And They All Lived Happily Ever After

Ebenezer BarnesContributor IOctober 16, 2008

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, lived a peaceful tribe which was addicted to stories.  Their professional master storytellers, known as the Chroniclers, were honored and respected, and the population gathered round the tribal fires in the evenings to hear these masters hold forth.

Many members of the tribe dreamed of becoming Chroniclers.  They formed amateur groups which would gather and tell stories among themselves.  Legend had it that there had once been an amateur storyteller who became so skilled that she was invited to join the ranks of the Chroniclers.

The Chiefs of the tribe were pleased that the amateur storytellers pursued their hobby, for their ranks were full of potential delinquents and troublemakers, and their storytelling activity diverted them from such activity.  The Chiefs decided to stimulate amateur storytelling by offering a prize.  Quite unintentionally, the Chiefs thus stimulated trouble instead.

The prizewinner would be invited to join the Chroniclers at the tribal fire on the night of the Great Mating Festival.  The winner was to determined by peer voting, selected by the amateurs from among the amateurs.  On the day the votes were to be cast, there was a vicious and bloody riot among the amateur storytellers, and the Chiefs found it necessary to summon the Spear Brigade to quell the disturbance.

The Chiefs learned from their error.  The peer selection process was trashed, and the Chiefs instead appointed a group of five professional Chroniclers to hear and judge the competitive efforts of the amatuers.  Peace suddenly broke out.  And they all lived happily ever after.