The Ninth Leaf




Today, I nearly made the mistake of getting between a mongrel and his prey, a tailless black beauty that possessed the attitude of a witch.  I had been studying the small cat, her precise, cool manners, when one of the King’s hunting dogs spotted her and nearly ran me over in pursuit.  The cat easily climbed a tree and then began to taunt the hysterical barking dog.  The loud barking soon brought more dogs and the cat had an audience that wished to tear it to shreds.  But what happened next is why I commit this story to my scarce parchment.

The dogs were overcome with such vicious hostility that they threatened to tear the tree down for such was their passion to get at the black cat.  The cat watched them carefully before arching her back and letting out a terrible screeching sound like the sound of fleeing demons that sent a shudder through my body.  This made the dogs even more furious.  But I could tell that they were frightened almost to an incontrollable rage.  I searched for a stone to hurl at the cat because I was inflamed by my hatred of this demonic animal.  I found a stone and looked for the cat.  Up on one of the highest boughs I spotted it.  Taking careful aim I hurled the stone with all my strength and saw it whistle past the cat.  I found another stone, but before I could launch it the cat leapt off the bough suddenly and transformed into a large crow and flew away only to land in another tree far away from my reach.  I could hear the raucous cackling of the crow and I felt sure that a terrible curse was being directed at me.  I ran away in fear, I ran away from the hex, but I could never tell anyone the thing that I had witnessed.  I still remember those, dead and sinister eyes for such are the eyes of the devil.

– Sorren

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I always respect a man that is frightened of evil spirits even though those spirits exist only in his own mind.  For such a man as this is consistent with the words of the Lord who instructed us to turn away from every sorcery.  Every black cat surely cannot be the familiar of a witch, but it is surely better to act as if they were.  This is the first time this simple servant has said something with which I agree.


- M





Such hogwash put forth as righteousness makes me scowl with derision even through the touch of an accompanying smile, for it is easy to read these words and forget that they were written into a personal diary.  As a curator, I feel it is my job to present the text in a way that best upholds the spirit of the original.  In the glacial epochs of time, these few centuries that separate us from Sorren are but an instant, a wink, so it is almost impossible to understand how they could be so ignorant.  Or, is it we who are ignorant in our self assurance because of the ordering of a few numbers and formula?  We take as faith the authoritative results of those beside which we are as ignorant as was Sorren, for in truth, our quantitative structured reality is but an approximation even as the most important laws of science are but an approximation of true reality.  In Sorren’s day, it was only the wealthy and privileged that could read, and most of the words that were written and annotated by studious monks were religious works and works important to the Church.  In our day, every person writes and espouses opinions about every facet of life and even the most trivial minutiae conceivable whether or not they understand a single thing about which they are expounding, and in this way, the level of ignorance that is passed on in our world is sadly, similar in some ways to the world of Sorren.  When the power of the mind becomes common and banal, the consequences are manifest in a collapse of our culture.  But I would not want to go back to a world in which the very definition of reality had to be authorized by the Church.