The Spectacle Spectacle
Reality at that time seemed to deviate from its normal path. Things were not as clear-cut as they are now. It was a time when the portals were open to the Other World, when the Realms were one. A time when knights from the Other World went on quests day and knight...er...night.Many of the creatures of the Realms were having problems with their vision. For some their eyesight was so bad that they kept flying into things. Finally a Council was called. The people were asked to try and find a solution to their dilemma. Only a gnome named Jaran stepped forward and dared to say that he would take on the task. Even though he had never left the Realms, Jaran believed the key to the problem had to lie in the Other World.
So he set sail on the sea, to see if he could get an insight into the slight sight problem. He landed on the shores of the Other World and set off to find the cure.
After three days he came upon a knight fighting a dragon. The knight had something strange in front of his eyes, and Jaran wanted to know what it was. Jaran just happened to be an expert in the dragon tongue. He hissed at the dragon to pause the fight so he could talk with the knight. The dragon growled that he would stop if the knight were to do the same.
Jaran turned to the knight and said, “Halt, sir knight. The dragon has agreed to pause so I may speak with you.”
The knight turned and said, “What do you want?”
Then Jaran noticed the knight had knobby-knees.
“I wish to know about the object in front of your eyes, what is it?” “These?” he asked, removing the objects in question. “These are called glasses.”
“What are they for?”
“Why, they are to help me see. I’m nearsighted.”
“So you’re a nearsighted, knobby-kneed knight. I suppose your name is Norman,” Jaran said with a half-smile.
“No. My name is Ned. And leave my knees out of this if you please. I’m extremely sensitive about them,” Ned sniffed indignantly.
Jaran was excited, and asked how the glasses were made, and Ned told him. Jaran deflated when he realized the materials used would render them too heavy for many creatures in his Realm. Before Jaran left, the dragon hissed and growled.
“What did he say?”
Ned asked. “He said that he doesn’t want to die. He has a wife and seven draglonetts at home,” Jaran replied sadly.
“Oh! The poor beast! I had no idea.”
Ned set his sword on the ground and said gallantly, “You are free to go, my good dragon.”
The dragon took this opportunity to chomp the knight in half.
“That wasn’t very nice,” Jaran growled.
“Who said life was fair?” The dragon snorted as he stomped back to his cave.
Jaran returned to his home to ponder the glasses. For weeks he just sat and thought, hardly eating. He shook himself out of his pondering and looked at his home. The place was a mess. Papers were scattered on the counter top and dishes were piled high.
“I guess I better clean this place up,” he murmured to himself.
While doing the dishes, a stray soap bubble floated to the counter top and landed on top of the papers. He peered at it, his eyes widened, because the bubble magnified the print.
“That’s it!” he cried. “If I could make the bubbles hard, everyone who needs glasses will benefit.”
He pondered for several hours before a revelation came to him.
“Perhaps the Cold Stone in the middle of the village would work,” he said.
Jaran took a bowl and filled it with suds. Carefully he ran to the Cold Stone and placed a bubble on the frigid surface. Immediately the bubble solidified, but still retained its lightness. Then Jaran ran a series of tests, to make sure the bubble would not thaw.
Finally, taking a magic knife, Jaran sliced the bubble into eight pieces. He wove grass stems together around the lenses so they could be worn by anyone. Then he brought the glasses before the Council and everyone was overjoyed at the prospect of being able to see. It was easy to distribute the glasses to everyone who needed them. Jarad was hailed as a hero of the Realm—that’s when the problems began.
The first to arrive at his home was a pixie.
“Your glasses are no good, gnome!” she cried.
Jaran looked at her. “But you’re not wearing glasses.”
“It’s my husband’s glasses, you oaf!”
“What’s wrong with them?” Jaran asked.
“Well, this is going to sound strange. He can see just fine. It’s just he’s acting funny. He only acts that way when he has his glasses on.”
“Well, how is he behaving?”
“He only has one reaction for everything. He acts cool, calm and collected.”
“That doesn’t seem so bad,” Jaran said.
“He watched our children get eaten by a carnivorous plant, and he wasn’t even sad or horrified.”
“I see your point. Bring the glasses to me, and I will replace them.”
The next creature to arrive was an elf who wore yellow glasses.
“Hey, gnome dude! These glasses are the coolest in the Realm!” he exclaimed.
“Well, they are supposed to be cool. They are stone-cold, you know.”
“No, I mean they‘re the majorest in the Realm, dude.”
“I see,” said Jaran, not really seeing. “So, what’s your problem?”
“It’s not me, dude. It’s my wife. She’s pitching a major hissy fit big time, dude. You’ve gotta do something to get her to cut me some slack.”
“You mean, to make her as laid back as you are?” Jaran suggested.
“Righteous, dude!” the elf said, leaving the house.
Jaran was still recovering from the elf's visit when a tornado blew through the room, in the form of a sprite.
“Hi gnome! Ooh! Nice place! I help clean? What in cupboard? What over here? What over there?” she said in nonstop chatter, flying from one end of the house to the other.
Jaran tried to get a glimpse of the sprite and had to duck a few times, before he finally realized she was wearing tiny, green glasses.
“What’s wrong with your glasses?” he asked with a sigh.
“Never stop! Always going! Gotta fly! Bye-bye!” she said, and flew out the window.
The first creature returned. “Here’s my husband’s glasses, gnome, and good riddance!” She flew out the door.
Jaran looked at the glasses and discovered they had blue lenses. He picked up a pair of glasses that he had yet to hand out to anyone and tried them on. The world took on a slightly pink hue, and he knew that there was a solution to this problem. Things slowly started to take shape in his head. Hastily, he grabbed a pen and paper and jotted down some notes:
Lens Colors (and their moods)
1. Blue...cool, calm, collected.
2. Yellow...mellow, laid back.
4. Pink...? undecided.
5. Clear...should be the perfect lens. Crystal clear.
Jaran thought about the fourth color, furrowing his brow. Pink? What mood would pink be? Then he remembered how easily he had come to the conclusion that he would find the answer, and it hit him – that pair wasn't just any shade of pink, they were rose colored – rose-tinted glasses, for the eternal optimist.
“Great gusts of wind!” he cried. “There’s not a moment to lose!”
He had the Council gather everyone and explained his findings. Every pair of colored glasses was exchanged for a pair of clear glasses. Jaran was again hailed as a hero, and he went home smiling.
That evening there was a tap at the door. A fairy floated in, shy and quiet. Jaran was happy to find that she was not wearing glasses.
“What can I help you with?” he asked smiling. “I was wondering if I could get a different pair of glasses,” she asked quietly.
Jaran had a prevailing sense of dread. “What’s wrong with your glasses?” he asked. “Are they colored?”
“No. They’re clear, like everyone else's but -”
“What?” he prompted.
“Well, I was so excited about being able to see perfectly, that I rushed out to look up at the moon and stars. The stars were winking and the moon was mooning me.”
“That does sound odd,” Jaran said.
“That’s not the worst of it. I went to visit one of my friends, but all I could see was her, um -” she blushed.
“What is it?” he had to prompt her again.
“Well—this is sort of embarrassing—all I could see was her posterior.”
“May I have your glasses for a moment?” Jaran asked.
“Certainly.” She handed a small pouch to him.
He took the glasses out of the pouch and looked at them carefully.
“Here’s the problem. The lenses are in backwards,” he said as he turned the lenses around.
He smiled to himself. “I guess it’s really true what they say.”
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Hindsight really is 20/20.”