I traveled far to find the wise man
And came upon him in the oak forest
Half naked and playing with sticks,
Nibbling a honeycomb.
What should I do to claim greatness?"
"You do not want greatness,
You want fame and women."
"I can't disagree," I admitted.
"Then simply give the fools what they want."
That sounded easy enough.
"And what do they want?"
And though nearly hairless
Stroked an imaginary beard.
"Everything!" he roared, brandishing a stick.
"But since that is not yours to give…"
A pause fell for hours.
When he began a different voice came,
Frightening and beautiful.
"Do not underestimate
The power of the mother, young fool.
One in ten thousand
Grow to become anything
Deserving the name human.
The rest of us, well…"
He held the honeycomb up to me,
His face turned soft,
The oak leaves waved
And I grew weightless with sorrow.
"Children do love their sweets," he said.