The Fireplace

In the castle there is a fireplace.

Once it was warm and bright, and the inhabitants of the castle circled around it and held out their hands and received Prometheus’ gift to mortals. The fire would be lit, and stay lit for a time.

Careless, reckless children managed to burn themselves on the flame. They laughed and giggled at each other and reached out at the urging of Pandora. And when the gods’ toy seared their hands, they shrieked and ran and cried, and grown-ups were called for. And the grown-ups grew vexed at the willfulness of childhood but they could not make the children wise without ushering them to adulthood. And so the fire was extinguished.

It lay cold and dark for many years. But no foolish child was harmed.

Fresh kindling has been added to the fireplace. Perhaps it will burn brightly again. And perhaps the children of the castle have attained wisdom enough to let it burn without meddling.