Board :Story Contest
Author :Archon Iyagi
Subject :2nd place by Nimmeh
Date :8/13
<b>A Hard Lesson

Once upon a time, in a village not too far away, Ogres and humans lived together in harmony. Or at least, there's was a relationship that once might have been called symbiotic.

For you see, the Ogres were tall and strong and, well - most of them, were not what one might compare to the brightest star in the nights sky.

But they were efficient, relatively friendly - and helpful.

They made quick work of new building projects, made it easy to reach - and store - things in high places. Readily chopped a dozen trees into perfect logs for a roaring fire to heat the home and warm ones feet.

However, the ogres didn't know - or care to know, perhaps - much about the civilized things in life. You know, cleaning oneself. Preparing a meal to eat from a dish with perhaps a utensil or bread. But most of all.. , these particular Ogres loved to eat fish - but, they never could quite figure out how to catch said fish. And fishing, was something this village excelled at.

And so, over multiple generations the villagers grew reliant on the ogres - and in turn, the ogres grew reliant on the villagers.

And then one day... the ogres were gone.

Overnight, they just vanished.

There was no trace of them to be found, no tracks leading away from the village.. no trodden bushes or grass marking their passage.. nothing. They were just.. gone.

At first the villagers were confused, and to be honest - they were hurt. For nearly a century, spanning multiple generations.. they had lived together in harmony. How could the ogres just abandon them?

And.. where did the ogres go?

Then the villagers became angry. Now they had to chop their own wood. Quarry their own bricks. Reach the highest places to store - or recover - items that often, were too heavy or awkward to manage. Menial and backbreaking tasks done by the ogres.. the villagers now had to do themselves.

Then finally, they became resentful.

How could the ogres do this to them? What had they ever done to the ogres?

After what felt like months to the villagers - but really, was barely a few weeks - a strange man came to the village.

He readily drew a crowd, for the village rarely saw any visitors pass by, and once most of the village was present.. he cleared his voice, and spoke to the villagers:

"Only now that they are gone, do you realize what it is you  had. You took them for granted. While you were not overtly cruel, you treated them as second class. And for that, I took them away - and now look at you. You should be ashamed."

Curiosity was replaced quickly with anger and confusion as the villagers were quite taken aback by this man - who just as quickly as he came, had continued on his way and left.

Only after many moons had passed, did the villagers begin to feel any sense of remorse - for, what they had thought was a symbiotic relationship.. had morphed over time into a relationship of power and abuse.

A hard lesson for the village to learn, but learn it they did - and never, have they forgotten how quick and easy it is to take advantage of another.

- Nimmeh