The Cave

Contrary to popular belief, the oldest inhabited region in the world
is a tiny village just inside the edge of a jungle.  To the east of it
is more jungle, to the west of it is more jungle.  To the south is
denser and denser jungle, and to the north there isn't much before a
sea.  There are cliffs down to the shore, and in the cliffs is a very
large mouth of a cave.  The villagers never go far from the village,
and they definitely never, ever go into the cave.

In the village, the people speak their own language that's similar
enough so that most people who would ever show up from anywhere nearby
are certain to understand them.  Most people never come near them from
the west or the east, and no one ever comes to see them from the
south.  To the north is just sea, and the cave.  Everyone in the
village knows their own purpose from early on in life.  No one is ever
forced to stay, but when people want to leave their village, it is
always recommended that they head west, and they almost always do.
They mostly get along better with anyone from the west than from the
east when they do occasionally show up.  It may not have always been
that way, but it probably was.

The villagers all know the purpose of their tiny village, but they
don't ever mention it unless someone visits who is headed to the
nearby shore of the sea.  They always tell them not to go to the cave.
In the village there is one person selected from an early age, usually
a man, who keeps track of the history of the village.  No one is named
at birth, they are only named when they know what they will do.  That
person is named Ahb.

Even in that village they know the world changes, Ahb always tells
them stories, and they have proof when Ahb makes a new story for them
about something that happened.  Usually there are several people
called Ahbi, but only one person ever becomes known as Ahb.  It's the
only name in the village that changes like that.

It caused a lot of changes when people started showing up who said
they came from the north.  The villagers thought that wouldn't ever
happen.  Only one person had been Ahb since that first happened.  No
one had believed it, at first.  Ahb had been young, and had taken the
risk to spend a lot of time near the cave to see where they actually
came from.  It had been scary, but they had shown up, exactly as they
said, in a large metal boat from somewhere across the sea.

At least they weren't from the cave.  It all made for much more than
one story.  The people from across the sea noticed Ahb waiting for
them almost as soon as he noticed them.  When they had first showed
up, Ahb had told them immediately about the cave.  He had noticed
their reluctance to say anything at all, which was most of the reason
he had decided to wait for them to return, to be able to see them as
soon as they arrived again.

They were there at the shore as they said they would be, a few months
later.  The people from the sea knew many languages, and it hadn't
taken them long to figure out how to speak with Ahb.  He had
immediately asked them about the cave.  Somehow he knew they had gone
in there.

They replied by asking him what he knew about the cave.  He told them
again the simple stories about the cave.  People can go into it, but
if they do, after not very long there is always a horrible scream and
blood drips from the cave.  No one ever goes in there anymore.  The
villagers had stories that they had tried everything to stop people,
even trying to fight them away from the cave.  Obviously that hadn't
had any effect but being worse than useless.

Ahb was more than curious, he had to know if they had gone into it.
Then they told him a few of them had gone in, and that was what had
happened.  The people from the sea took him at his word, and he could
tell they had knowledge worth trading for.  He explained to the
villagers there could be a new name for people in the village who
could learn from them.  They sometimes had very good but different
ways of healing people.  Everyone thought it was a good idea, and the
people from the sea suggested the name Doctor.

The people from the sea asked what else was around, and everyone
agreed the people to the west of the village always seemed a bit
friendlier.  They had stories about people from the east.  One of
people from the sea said it stood out that the villagers usually left
to the west when they did, so they might end up friendlier.  Ahb could
tell again they knew good things when that person said that.  A sign
of a good Ahbi.


Ahb grew very old, and the world kept changing.  People never really
came from the east anymore at all, anyway, but to the west the people
from the north might have caused a lot of changes, too.  There was a
new ruler to the west, and more people were coming.  Two people in the
village were named Ahbi now, and both knew all the stories.  The
people from the north didn't even ask about the cave much again.

What worried Ahb the most was that the people coming from the west
asked about the cave far too often.  He tried to get the villagers to
notice, at least to get the two Ahbis to notice and try to put a stop
to it.  The people from the west of the village were getting too
curious about it, and Ahb could tell they wanted a villager to go in,
but they didn't want to go themselves.  Ahb tried to warn everyone as
soon as he noticed it.  He became very worried they were influencing
the younger Ahbi, but he didn't want either of them to leave to the

Some people from the west all showed up at once, with one man clearly
leading them, during a time some people from the sea were there.  The
people from the west had too much influence, and the people from the
north saw it too.  Ahb took the people from the north aside and tried
to ask them for help putting a stop to it, but it was too late.  The
younger Ahbi and several people from the west were already halfway to
the cave at the shore when Ahb and the people from the sea went back
to talk to them.

Ahb rushed to the cave, but Ahbi was already coming out of the cave.
He was the first person to come out of the cave, ever.  The people
from the west were cheering, their leader moved toward Ahbi to
congratulate him.  Ahbi was shaking in fear, and Ahb rushed past
everyone to hug him, crying.  What had happened?  Ahbi told him simply
that they had given him a test.  The cave had been extremely dark, he
couldn't see anything.  He had felt a blade to his throat from some
creature inside the cave, who had said, "this is for us, not for you."
Ahbi had been shaking in terror, but the creature had pulled the blade
back a bit.  Ahbi had not been sure what to say as he stood there
trembling.  It had all only lasted a few seconds, and Ahbi had just
asked if he could leave.  The creature had let him.  "That's the
story, then," Ahb said to him.  "Leave it at that."


That night the people from the west took over the village, celebrating
for hours.  Ahbi was too drawn into it all.  Most of the villagers
didn't stay, but Ahb tried to snap Ahbi out of it and bring him to his
senses.  The leader of the group visiting from the west said too many
of the wrong things.  Ahbi asked him, not Ahb, if he could go back
with them.  The man from the west of the village told him, "no, your
place is clearly here, as the new Ahb."

Ahb felt awful hearing that.  He stood at the side of it all with his
fist to his mouth, crying.  The younger Ahbi didn't even notice.  He
got carried away retelling the story, embellishing it, letting the
people from the west of the village make up horrible details.  He was
much too carried away with it all.  He said, "the people from the east
could stab me in the back now, and I would survive it." The people
from the west laughed and cheered, while Ahb wept behind the crowd
hopelessly.  Finally he left.  He didn't know what to do.  The people
from the sea had no suggestions, some of them ashamed of themselves
they had ever come at all.

The next morning the ruler from the west himself arrived.  The people
from the sea to the north tried to intervene, but the ruler was
demanding that Ahbi go in again.  The villagers and people from the
north were outnumbered and couldn't do anything.  Ahbi wouldn't listen
to reason as Ahb shouted at him and wept.  The younger Ahbi was too
confident, ready to go again and find out more about what lived inside
of the cave.  The people who were against going could do nothing but
watch as Ahb screamed, cried, and pleaded, while they all went back to
the shore where the cave was.

Ahb couldn't do anything about it as Ahbi went back into the cave.  He
was in there for far too long, for several minutes.  There was never
any scream, but blood poured and splattered from the cave while Ahb
wept.  The ruler from the west of the village barked in short
astonishment, almost a laugh.  Ahb wanted to kill him.  The most
amazing thing happened then, the blood started to flow upward from the
ground, and then there was Ahbi standing there again.  He slowly fell
forward though, blinking his eyes once.  A sword stuck out of his
back.  It looked like it could be a thousand years old, except that it
seemed perfectly new.  The people from the north tried to push through
the crowd to help him, but they all cheered around Ahbi, rocking the
sword back and forth in his back.



Once upon a time, there was a stupid kid on AOL named Llama2.  He was
very spoiled and always got what he wanted.  One day, his mommy said
he needed to learn how to count.

He said, "No, I don't want to learn.  I don't want to count!"

His mommy said, "You need to learn.  It's important to learn how to
count so you can be the smartest kid in the world."

He thought about it and finally agreed.  He began to learn how to
count.  He counted one, two, three, four, five.

He was so proud when he was done.  He had learned how to count and was
the smartest kid in the world.

Over the years he counted higher and higher each day.  He would spend
hours in his room counting his toys.  One day he got a special gift.
It was a toy car that he had been wanting for a long time.  He was so
happy that he could count even higher!

The next morning, as he was counting, he heard a noise outside his
window.  It was a very noisy bird.  The bird was so loud that it made
the baby brother scream.  He quickly ran to his parents' room.

His parents quickly came and opened the window to the window.  The
baby brother was so surprised that he stopped screaming.  Then he
looked down and noticed the bird was still flying around the room.
His parents had found a way to make the noise go away.

The next day, the baby brother was back in his room.  He was counting
again, but this time he was counting a different number.  He was very
happy because he was able to count so high that he had even more toys
to play with.  He could still hear the noisy bird outside his window,
but he was content with counting his toys.

His mother told him he would have to grow up someday, and take care of
his brother.  He was confused, so his mother told him not to worry.
She said he would get some special powder and it would make him feel

He was excited and started to imagine what the powder would be like.
He thought it would be full of magic and adventure.

Every day he asked his mom if he could have the powder.  She said no
and reminded him to be patient.

One day his mom said he could have the powder if he helped with chores
around the house.  He was so excited he forgot about the powder.

When it was time to make a wish, he remembered the powder and made his
wish.  He wished for it to come true.

But the powder was not meant to be.  It was a bad thing and the little
boy was very sad.  He realized he should have listened to his mother
and not asked for the powder.  He wished he had been patient and
waited for it.

After the powder everything seemed different, but he kept learning to
count higher.  He was so proud of himself for learning something new.
He asked his mom if he could have more of them to learn more.

His mom said yes, and she showed him how to count to twenty.  She was
so impressed with how much he had learned.

But then, his mom noticed that he was still learning to count.  She
told him that it was very important to learn more to be the best at

The boy thought this was a good idea, but he was still a bit ignorant.
He was not sure if he could be as good as his mom.

His mom said that if he kept practicing, he would get better and
better.  The boy kept counting, and soon he was counting higher than
all of his friends.

He was so proud of himself for learning something new and he even
started counting to twenty.

Every time he would count all the way to twenty, he would find himself
in a state of deep relaxation.  One day, he found something very
special.  It was a brightly coloured marble, with a yellow flower on
it.  It was so charming that he decided to keep it for himself.

The marble was perfect and he took it with him everywhere he went.  He
took it to school and showed it to all of his friends.  They were all
so impressed by it and thought it was the most charming thing they had
ever seen.

At the end of the day, the marble lay on the ground, still and quiet.
The marble had just the perfect way of saying goodbye and the marble
had found its new home.

Eventually he lost the marble, a devastating tragedy to him.  He
looked everywhere, but he couldn't find it.  He felt so frustrated.
He asked his mom if she could help him, but she said no.  He was so

Then one day, something special happened.  He found his lost marble!
He was so happy!  He was so relieved and hugged it tight.

He showed it to his mom and she said he was a brave boy.  She said she
was proud of him.  He was so excited and he was very happy.

He never lost his marble again, but one day the scary bird came back.
He was so scared that he wanted to run away.  But the bird just wanted
to play.

The bird grabbed the marble in his beak and started flying away.  He
was so scared that he dropped the marble and ran away.

The bird wanted to keep the marble, but it was too late.  He was so
scared that he dropped the marble again and ran away as fast as he

The bird never returned, but he kept the marble with him wherever he
went.  He was happy to have his marble back.

The powder was bad for growing up.  He never really did.  He always
tried to plant it, but it never seemed to work.  He felt so sad.

One day, his mommy came over to him.  She said, "Let's try something
new.  Let's reverse the powder!"

The little boy was excited.  He loved trying new things.  So, they got
to work.  They both dug and put the powder in the ground.  Then, they
took a big bucket of water and poured it on the powder.

After a few days, the powder started to grow.  The little boy was so
happy.  He had reversed the powder!  He jumped around with joy.

The little boy and his mommy were so happy.  They had reversed the bad
powder and made something wonderful.

Many years later, he told his computer to write this story.  He was so
proud of himself!  He had written it all by himself, with big, wide
eyes and a happy smile.

His mom was so proud of him.  She was happy that he had written such a
great story.

The next day, his teacher read the story to him.  It was about a wide
and open field.  He loved it and it made him smile even bigger.

His mom was even more proud of him.  She told him that he was very
talented and that he should keep writing his stories.

The little boy was so excited.  He kept writing his stories, never
forgetting how much his mom liked them.  He was so proud of himself.

His pride came before his fall.  He was playing in the garden with his
friends, when suddenly he noticed a big, wet patch of mud.  He
couldn't resist and he ran towards it, laughing as he scooped his feet
into the mud.

His friends watched him as he rolled around in the wet mud, making a
big pile.  They were so surprised and laughed.

Suddenly, his mum walked up to him.  She had seen him playing in the
mud and she was not happy.  She said, "Llama2, you can't play in the
mud anymore!"

Llama2 was so sad.  He didn't want to stop playing, he just wanted to
keep having fun.  He looked at his mum and said, "But why can't I play
in the mud?"

His mum sighed and said, "I'm sorry, Llama2, but I'm afraid you can't.
You'll have to surrender the mud."

Llama2 looked at the wet mud in his hands and said, "But why?"

His mum smiled and said, "Because it's too wet and you'll get all
dirty, and then I'll have to give you the hose again."

The cold water from the hose was always a horrible shock to him.  He
had never seen a hose so big before.  Every time he saw the hose he
would start to tremble.  He was so scared that he ran away from the
hose as fast as he could.

His mom saw the scared look on his face, so she ran to him and hugged
him tight.  She told him it was ok, and that the hose was not
dangerous.  She explained that the hose was just part of something,
like a special water that was very powerful.

The little boy was still scared, so his mom decided to help him.  She
brought a bucket of warm water and poured it over the hose.  The
little boy watched in amazement as the water started to change colors.
His fear slowly faded away and he started to feel brave.

The little boy was so happy that his mom had helped him.  He had
learned something new and he would never be scared of the hose again.

He surrendered, and in letting go, he found he had won.  He was so
happy he started to jump and shout.  He felt like the king of the

Suddenly, he heard a noise.  He looked up and saw a little bird flying
near him.  The bird was chirping and singing.

The boy looked at the bird and felt envious.  He wanted to be the one
watching the bird.  He wanted to be the one who won.  He looked around
and saw a big tree.

He ran towards it and climbed up the tree.  He reached the top and saw
the little bird sitting on a branch.  He shouted down to the bird, "I
win!  I win!"

The bird looked at him and chirped.  It was happy to be the first one
to win.  The boy smiled and laughed.  He was so proud that he had won.
He forgot all about the hose again.

More than anything he could have ever wanted, he had found a tranquil
peace inside of himself.  Everywhere he went, he told stories of the
peace that he was able to have.  But then one day, he had a sudden
question: What if he could find out for himself?  He was so excited
and determined to find out what it meant that he could have something
to be happy about.

So he set off on his journey, searching for answers.  Everywhere he
went, he asked the people he met, if they knew what the answer was.
Everyone had a different answer, but no one could give him one.

But then, one day, he came upon a wise old man who was sitting on a
bench.  He had a basket full of apples and he said to the little boy,
"If you have a question, then you must always remember that the answer
is something you can find if you try hard enough.  What does it mean?"

The little boy thought for a minute, and then he said, "I have a
question - I want to be happy and not have to worry about what I can

The wise old man smiled and said, "I have a secret for you.  If you
try to use your brain, you will always lose.  If you sit back and
watch your brain, you will find more serenity and courage."

By letting go of his spoiled desires, he had found inner peace, and
now the old man had given him a new skill to master.  He was so proud
of himself that he couldn't wait to show it off.

One day, he was feeling extra special, so he took his desk out of the
desk and brought it over to the park.  He saw a little girl who was
sitting alone on a bench.  He went over to her and said, "Hi there!
Would you like to sit in my desk?"

The little girl smiled and said, "Yes please!" She sat down in the
desk and it felt so comfortable.  She smiled and said, "It feels so
nice here."

It was then that he noticed something else.  He saw how much he had
grown in the same way he had been sitting in the desk.  He felt so
happy and grateful that he had shared his experience with someone so

The moral of this story is that it is important to be generous and
share with others, especially when it comes to us.  We should always
think of others and be sure to share our gifts, just like the little
girl had shared the desk.