megpie71
megpie71
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Back July 6th, 2011 Forward
Author's notes on my little fable

First up, the morals of the story:

1) Not all wealth "just lying around out there" is free to claim. Ask whether it belongs to someone else before you start picking it up.

2) Even though someone else has different priorities to yourself, they aren't necessarily stupid or foolish. There's more than one type of wisdom in the world.

3) Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup/tomato sauce (depending on dragon's preference or ethnicity).

A big thank you to everyone who has praised my little fable/parable. I wrote it because I tend to think in analogy, allegory, simile and metaphor, and I was trying to come up with a way of explaining the gift culture of fanfiction writing to someone who wasn't able to understand or wasn't willing to listen to a longer explanation. And yeah, the best example I could come up with was a group of squatters growing veges on the fields of someone else's castle, and occasionally throwing aside a gold nugget in order to clear the ground for their plants.

From there, I pulled in the long-standing fable trope of the town dweller versus the country dweller, where the town dweller thinks they're all that, while the country dwellers are just ignorant yokels. This fitted nicely into the divide between the business-minded taker and breaker types, who seem to think that the world begins and ends with money and that money is more important than anything else ever, ever, ever; and the less materialist maker types, who create things for the pleasure of creation, and see monetization (despicable term) of their hobbies as not being a priority.

The "growing vegetables" thing is because those of us who make transformative works are doing it to nourish something inside us. We do it because we want to, because we enjoy it, or in extreme cases, because if we don't, we get twitchy. It's putting something back, using someone else's stories and ideas as a basis. In the case of Tolkien fanfic, the stories and world-building work that JRRT put in are the ground we're growing our vegetables on - and it's very fertile ground indeed.

On a purely structural note, I'll admit I'm not overly happy with the ending of my little tale. But then, it's based on the real world, and in the real world, we still don't know whether the city boy is going to put down the rocks and let people go back to their farming without argument; or whether he's going to continue on his current course. Said current course does tend to resemble him starting to sing very loud, very rude rugby songs about dragon-slaying, while trying to make his escape with the gold and jewels and hoping the dragon won't notice him.

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