A tale without an end

Once upon a time there were three sisters. When they were small, they would leave the busy town with their parents, to spend each weekend in a big house with a pleasant garden surrounded by fields in the calm of the country side.

The father of the three sisters loved his big house and spent all his free time in trying to make it more beautiful.

The two eldest sisters grew less fond of spending their weekends in the big house. As time passed by they preferred to stay in the town where they thought they could amuse themselves more during the weekends. But the youngest, most comely sister loved the big house almost as much as her father.

The father preferred his youngest daughter, not only because of this, but also because he thought that she was like him in character. When he grew too old to look after his big house, it was almost natural for him to give it to her. The other two sisters would have to be eventually satisfied with inheriting what was left over.

Although this seemed right for the ageing parents, the eldest sisters didn't think it was fair at all. When their parents died, they refused to accept the inheritance and they continued to contest the gift of the big house, and this caused a serious conflict between them and their younger sister.

Perhaps it wasn't so much the difference between the values of the left over inheritance and the big house that the two elder sisters found so unacceptable. It may simply be that they knew how much their father had loved his house in the country, and how much he had preferred their younger sister to them. Rightly or wrongly they felt that they had been deprived of affection, and for them the gift of the big house to their younger sister was a cruel and constant reminder of this deprival.

As always in such tales, there are lots of other extras, circumstances and details, which would involve children, grandchildren, and various animals such as dogs, cats, doves, parrots, fish, as well as all sorts of health concerns. But if they were included, it would only make the story longer and more complicated, without otherwise having any real consequence regarding the essence of the story.

And ideally such a classic tale should have a happy ending, whereby the youngest daughter, realising the futility, waste, anguish and folly caused by such an interminable conflict, would eventually suggest that everything including the big house should be equally shared between all three sisters. But happy endings belong more to fairy tales, whereas reality, which has to include the flaws of human nature, often seems to insure that history endlessly repeats itself.

Text and images (for T) © Mirino (PW) March, 2010


Prepuzio said...

In Italy we say "parenti serpenti" or "fratelli coltelli" that mean, respectively, "dangerous relatives" and "brothers armed with knives".

Mirino said...

Appunto. Sono soprattutto le conseguenze della vanità e dell'egotismo paternali. Non si tratta nemmeno di un racconto di fata, come hai forse indovinato (e perché si prova a risponderti in italiano.. Posso scriverne qualche tomo senza problema ma un tal impegno non sarebbe molto divertente per nessuno me compreso).