Once upon a time was a princess with beautiful hair. She had curvy golden locks that made people stop and stare. She loved the day, but she hated the night. She liked to stay under the sun, admiring how her hair glowed in the light.
“How pretty my hair is! Look at how it shines!”
“It’s so beautiful none can compare,” her people replied, “no other hair is so fine.”
As she grew, the princess loved her hair more than anything else. She didn’t know it would be the beginning of her demise.
One day, a poor, old beggar came by. The princess was proud, but generous. She gave the poor beggar the most delicious food she could find. The beggar was so thankful; he told the princess that he had the powers of a genie.
“Poor I may be, but I can grant wishes for others who are kind to me! Choose wisely, dear princess, what you wish for may have effects you cannot yet see.”
The princess was surprised but happy for the wish she received. She started thinking about every good thing her mind could conceive. She had enough riches and gold. She doesn’t really mind growing old. She’s not yet married, but isn’t in want of a prince. I already have everything, she thought, convinced.
“May I save my wish for another time? I can’t think of anything to wish for that’s not already mine.”
The beggar nodded and took his leave. He said that the first wish the princess makes will come true, even when he’s not there to give. So the princess strolled through the garden, as she usually does on late afternoons.
“It’s sad,” she said to herself, “that the day will be ending soon.”
The thought of her hair’s beauty not seen in the dark left her uneasy. Then a thought came to her mind, suddenly. She’d wish for it to always be day. Yes, she’d wait for the night to come, and then her wish she’d say.
The princess hurried to her room just as the sun set. She said her wish in a whisper, knowing that she had the beggar’s consent.
“I wish for my kingdom to always be in light, always bright, never night.”
And so went away night and came light. The princess was overjoyed, but the sudden change gave her people quite a fright. They gathered around the castle, where the princess explained how she made a wish and it came true. The news sent the crowd stirring with a hue.
“How can that be?”
“No good can come out of this. You’ll see, you’ll see!”
“But we don’t have to be afraid of the dark anymore!”
“Please, please, everyone! Calm down!” the princess implored.
Everyone went silent as the princess explained all the good that could come from her doing. She told them now they don’t need to fear the dark anymore. They’d be safe all day long and the “monsters that creep at night” could be ignored.
“The children can play without a care!” she said, “We’d be safe from wild animals like boars and bears!”
Her people admitted this, so they contentedly went home, leaving the princess to collect her thoughts alone.
Time passed and at first all seemed well. But constant light proved itself not so swell. Water became scarce because the heat brought a draught. People couldn’t work for too long because it was so hot. Some people couldn’t sleep, having a hard time keeping their eyes closed. No one ever thought so much harm light could impose.
The princess saw this too, and she could not bear it. She decided the people’s suffering for her own pleasure wasn’t worth it. So she looked for the old beggar, searching from place to place, asking anyone passing by on the streets.
A week went by but her efforts were to no avail. The princess was saddened. She felt that, as a leader for her people, she had failed. While she was pondering on what to do now, the beggar appeared right before her and bowed.
“Beggar!” she exclaimed, “I have looked for you from east to west!”
“I know,” he answered, “and I came immediately when I heard of your kingdom’s unrest.”
“What shall I do? Reverse the wish! Tell me what to do!”
“Your wish can’t be reversed, I’m afraid. The only one who could fix this is you.”
The princess was astounded. Dumbfounded. Stupefied.
“But how could I make things right?”
“What did you wish for?” asked the beggar.
“For my kingdom to be in light, always bright, never night.”
The beggar explained his plan. He told the princess that her kingdom’s the only place affected in all of the land. He could move her to a new kingdom above the sky. But then to her home she’d have to say goodbye. When the princess heard this, she assented. All the time, she cried.
Morrow came and her parting took place. Tear stains could clearly be seen on her face. She could come back to her old home once in a while. But her new home is so far away, as far as a thousand miles.
So the princess said farewell to everything she knew before. And the moral of this story? Be careful of what you wish for.
Once upon a time, pain and pleasure didn’t live inside men. They were given by a couple—Morsus and Frajda. Morsus was in charge of pain, Frajda of pleasure. Each day, both would do their own work.
Morsus would give pain while humans worked and toiled under the sun or got sick, while Frajda would give pleasure when they were doing things that made them happy.
After some time, the humans decided they had to find a way to feel less pain. They started to invent things that would help them with work, medicine to keep them away from painful diseases, and leave them more time to rest and be with their loved ones.
Morsus and Fradja were pleased with this. Morsus never liked his role, though he knew pain was needed in order to get more pleasure. The humans weren’t so afraid of him now. They used to run away when they saw him, thinking he was there to give them pain. Now, he could talk to the humans and they’d be nice to him, knowing he doesn’t have any pain in store for them. Fradja was also happy, since she could spread more pleasure and bring happiness into humans’ lives.
Time passed, and the humans got better at inventing things. Not only did they discover machinery that would give practicality, but also things that would give them pleasure.
Nobody knew this meant disaster for Morsus and Fradja. You see, when the two spread pain or pleasure, they’re actually extracting a bit of themselves. Then they rest so they could refuel themselves again. But now the scale of pain and pleasure is tipped out of balance. Fradja had to work harder and harder, while Morsus watched in agony because he couldn’t do anything to help her.
“Stop it, Fradja. You don’t have to give yourself away to these humans,” he said once, after Fradja nearly collapsed from extracting so much of herself.
“I need to—they’ve earnt it. It wouldn’t be fair on them. Besides, it’s not their fault.”
So Fradja continued to give pleasure for humans, never paying attention to herself. She grew weak and thin. Her eyes didn’t shine like they used to, she grew quiet and was often absentminded. Morsus, on the other hand, grew stronger, since he had less and less work. But all the while, the pain from seeing Fradja withering away built up inside him.
One day, what he dreaded happened. He walked home to find that Fradja had collapsed on the floor. She wasn’t moving at all.
Morsus threw himself on the floor and hugged her. She was alive. But just barely. Her eyes slowly opened, awakening from the heat Morsus’ body have her.
“I—I only wanted to make sure the humans were happy,” she said, seeing her husband come home.
“Yes, love. They are. They are.”
Fradja smiled for the last time before disappearing. Morsus frantically grasped at the air, but to no avail. The love of his life was gone. He mourned for her, and suddenly, he became angry. He blamed the humans for the death of his wife.
He wanted the humans to pay.
He travelled a bit to see how the humans did without Fredja. Astonishingly, they were happy. It seems that Fredja’s given so much of herself that she ended up being planted within the humans’ souls. Morsus was the only one who truly felt loss because she’s gone. This fact outraged him.
With all the might he now has, Morsus spread pain over the earth. The humans felt pain they’ve never felt before. But not for long. Just like Fredja, Morsus slowly faded away. But he was happy now. He was reunited with Fredja in a better place.
“I found out I could spread more pleasure from here, and I don’t have to wither away,” she said, hugging her beloved.
“That’s great, but I still want the humans to know what pain is,” Morsus said.
They discussed this and agreed that there needs to be a balance. A person mustn’t be always in pain or always in pleasure. Even if now they won’t disappear as long as humans roamed the earth, they could still grow tired, and Morsus made up his mind to make sure neither of them would ever go through that again.
So, even now, they created balance between pain and pleasure. People who got tremendous pleasure from one thing wouldn’t get any from other things, and no person could continually be happy in life without ever feeling any kind of pain. Just as well, sick people could enjoy little things normal people take for granted, poor people have solace from loved ones.
Thus is the tale of Pain and Pleasure.
Thus is the tale of life.