the ugly earring

ug‧ly [uhg-lee] offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance

even the sad, sour sisters

“Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight. Even the sad, sour sisters should be kindly dealt with, because they have missed the sweetest part of life, if for no other reason.”

— Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)

photo from the lovely world of Aëla Labbé

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what’s the news sister?

It was near dawn that he heard some crows talking in human language in the tree under which he was lying.

One crow said: ‘Do you hear me sister? Are you awake?”

The second crow: “Yes, I’m awake.”

The third crow: “What is the news sister?”

The first crow: “If humans knew what we crows know, there would be chaos all over the world! You know, the King of the Shining Moon Country has died. As he has no heir to succeed him, they are going to have a falcon fly high in the sky. On whosever head the falcon descends after circling the sky, he will be the new King.

The second crow: “Who will become the new King?”

The first crow: “The man lying under this tree will become the King, provided that he would put on his head the rumen of a sheep before entering the city. Since he is a stranger, people will not accept him as a King and will arrest and imprison him in a room before flying the falcon for a second time. He should open the window of that room and the falcon will go in and perch on his head!”

The third crow: “Pah! What a King! The King of the Country of Deaf people!”

The second crow: “Do you know what medicine cures their deafness?”

The third crow: “The elixir of life, but the problem is that if the deafness of people is cured, they will no more bear the tyranny of their rulers. The fault of the men hanged from this tree was only that they wanted to cure the deafness of people!”

from sadegh hedayat: the elixir of life