As Ariel was walking one day, he spotted it. It was lying on the ground, unwanted, as though someone had thrown it away in anger. And Ariel saw an opportunity to amuse himself. As he picked it up, he suddenly realized it was the most perfect thing he had ever touched. It was a black cube. Ariel could not say why he liked it so much, but he did. It made him happy just holding it and looking at it, and he did so for the whole walk home.
It was not long at all before Ariel realized there was a much greater opportunity here. If this little box could make him so happy, then surely it would make other people happy as well! So he set out to find other people.
The first person he met was busily running from one city to another city, after which he would run to a third city, and back to the first. Ariel ran alongside him, and tried to show him the cube. This man did not even turn his head. Ariel suggested that after he finish his running he might stop and look. While still never turning, the man muttered assent. This was a lie: After he got back to the first city, he might run back to the third city. Or maybe a fourth city. And then to the second. Or he might run in place for a while. In any event, Ariel decided he could not wait until the next city (and he was feeling inadequate trying to keep up!), so he moved on.
As he walked, he considered that the cube was still making him happy. He tried to figure out how. It certainly was a nicely proportioned cube. And its blackness was deeper than any paint. Again, Ariel was convinced that there was an opportunity here. Maybe if he brought attention to the proportions and the color, he could make other people happy!
The second person he met was a little girl. He showed her the cube, and she held it for a few seconds. Ariel tried to call her attention to the blackness, to the perfect proportions, but she had already lost interest. Ariel moved on.
As he walked, he considered the smooth texture of the cube. It was like no material he'd ever encountered! It made him happy to just feel the surface, feel the sharp edges, and feel the weight of it. It was a perfect weight, to be sure- it was exactly as heavy as one would expect it to be, but so exactly that it surprised the holder. Truly, the weight of the cube was a revelation. Ariel considered what an honor it would be for an undistinguished person like himself to share this piece of perfection with others!
The third person he met was a young man who liked throwing things. Ariel, pointing out the perfection of the weight and the texture, eagerly handed over the cube to be admired. Ariel had to walk far.
As he moved on, he noticed that it had a very distinctive smell. This smell was unlike any he had ever perceived before, and it was very appealing. Also, if he held the cube to his ear he could hear a strange sound, which was also distinctive and appealing.
The fourth person he met held it and looked at it for a second, and commented that it was "nice". Ariel excitedly took the opportunity to talk about the texture and the weight and the sound and the smell and the color and the proportions, and was politely asked to go away.
The fifth person he met wouldn't look at it, because "No cubes can possibly be as good as the ones I make!".
The sixth person he met only liked hexagons, and wanted to chop off some edges.
The seventh person he met tried to eat it.
The eighth person he met didn't care.
The ninth person he met ran away.
Ariel decided the cube must have no value at all. Certainly it had made him happy before, but that must have shown only that there was something wrong with him! How could anyone enjoy holding a little cube? It was worthless! And with that thought, he threw it on the ground angrily.
As he walked away, he heard someone behind him. Turning, he saw that someone had come to pick it up. And this person was admiring it. "Never in my life", that person said, "have I touched anything so perfect!".
Ariel was unsure which way to go. If he took the opportunity to talk about the cube, and to show everything he had seen in it to someone else, would that sentiment remain? Or was the statement, to begin with, mere hyperbole?
Ariel proceeded with caution.