboard left by the roadside, leaving a few left short messages of encouragement and understanding. The farmer was so encouraged that there were others in the world, though few in number, who shared his odd way of looking at things. But alas, he was soon frustrated by Spot.

Spot was cantankerous and obstinate, like an old mule. At times it seemed not to remember all the things the farmer had taught it, and it did not heed his commands. Perhaps this is why it was sometimes called by the pejorative term BLOG SPot. And so the day came when he couldn't count on Spot any more to create his wonders to greet his visitors each day. And he set out on a long trip to find the elusive Moveable Type of creature that was said to be reliable, required little care and feeding, and seldom bit or betrayed its master in the way that Spot was known to do.

And lo and behold, a kindly princess named Sheila heard of the farmer's pilgrimage to find the elusive Moveable Beast. She did offer to capture one for the farmer, to house it in her barn, nurture it to full stature and instruct the farmer in the simple ways of its care. Being a princess of large heart, she never asked for any of the farmers livestock or produce in return for this favor, checking in on the farmer pleasantly from time to time to be sure that all was well. And the young Moveable Beast did grow at a modest rate, and sure enough, over time, a few more souls wandered down the crooked road to peek at it, poke it through the bars of its stall to see what it was about, and even spoke to the farmer about the simple things the Beast told them about this place where the farmer lived.

And all was well in the peaceful valley. And yet, the farmer knew that the space that the princess had provided to house the beast would one day be too small for all his pictures and words, and he would once again need to set out on a quest for someone to build him a bigger barn. But that day was far into the future. For now, he would merely enjoy his dreams and visions that he would share with the curious or wandering souls that passed his way.

But alas, storm clouds descended on our quiet little valley and the ways of the farmer were threatened with pillage and plunder. This he learned from Princess Sheila, whose wicked king who owned the castle and all the barns where her Moveable Beasts were housed had become surly and easily provoked, and was casting about dire warnings that all Moveable Beasts would surely be tossed from the castle walls and killed unless they permitted a strange incantation called mySQL to be cast over them before two days passed. This was most upsetting news to the farmer who considered his Beast a sort of child. That it should be summarily threatened with a premature murder was most poorly received, and the farmer did rail at Princess Sheila to intervene. She explained to the farmer that this was happening all over the known world, because Beasts were taking up more than their share of space in the serverbarns, and consuming too much of the limited resources of oat and corn and a strange food called bandwidth. Soon thereafter, the farmer came to understand the nature of the crisis, and knew that it was time for him to find the bigger barn with more fodder for his Beast, and to leave the care and friendship of princess Sheila.

The farmer was nonetheless, distressed, thinking "some of my friends may also have their Beasts put to death, and I should tell them the very words that Princess Sheila has told me, so they will know, before it is too late". And here our story takes a most unpleasant path into the macabre and the grotesque.

It seems that Princess Sheila did go off her medications, those mysterious potions that had once made her appear reasonable and kind. For at one moment, upon reading the farmers exact recitation of her words to him, she did wax wroth and did rail and foment against the poor simple farmer for not moving his Beast to a new barn in a manner that would have only been possible by those who understood the arcane world of Domains and Servers and such. And she did commence to flog the farmer, chiefly because of those words of one of the farmer's visitors about which the simple farmer understood little, having to do with the mySQL incantation which was indeed beyond the farmers ken. Yet his words of reason and explanation to Princess Sheila could not turn away the ire and fury of the transformed and disfigured and fallen princess, who now did seem a banshee intent on the death of the farmer.

And so it happened that, on Christmas Day, the poor farmer learned that indeed, the wicked Sheila, once a wonderful princess, did behead the farmers Beast that still barely held on to life in the server of the wicked king. All traces of the beast were burned in a terrible conflagration under the wizened hands of Sheila, so that those who once came to the farmer's display down the pathway of that earlier Moveable Beast could no longer find it. Anon, they would be compelled to search high and low to find where the farmer now housed his new and better Beast.

But all is not lost. The sorcerer called Dean was told by the farmer's faithful friends of this terrible thing that was to come to pass. He did work his magic, sending up the Beast from the barn of the wicked King with his sparkling wand, transporting it to a safe hidden place, where the Beast was protected from the witch's horrible punishments. The Magician in an act of incredible kindness, carried the farmer's Beast to the barn called CornerHost. There, Prince Michal seems a reasonable man, not prone to fits of rage and fury, and immune to the visitation of the wraith of unreasonable rage that sadly ate away the compassion of the lost soul Sheila. In the end, she did vent her bile and evil sorcery on the farmer; but as he says from his new barn while grooming his gentle Moveable Beast, "she has her reward". THE END

Posted by fred1st at December 25, 2002 01:46 PM | TrackBack

I just love a happy ending!

Posted by: ron at December 25, 2002 03:28 PM

Merry Christmas Fred!
...isn't it great there are kind wizards! Blog on!

Posted by: Bene Diction at December 25, 2002 03:46 PM

Beauty! A wondrous tale best told over some mead.

Posted by: Da Goddess at December 26, 2002 03:38 AM

Enjoyable tale. My own beast also quite enjoys the Cornerhost barn.

Posted by: gina at December 26, 2002 05:28 PM

Wonderfully told! Thanks for such a tale.

Posted by: DavidMSC at December 27, 2002 09:04 AM

What a tale! What an adventure!

So glad it had a happy ending. Nice barn ya got here. Peace to all in the valley.

Posted by: Wylie in Norman at January 13, 2003 05:00 PM

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