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The Three Sisters
Once upon a time, there were three sisters. They lived in a village in the woods. They were the daughters of the leader of the village. One day, their father died, and they, deemed the wisest, came to rule over the village.
Ilsa, the eldest, was strolling along the nearby river when a few small boys came to seek her help.
“Ilsa, we need your help!” cried one of the boys.
“Yes, we need your wisdom!” cried another. The other two boys nodded in agreement.
“Well!” Ilsa said haughtily. “I believe I can be of much assistance to you.”
“We found this fish. It is made of gold! And quite healthy too. We all found it, and we haven’t the idea of what to do with it.”
Ilsa laughed at the boys’ stupidity. “You’re all very silly. You should kill the fish.”
“Kill the fish?” The boys gasped.
“Yes,” Ilsa stated in a more condescending tone, “kill the fish. Share its parts among yourselves.” And with that, she left them.
Later that afternoon, Olsa, the youngest, came across the some group of boys.
“Oh, Olsa! We need your wisdom!” cried one of the boys.
“Yes, yes!” Another agreed.
“Of course!” Olsa quipped. “What is it that you need my assistance with?”
“We have a fish,” one began to explain as the others nodded. “It’s a very beautiful fish, for it’s made of gold! It can swim very fast! We all found it, and we haven’t the idea of what to do with it.”
Olsa thought for a moment, and thought of an adequate answer. “Why not share the fish?”
“Share the fish?”
“Yes. Every day, you shall pass the fish upon the next person. The fish will be shared evenly upon the three of you.” And with that, she left them.
Several days later, two neighbors began a feud about a fig tree. The fig tree was between the two neighbors’ property, and the recent storm had knocked it down into one neighbor’s yard.
One neighbor went to Ilsa, the eldest sister, for help.
“Dearest Ilsa! I am in need of your aid!”
“Ha! What is it that you bother me with?”
“My pesky neighbor believes that the old fig tree belongs to him! That d*mn storm forced it to fall in his yard!”
“This is a very easy situation to fix,” Ilsa bragged. “You simply steal the rest of the figs upon the tree. The fig tree will die eventually, and it will become useless and rot. It is too large to lift away, and if you had any sense you will have realized this before wasting my time.”
The other neighbor went to Olsa, the youngest sister, for an answer.
“Beloved Olsa! I must speak with you!”
“Yes? What is it that you need from me?”
“That blasted neighbor of mine believes that the old fig tree belongs to him—when nature herself put it in my yard, because I deserved it!”
Olsa thought for several minutes. “Nature believed that you deserved the tree because of your character. Perhaps you give him some of the wood to sell from the tree.”
The middle sister, Elsa, spoke to none of the villagers, believing that Ilsa and Olsa can handle the problems that come and go.
Elsa had a cat. It was a stray cat that liked to beg for scraps of food from the villagers; Elsa was in the front yard when the cat came across the way. She took the cat in and fed him; from then on the cat had claimed Elsa as his owner. Elsa named him Ulis.
Ulis was a very healthy and well-fed cat. He remained with Elsa for years, and she loved him very much, for he was a very obedient, helpful cat.
One day, Ulis became ill. Ilsa would become irritated at all the attention Elsa would give her cat, and soon told Elsa some advice:
“His time has come, Elsa. You should put him out of his misery.”
Elsa said nothing, and held Ulis in her lap.
Soon, Olsa would notice that Elsa refused everyone to take care of her cat, and made the following suggestion:
“He seems very ill, and we have very little medicine for cats. You should let the doctor have him until he feels better.”
But again, Elsa said nothing, and scratched Ulis behind his ears.
And soon, both Ilsa and Olsa would quarrel about the cat as Elsa took care of Ulis as she would. Whenever Ilsa suggested how Ulis should be killed, Olsa fought back bitterly to save him; whenever Olsa advised on which villager is the best great doctor, Ilsa vehemently cursed that Ulis was meant to die.
And Elsa said nothing.
Soon the villagers would hear the sisters fight about Elsa’s cat, and no one dared speak to Elsa about the dilemma, for she would never speak to them. None of the problems of the villagers went resolved as long as Elsa had her cat.
Elsa knew the all villagers’ problems because of Ilsa’s grumbles and Olsa’s laments, from the small boys and their fish to the two men and their tree; however, she could not bring herself to care enough to find an answer for them.
The first time Elsa spoke to a villager, it was the fisherman.
“Lovely Elsa! What can I do for you?”
And quite simply, Elsa replied, “Please bring your fish to our home. I shall pay you for them.”
That same day, Elsa spoke to the farmer, and she gave a similar request.
“Please bring your vegetables and fruit to our home. I shall pay you for them.”
And the final request to the carpenter.
“Please build our home to be stronger, for I fear that another storm will weather our house. I will pay you for your work.”
Every day the fisherman brought the best fish to Elsa and the farmer his ripest pickings. The carpenter built day and night until the home of the sisters resembled a castle much closer to abandoned than grand. Soon none of the villagers have ever seen or heard from the sisters ever again, for they never left their home. The fisherman and the farmer ceased to believe that the two hands that opened the window, took their offering, and returned the favor with a silver coin were the hands of Elsa. Often times they preferred to tell that it was a spirit that rewarded them for their work.
Every day, Ilsa would suggest that Ulis should die, for he was becoming useless, as Olsa would propose that Ulis should get help so he could remain alive.
And every day, Elsa would say nothing but guard the world from the quarrels of her sisters.