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Waking up early to witness this show is
blue sky with white clouds during daytim
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Once upon a time, there was a small village just south of a creek in the forests of the west. One day, a beautiful woman appeared to the village, and asked the first man she came upon—a large and strong man—to take her to the most important person in the village.

“I am he,” he replied, “For I am the largest and strongest. I can lift and build a great many things. Without me, we could not have these houses we live in.”

A smaller man nearby overheard the claim, and stopped his work to interject.
“I am the most important man in this village,” he contradicted the first, “For I am the most clever. I plan and prepare for the year. Without me, we could not survive the winter, as I plan and organize our food storage.”

The woman called to a third man nearby to clear the confusion. “Sir! Which of these two men is the most important in the village? Each seems to think it is he.”

The third man frowned at the question. “Neither is,” he replied, “For I am. I am the best at growing grain. Without me, the village could not have a staple food, and would starve.”

A fourth member of the village overheard this, and added himself to contention. Then a fifth, a sixth— until finally, the entire village was gathered outside, arguing about who was the most important amoung them, all vying for themselves.

So engrossed was each in this battle of worth, that none noticed the woman who had started this confusion slip away into the woods. She dropped her form, and clambered to the treetops, where she watched as the villagers’ argument continued.

The shapeshifter Wybelda cackled as she reaped the chaos she had sewn.

“How easy it is to turn men against each other!” she remarked to herself with glee, “That village benefits from the skills of each, but now it shall suffer from the self-importance of man.”

But as the fight became violent, she began to pity them, and shaped herself into the woman once more. She entered the village, and brought with her a small, delicate cup. She climbed her way to a nearby rooftop and cried out for their attention.

“FOOLS!”, she shouted, and the villagers stopped their quarreling to see her.

“Since you cannot agree amoungst yourselves, I shall put your worth to the test. I hold in my hands a cup of measuring. One by one, I wish for each of you to fill it for me. How and with what is up to you—and will be the measure of your importance and worth.”

She then descended from the rooftop and set the cup down in the middle of the village.

The strongest villager took his turn first, finding a large boulder and grinding it down to a powder with his great strength. He filled the cup with the powder and looked to Wybelda.

“Good,” she determined, “You are indeed the strongest man here. But it does not make you the most important.”

She emptied the cup and beckoned the next villager. One by one, each member of the village took their turn filling the cup with a great many things, in a great many ways— each one displaying their skills.
After every villager, Wybelda would proclaim that she had not yet seen the most important person in the village, and empty the cup.
Finally, the last villager stepped up to the cup: the cleverest man in the village.
He had waited as the rest had gone, watching for what had not worked to learn from the others.

“I am the most important person in this village,” he declared to the woman. She gestured at the cup. “Prove yourself, if that be so,” she replied.

“There is no need,” he said in turn, “For all of the others have taken their turn, and not one of them was the most important. I am the only one left, therefore, I must be the most important.”

Wybelda picked up the cup and turned it upside down.
“You are indeed the cleverest man here,” she told him, “But it does not make you the most important.”

The villagers were outraged at the conclusion. Each and every one of them had proved their great skill and worth! How could it be that no one was the most important?

“Each of you showcased that at which you are the best,” Wybelda explained, “As each of you told me why the village would not stand without you. Tell me: If a wagon is sturdy but lacks wheels, is it of any use as a wagon? You are all fools to think only of yourselves! You all claim the village could not survive without you, but have you ever stopped to think how the village would suffer without the person standing beside you?”

Wybelda lifted the cup in front of her face and crushed it to dust.

“There is no one true measure of worth. You would do well in the future to remember this.”

With that, the wise Wybelda shaped herself into a bird and flew away.

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