Gernsback’s Fables: The Commune and the Wealthy Man

After the Fall, a commune of hard working people formed near the a river delta, cultivating the land and feeding themselves and being grateful to be alive and have food, even with the great effort it took to produce the food. Also in the gulf lived a Yachtsman. He often steered his boat near the delta and played loud music and threw parties with scantily clad young people on board. The members of the commune had no boat of their own, only nets for fishing, and their Yachtsman ignored their attempts at a primitive semaphore. Whenever they waved, he waved back, but did nothing else. They didn’t know where he came from or where he found the scantily clad women.

One day they were drying salt on the beach and saw the yacht arrive without the music and without the scantily clad young people. A smaller boat appeared and the Yachtsman rowed his way to the beach. The members of the commune were shocked. From his boat he seemed a broad-shouldered man always well tailored in his white jacket and hat. Now he looked scruffy and worn and weary.

“Please, good friends, do you have any food? I am starving.”

“You have a boat, does the ocean not have fish?”

“I only have one rod and my hooks have been eaten. Please, I can pay.”

“There is plenty of daylight left,” said one member of the commune. “Come work in the fields and you may join us for the evening meal.”

“But,” said the yachtsman, waving a piece of plastic he drew from his shirt pocket, “I have money.”

“Then eat it,” said the members of the commune, and went back to their work.

Adapted from THE ANTS AND THE GRASSHOPPERS