Chapter the First
Blessed be the Llamas, for they spitteth upon the enemies of all that is good and Holy. They trek through harsh deserts, but they shall not falter. Though they be beasts of burden, let them be exalted over all other creatures that go on all fours, and may they never be harmed except in dire emergency.
It was at this time the great Dalai Llama came unto the people of the world and handed down to them from on high the Way of things to be. And the people turned their heads and refused to listen, but the Llama spake loudly and cared not whether his words of infinite wisdom went unheeded. For the unheeded word is often more powerful than all the falsehoods which dwell in the minds of the ignorant. And the words that he spake were so powerful in their truth that they were at once recorded here of their own will, although no one wrote them down.
He said: »Hark all ye who wish to be enlightened in the way of the Llama, for this is the Way of things to be, whether you heed me or no. The Way is the Way. And the Way is the Way of respect. Let us always show respect towards those whom we intend to influence or win as our friends. Let us call them by their names and not by names which are not theirs. Let us exercise restraint in the pointing out of their shortcomings. For those who utter vile and vulgar obscenities at others will be without friendship and shall be called »n00b.» And those who leave insulting voice mails shall not be called back. However, let us neither show blind deference towards others when their characters be not of merit. Respect likewise the animals and things which go on all fours, for they shall be the more delicious for it when it comes time to eat of their flesh. Respect most of all the Llamas, who are blessed, and the Mongooses, who are nice to the Llamas and fight against the evil Snake, about whom more shall be written later.
»The Way is the Way of celebration. Let us observe for one week, upon the 18th night of the fifth month, the sacred celebration of Llamadon. And let us celebrate Llamadon by rocking as hard as we possibly can. For the Way is also the Way of Rock. The forms of Rock are many, and themselves have no bearing on the celebration of Llamadon. For the followers of Llamism must be free to rock out in whichever way moves them the most. However, at no point during Llamadon shall The Eagles be listened to, for they are a mockery of the sacred heart of Rock and their presence displeases the archangels Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.
»The Way is the Way of freedom. Never shall any follower of Llama infringe upon the freedom of another, for freedom is the goal towards which we all strive. Even though your hearts be angered by the evil works of n00b and Snake and The Eagles, do not allow them to erode thy principles. Instead, mock them and call them by names which are not their names, for though they must be free, they are worthy of no respect. Only those who have broken Cardinal Llaws are to be stripped of their freedom, for they have violated the most sacred of man’s covenants with Llamakind.
»There are many who speak words of peace, and those that would have you believe that the Way is peace. But I say to you that the Way is NOT the Way of peace. Peace may be enjoyed by the dead and those who have passed into the beyond, but it is inappropriate for the living to practice or desire it. It is only through conflict that we can achieve greatness and accomplish more than our fathers before us. For if we languish in the apathy of peace we shall all perish and be overtaken by Snake, who is evil and seeks our destruction. When you feel the soft fingers of peace twist around thy spirit, I say unto you be wary. For then you will know the time has come to upset the balance which you have created for yourself.
»The Way is the Way of optimism. He who assumes the worst will surely dig his own grave. Instead, thirst always for knowledge of the good and trust that by following the Way you will come to no harm in this world or the next, for though your body may be dashed against jagged rocks and burned by flame, your spirit which has been true to the Way will endure and thine enemies shall perish as though struck by malaise. Keep always in thy mind that Llama and Mongoose will always defeat Snake, though he is evil and cunning, but lacketh the spiritual fortitude to triumph over good. Let us then have brunch and remember the Way of optimism and revel in our own abilities.
»Know ye that this is the Way as I have laid it out for thee. To follow the Way is to be lifted up by the wings of the archangels and carried across great barriers to thy progress. Do not fear progress, but embrace it and you will have seen the light. And when my unheeded words are recorded as only they can be, let us hope that future generations heed that which was unheeded in my own time and that the Way be known to the children of our children, who are as yet unborn and without malice or personality. Llamen.»
Chapter the Second
After having given these words unto the deaf ears of the people, the Dalai Llama turned himself about and undertook a great and perilous journey over tree and dale. He crossed many mountains and forded many rivers both deep and swift, and whither his travels took him remains largely a mystery to even the most learned of scholars. For the winding path of a Llama is not easily traced, and where he ended up is not known whether it be North or South or East or West. But come to this place he did, befriending many men and animals alike along his way, for one never knows when a friend may come in handy. And at length the Dalai Llama found himself atop a high and windswept crag into which a deep cave had been carved through many eons of strife and turmoil. And within this cave dwelled the evil Snake who was as old as the crag and twice as twisted. But the Dalai Llama had long since mastered the Way and he gazed upon the face of Snake without fear, for though the Snake was a master of martial arts, he had been taught many defenses against such trickery by the Mongoose. It is said that the Mongoose is the only creature who dwelleth upon the Earth that causes Snake to feel fear, but on that day Snake gazed into the eyes of the Llama and was afraid, though he hid it well.
»O Snake,» cried the Dalai Llama. »I wish to converse with you, for though we be enemies, there is much yet that we may learn from each other. Behold, I come in peace without weapon and enter freely into your abode and on your terms.»
Snake cast his wily gaze upon the Llama and spoke, hissing though his glistening fangs. »Very well. Enter ye here, but beware. I am no stranger to trickery and if you deceive me you shall rue the consequences.» And so it was that the great dialogue between Snake and Llama took place, as is told of in legend. And the Llama was the first to speak.
»Snake, you delight in the suffering of others. You hide amongst the reeds and bite the innocent on their bare feet, filling them with your insidious venom. You do not follow the Way and neither do you celebrate nor show joy at joyous occasions. What pray tell drives your bitterness?»
The Snake pondered for a moment and hissed his response. »Mankind has squandered such gifts as have been given him. He does not deserve happiness. I, through my design, am forced to crawl on the ground and be tread upon, but when I, through the use of my cunning, bring man into the same situation I am considered a Devil. Is this justice?»
»We all must do the best we can with what we are given. Man has not squandered anything, but rather excelled in using the tools of his formation. The Way is the Way of using ones abilities to raise oneself up, not to bring others down. But you have shunned that path.»
»I have, and always shall. It is well for you to say these things, but you were given much whereas I was given nothing, and for that I shall never forgive the world.»
Here the Dalai Llama shook his head. »I can see that this line of discussion can lead us no further. You do not know the Way, nor do you know how to Rock, for the walls of your cave are lined with Emo records. Your self loathing can lead to no good and it is plain to see that we shall be in conflict as long as it persists.»
»Ah, but do you yourself not say that conflict is necessary in life? For without it we may as well be resting in our graves.»
»This is true. Perhaps that is why you have been made as you have been made. For the many enigmas of the universe often form a coherent pattern which is not always readily apparent. This is a thing that those who speak of Utopia cannot understand. That not all evils can be abolished is a facet of existence that many find unacceptable, but they have not yet found the Way. Otherwise they would realize that for their dreams to come true would mean an unraveling of the fabric of the world, and we would be lost souls, lonely threads drifting in blackness. I said that there was much to be learned from you, Snake, and I see that I was not in error.» However, it was at this time while the Llama talked that the Snake decided to undertake a fiendish plan of action. He suddenly leaped forth from his rocky seat and attempted to plunge his fangs deep within the flesh of his interlocutor. The Llama acted quickly and decisively, executing a defensive maneuver that the Mongoose had taught him many years ago, but he had been caught off guard, and as the Snake reared back in pain and anguish from the counterblow, so too did the Llama also fall that day, his foot struck by the venomous tooth of Snake. Fortunately, the Dalai Llama’s fortitude was strong, and the venom could not find purchase in his veins, but nevertheless, the tooth cut a mighty swath through his foot, leaving his Llama hoof cloven in twain, and since then all of Llamakind has had cloven feet because of this dark deed.
Then the Dalai Llama, wounded and in pain summoned the archangels Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, who carried him far away to safety, where he would take much rest and recuperation. But the Llama, being not without mercy and knowing that the Way is the Way of optimism, left a parting gift for his eternal adversary, Snake. And so even now, lying amongst those piles of Emo records is the mighty disc that is called Boston. And one day perhaps the Snake will dare to listen to its angelic harmonies and be uplifted and find himself upon the path which leadeth to the Way and all its glory. But until that day, the battle shall rage on.
Chapter the Third
And so the Great Llama retreated to his garden where he lay amongst the flowers and nursed his wounds which had been inflicted upon him by the Snake. And he was visited by all the creatures whom he had befriended and Mongoose was there and prepared Chicken Soup, of which the Llama drank deeply and lo, he felt its warmth spread through him and his wounds were healed. Then the Dalai Llama gave thanks unto his friends and bade them depart, for though the power of Chicken Soup is strong, the venom of Snake had left him weakened and in need of rest. The Llama then slept in his garden for seventy-three days and seventy-three nights, and when he awoke he was refreshed and he gazed up into the summer sky and saw that it was good.
While Llama had slept, Mongoose had been cavorting about the world, keeping watch over things until he should be well again. And though she delighted in running and jumping through the countryside, and though to some she appears careless, she is always aware of the goings on in the world around her. For the eyes of Mongoose are sharp and there is little that escapes their notice. It was through her careful watchfulness that she had discovered the secret of Chicken Soup in eons long past. Listen now, and that story shall be related here.
It was long ago when the world was new and sparsely populated. One could travel for weeks and not come upon a single soul. And it was through this untamed wilderness that Mongoose loved most to travel, for then even she was young and felt the thirst for knowledge. It was during these travels that she happened upon an old man, wizened as an oak tree shambling alone through the woods. At first he appeared crippled and deformed, but Mongoose lurked silently in the trees and saw that he was wise and powerful, and so she elected to follow him and being mischievous in those times, kept her presence concealed from him. And so they wandered together and Mongoose soon lost track of the time and could not say whether it had been hours or days or weeks. But at the end of this time the old man, whose name is not known, stopped and knelt down beside a sick man who had collapsed upon the edge of a mighty river. Then he spoke and his voice was cracked with age but the words were loud and clear., though the dialect he spoke be strange to Mongoose’s ears.
»Whait heer hast befell thee ou’son?» And the man coughed but could not answer. Then the old one stood and began to speak. »Ai kenn hailp thee, ou’son. And hailp thee shaill Ai. Prae, bey steel. Heer hav Ai en draought en’ wil maik thee wael.»
And the Mongoose watched as the man bent to the river and collect therefrom the water into a bowl which he had produced from his clothing. He then knelt upon the ground and plunged his hand into the earth, bringing forth a large crystal of salt, which he dropped into the bowl with the water and it dissolved at once and was one with the water. Then a miraculous thing happened, for the elder clapped his hands with great vigor and flame sprung forth from his hands and soon set the water a boiling. The man then looked about as though deep in thought. At length he cast his gaze skyward and raised his arms towards a bird that flew over head. At once the bird faltered in its flight and fell earthward,. And the Mongoose beheld that it was stone dead.
Now the old man produced a knife and cut the flesh from the bird, which he placed in the simmering concoction. He then went to the sick man and offered the potion which he had made through his unknown magic.
»Heer,» said he. »Draink thees and bey wael, ou’son.» And the Mongoose wondered that the man drank and at once a great change came over him. For the color returned to his cheeks and propped himself up upon his elbows. He opened his mouth to praise his savior, but when he looked he saw that the old man had vanished and even the Mongoose, whose eyes miss nothing, could not say whither he had gone. But the Mongoose, being clever, had not forgotten that which the elder had done. And she saw that he had combined the four elements of the world in such a way as to heal the man. Water, he had taken from the river, salt from the Earth, Fire from his hands, and from the Air he had drawn upon the bird called Chicken. But since Chicken flew high and out of reach, he had drawn him earthbound and in doing so destroyed its ability of flight. And even to this day, the Chicken remains tethered to the Earth and cannot remain in the air for more than a moment before falling, though he often tries.
This was the way in which the Mongoose learned the secret power of Chicken Soup. But take heed that this can heal thee in body only, for Chicken Soup is without potence when applied to the Soul. The Mongoose tried for many years to find the old Mage who had shown her the secret, and used all her abilities to do so, but his name remains unknown to mortals and whether he still lives and walks the Earth is a mystery that will not likely be solved. Until the End of Days.
To be continued . . .