Storytellers

Stories to prolong life, knitting to save it

[“How Scheherazade was saved by her knitting”, by Jessica Mayes.
Once again, technical issues are interefering with pictures… *sigh*
]
“Enough!” said the king as he strode toward Shahrazad. “The people are in suspense as to how much longer you shall live. The advisors tell me to either let you live and be my wife until I die, or to command you to finish your story so I can kill you. But I,” he said as he leaned toward Shahrazad until he was almost touching her; “have a better plan. As you seem to enjoy knitting, judging by all the hours you spend with needles and string, I propose this plan: I will give you one week. During this time you shall live by yourself, seeing no one else. You will be given any supplies you wish; and at the end of that week, you shall present a garment you shall either wear to your crowning as queen or your death. I shall judge if you garment is worthy of your life. After the cunning you displayed in prolonging your life, I expect no less ingenuity in this. The week starts now. Your servant shall bring whatever supplies you wish.” The king turned and left the room, slamming the ornate wooden door behind him with an echoing bang.
One week later
Shahrazad stood before the doors leading to the King’s court. She was not nervous at all, but stood calmly with her head up. The heavy doors slowly creaked open. “You may enter!” The King’s loud voice commanded. Slowly and coolly Shahrazad drifted down the floor to stand before the King. She bowed. “What is this garment?” The King sounded only vaguely interested.
“This O King,” Shahrazad replied, “is a mobius shawl. The garment has only one half twist, and one surface. It represents the way my stories are all part of one story, the one I began when I first arrived here. The design in the middle of the shawl is encased by five knit rows on either side. This represents the way my tales are stories-within-a-story. And finally, O King, the design in the middle of trees, shows the way I started with one story that branched out into many stories, just as a tree extends out with roots and branches that are still connected to the trunk.” Shahrazad bowed low to await the King’s decision.
“I was prepared to kill you upon your entrance to this court and be done with the matter, but the curiosity that kept me waiting for the end of your story made me wait for the completion of this task. I am glad I waited. Here is my decision: Shahrazad shall live.” Shahrazad knelt to the ground, still wearing her shawl, and was crowned queen. “No more shall I kill. A wife like this,” said the King, “is surely enough.”

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