Just Desserts

June 2, 2010
By , Issaquah, WA
A mode of writing that exposes the failings of individuals, institutions, or societies to ridicule and scorn. Satire is often an incidental element in literary works that may not be wholly satirical, especially in comedy. Its tone may vary from tolerant amusement, as in the verse of satires of the Roman poet Horace, or bitter indignation, as in the verse of Juvenal and the prose of Jonathan Swift.
Baldick, Chris. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms.

New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print.

Just Desserts

There once was a very rich man. He was the richest man in town. All the other inhabitants of the town were much poorer than the man.

The man was also very greedy. He guarded his money with utmost care. The reason why he did this was because he was once a poor inhabitant of the town. However, luck was by his side, and he managed to break free of his old life of poverty. Once the man tasted the sweet flavor of being rich, he realized how much he hated his old life. He vowed that he wouldn’t spend a single cent on the poor people in the town. The townspeople knew about this, and they were very angry with the man. Why should he have so much when they had so little? And he was once one of them too! But there was nothing to be done about it, so the townspeople sat in their homes and let their anger and bitterness stew.

One day, as he was walking back from another town, a beggar came up to him.
“What do you want?” the rich man said, sneering at the beggar. “People like you shouldn’t be mingling with people like me.”
The beggar pointed to two large bags that were on the ground. “Do you want to pick one?”
The rich man raised an eyebrow in confusion. “Why would I want to pick one of your bags?” he asked contemptuously. “You’re a dirty beggar. I’m a rich man. What I could possibly want with one of your bags?”
The beggar nodded his head. “That is very true,” he said. “I am a dirty beggar, and you are a rich man. Yet, you do not have everything in the world. Certainly not all the riches you can imagine.”
This time, the rich man’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “What do you mean?”
The beggar pointed to his two bags. “One of these bags contains riches beyond your imagination, while the other contains nothing of value. The bag on the right is the heavier of the two, and the one of the left is the lighter.”
The rich man immediately picked up the heavier bag and slung it over his shoulder.
“That was quite a quick choice,” the beggar commented.
“I know what I’m doing,” the rich man spat back. He quickly turned around and headed into town so that he wouldn’t have to see the beggar anymore. The beggar was so stupid, the rich man thought. Obviously, the riches were in the heavier bag. There was no possible way that all the riches beyond his imagination would weigh so little. It had to be the heavier bag.
As the man walked, the bag grew heavier and heavier. The man, however, did not stop to pause. He wanted to get home as quickly as possible to see what riches were inside the bag. The man was climbing up a hill when the bag grew so heavy that he tripped and lost his footing completely. The bag rolled out of his hand. The man himself fell down the hill and broke his neck.
Two hours later, some of the townspeople found the rich man’s body and saw that he was dead. The news quickly spread to the rest of the inhabitants.
Later that night, sounds of cheering could be heard as the townspeople looted and pillaged the rich man’s house, stealing whatever they could.
The rich man’s body, meanwhile, had been thrown in the town cemetery. There had been no proper burial or funeral. The townspeople did not think he deserved one.

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