Ariel was very busy building his new house.
On Sunday, he drew the blueprints.
On Monday, he set the foundation.
On Tuesday, he laid the bricks.
On Wednesday, he added doors and a roof.
On Thursday, he painted the walls.
On Friday, he installed furniture.
And he was tired. But the house did not yet exist for its own sake. He needed to live in it for a day. He wanted to sit back in his living room, sip some lemonade, and admire his work.
On Saturday, he was about to do just that
when a man wearing black appeared.
", cried he, "O, how it pains me to see such disregard for my master's wishes!
Ariel did not understand.
"I serve the owner of this land.
", the strange man explained. "Do you see that sign?
" (and he pointed to a small sign near their feet which Ariel had never seen before.)
And this is what the sign said:
Thou shalt not enter thy house
nor sip lemonade on the seventh day.
It was clear enough. There were no loopholes to be found, no exceptions to be made. But Ariel did not understand. "Why?", asked he.
"Once upon a time, you built a house. Though that building no longer stands, it must still be taken into account.
" Ariel did not understand.
"When you built that house, you entered it. This was a necessary part of the building process, yes?
" Ariel supposed so.
"And when you built that house, it so happened to be a hot day. You refreshed yourself with a glass of lemonade, did you not?
" Ariel supposed so.
"Well, there you have it, then.
Ariel did not understand. It did not seem like he had
much of anything anymore. His remaining books were inside. His comfortable furniture was inside. His achievements were inside. But there was no use arguing- the master of the land had spoken. What was he to do today?, he inquired.
The man in black smiled reassuringly. "The master of this land allows us many pleasures on the seventh day. If you would like, I will stay here and permit you to talk to me.
" Ariel could accept this no longer. "Why in the name of Nonazangian nonoccurence would I want to talk to you
?", he yelled. "I want my books! I want my rooms! I want my furniture! I want my glass of lemonade!"
The man looked down at the unenlightened soul before him with sympathy. He opened his mouth to helpfully suggest scrubbing the master's feet, but Ariel was already walking away uffishly.
Ariel walked on. He passed rocks. And then he passed more rocks. Each rock was grayer than the next. Finally, he passed some rocks. There was nothing to see, nothing to do.
He walked all the way to the edge of the land, where the rock gave way to sea. (He dared not go further, for he could not swim.) Many men were standing by the edge, all wearing black. They were yelling at a man in a nearby boat.