The Tale of the Shattered Diamond

The One looked down upon the world one day and decided to hide ten diamonds of unsurpassable beauty and brilliance. No one had ever laid eyes on diamonds sparkling with this manner of radiance and light – the likes of which even the wealthiest king would die for. So that night, The One laid them secretly, one by one, until all were buried in places hidden from the world. But as The One hid the last diamond it cracked into numerous pieces. Heaving a gasp, The One gently placed the shattered pieces together and hid them among the celestial mountains. There the remains of the shattered diamond would lie.

As time passed slowly the story of the hidden diamonds seeped out into the world. Kings and vagabonds alike scoured the lands in search of these precious gems. In time, whispers of discoveries began to materialize out of the landscape. Stories of this and that buzzed into thickening swarms. There were killings and robberies – all desired the diamonds. Blood shot eyes darting back and forth, paranoia, and insidious, rabid craving plagued mankind.

The world was darkening. Hunched impish figures now swept through the lands. Hiding in shadows, no one could trust anymore – all desired the diamonds. The nine un-shattered diamonds were circulated through the hands of many, always being wrenched out by even bloodier, greedier hands. Screams were heard, as sounds of fright and distrust pierced through the thickening night. All seemed lost.

But one day a little child was playing in the mountains. That day the child saw something that would change the world forever…

Amidst a straggling crag, the child saw a shimmer of light. On looking closer, there emerged the remains of the last – but shattered – diamond. This diamond surely no one would want. It was in pieces. All the other diamonds were whole, dazzling creations. But this one was shattered. So the child returned every morning at the crack of dawn. Slowly, piece by piece, the child began to re-assemble the shattered diamond.

Years passed and now the child was an old figure, still piecing the shattered diamond together. It had been the task of a lifetime – only three pieces remained and had to be found. The now old man searched day and night uncovering two of the three remaining pieces… only one piece remained…

The old man could hardly walk, as he gasped for air. His throat was collapsing along with the hardiness of life. But he continued to look. As his fragile frame snapped under his weight he fell to the ground. There he lay, calling out to The One, imploring to help him find the last piece…

The snow fell quietly. The old man lay stiff in the expanding bed of snow. He held his frostbitten hand to the heavens, and one shimmering sparkle floated down from a tree, fitting into the final spot, completing the shattered diamond. The diamond shone with unceasing illumination as the light dispelled centuries of darkness. The shattered diamond, once pieced together, shone more fiercely than ten thousand gleaming suns – its angles and cracks reflecting more light than could ever be extinguished.

The man mustered all his effort and with his remaining life, flung the gem into the heavens. “I am returning what has always been yours,” he whispered as his last breath was exhaled. The One heard him and gratefully smiled.

(from the book: A Bald Head And A Strawberry)

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