Love and Madness

Love and Madness a Spanish fable

-translated by Emily Asher Abramson

Once upon a time, all of the emotions and qualities of man on earth gathered together.  Just when Boredom had yawned for the third time, Madness, crazy as he always was, proposed that they all play a game of hide-and-go-seek.

Intrigue raised an eyebrow, and Curiosity, not able to contain himself, asked,

“Hide-and-go-seek?  How do you play it?”

“It’s a game,” explained Madness, ”wherein I cover my face and begin counting until I reach one million and while I am counting, you all hide.  When I finish counting, the first person that I find takes my place and continues the game, until everyone is found.

Enthusiasm danced enthusiastically, inspiring Euphoria.  Happiness jumped up and down, which convinced Doubt to participate and prompted Solitude to keep Sadness company; Honesty preferred not to hide because that way, in the end, they would always find him. Pride felt that the game was really stupid, even though deep down, the thing that actually bothered him was that the idea to play it had not been his.

One, two, three…Madness began to count.

The first one to hide was Laziness, who, in his ever lazy fashion, hid behind the first rock along the path.  Faith climbed up to the sky and into the heavens; Envy hid behind the shadow of Triumph, who with his own effort succeeded in reaching the top of the highest tree; meanwhile Generosity barely managed to hide, because every place she found seemed so wonderful for one of her friends…

what about the crystalline lake…ideal for Beauty

or perhaps the hollowed out part of a tree…impeccable for Timidity

oh, the flight of a butterfly…perfect for Sensuality

and a gust of wind…magnificent for Liberty

finally she curled up in a ray of the sun.

Solitude, on the other hand, had found an excellent place at the very beginning.  It was an airy site, very comfortable and spacious, but only for her. Dishonesty said that he would hide in the bottom of the ocean, but it turned out to be untrue; they found him hiding behind a rainbow.

When Madness counted to 999,999, Love still had not found a place to hide amidst the flowers. “One million!” counted Madness, and so he began to search.

The first one discovered was Laziness, who was only three steps away from Madness, behind the first rock.  Then he heard Faith talking to God in the sky, after which he felt the vibrations of Passion and Desire in the Volcanoes.  In a moment of carelessness, he found Envy and then logically deduced where Triumph was. Solitude, he didn’t even have to look for: She suddenly jumped out from her hiding place, as it turned out to be a wasps’ nest.  After much walking, Madness felt thirsty and as he neared the lake, he discovered Beauty.  It was even easier to find Doubt–he found her sitting at an intersection, still having not decided which place she would hide.

And so, one by one, everyone was found…Talent laid in the fresh grass, Anguish dwelled at the bottom of the ocean, Forgetfulness…umm…well, forgetfulness had totally forgotten that they were even playing a game of hide-and-go-seek.

Only Love did not appear to be in any hiding place; Madness looked behind every tree, under every ring of every planet, at the summit of every mountain; and right when he was about to give up, he made out in the distance a petal and thought, “Love, like always, ever so vain, surely hid amidst the roses.” He then started to scour the roses, when suddenly he heard a cry of pain: the thorns had pricked the eyes of Love, leaving her blind.

Madness went crazy.  He did not know how he could possibly pardon himself.  He cried, he begged for forgiveness and in the end, promised to take care of her for the rest of his life.

And so it came to pass, since that time playing hide-and-go-seek many years ago:

Love is blind and no matter where she goes, Madness is always by her side.


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