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Some time ago there lived a Rat of fine whiskers and a finer tail who stumbled across a small porcelain Doll in a farmer's rubbish heap. Entranced by the Doll's beauty, he carried her home with him and, to the amusement of his fellow rats, instated her as his wife. Finding that she was of little assistance in his daily rambles for food, the Rat placed her upon a slight ledge of the barn in which he lived and brought her an offering of sustenance each day, as well as flowers and other pretty objects with which to enhance her loveliness.

One day the Rat returned from his foraging to find the other rats throwing pebbles at his Doll. "Stop!" he cried. "Why do you abuse my wife? What has she ever done to you?"

"She does nothing at all," said the other rats, "and that is the problem. How has she proven herself worthy of the attention you grant her, or the offerings you provide?"

"Her beauty proves her worth," claimed the Rat.

But at that moment, a gust of wind swept the Doll off her perch and onto the hard barn floor. Her beautiful face shattered into unrecognizable shards, and her body cracked in two, revealing nothing more than jagged porcelain edges and a hollow interior.

Do not place your love upon a pedestal until you have determined its substance.
Thought I'd have a rather last-minute go at :iconfllnthblnk:'s Fable Me This! Literature Contest ([link]). Those of you who know me ought to know by now that I have a thing for fairy tales, legends, fables, and the like, so it was really quite inevitable that I would enter.

Hope you like. :)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2010-06-23
The Rat and the Doll by *orphicfiddler is an awesome little fable with a strong moral we can all learn from! ( Featured by fllnthblnk )
:iconlaughmakerana:
LaughMakerAna Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is amazing. You totally deserved to win!
Reply
:iconlevothnix:
Levothnix Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is beautiful :D
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconex-nightmare:
EX-Nightmare Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2010
A wonderful message in this story and, though short, proves that one can convey it in something like this. :)
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010
Thank you. :) Lately, I've been working on putting as much meaning into as few words as possible, partly because I tend to write novels when I only needed to write a short story.
Reply
:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Meant to comment on this ages ago, but I believe I forgot. This is a wonderful fable that beautifully illustrates the moral at the end. Short, clear, and concise. I like especially the image at the end, how it says everything you need to say. Can't think of anything to critique. Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010
Holy heck, you sent me this comment in July - clearly, I've been a bit of a spazz-case on DA. Thank you very much for the kind words, though sorry for the belated response. :)
Reply
:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2010  Professional General Artist
Well, as you can probably tell, I'm also a bit late with my responses on dA. Anyway, you're welcome, it was a nice read! :)
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:iconkendecia:
Kendecia Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
AMAZING!
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
:bow:
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:iconkendecia:
Kendecia Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
haha
Reply
:iconmikabotanizzle:
MikaBotanizzle Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
That is a very meaningful message =] It's very well portrayed. Excellent work!
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
Thank you very much. :)
Reply
:iconmikabotanizzle:
MikaBotanizzle Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2010
You're very welcome :D
Reply
:iconjuwuls53:
juwuls53 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Good message, not all stories end happily but the message is always there
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
Thank you. And this is quite true, though I do have a bit of a tendency to end my stories rather miserably. Trying to change that - ha, apparently not in this.
Reply
:iconjuwuls53:
juwuls53 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010
lol well keep trying
Reply
:iconarcharad:
ArchArad Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
I am also a fan of fables, myths and legends and the tone and pace of this story fitted the idea perfectly. Congratulations on your win, this is a lovely fable and I loved reading it. :iconcheerplz:

Additional congratulations for your DD! :clap:
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you very much. :) I enjoyed writing it, though, ahh, want so much to expand it into a longer fairytale of sorts now.
Reply
:iconfllnthblnk:
fllnthblnk Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
You should do it!
Reply
:iconcharlarends:
CharlArends Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Congrats on the DD!! :D
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:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
~purrs~ Thank you!
Reply
:iconelizelda:
Elizelda Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Student General Artist
You are a wonderful writer .... this was a really good story. Very short, and brilliant for it.
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you! :aww:

I've been meaning to work on flash fiction, and I suppose this is a good start for it. Mainly, I've just always wanted to beat Neil Gaiman. [link]
Reply
:iconelizelda:
Elizelda Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010  Student General Artist
Oh wow ... that is a good one. Neil Gaiman is such a good writer.
I should buy smoke and mirrors, come to think of it.
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
You MUST buy Smoke and Mirrors. It has the most twisted version of Snow White in it ever.
Reply
:iconjanna-hawkins:
Janna-Hawkins Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Very nice! :)
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you. :aww:

I'm also a fan of dragon-riding Vikings, by the by. Indeed, I'd rather like to be one.

Goddamnit, why don't they sell dragons on eBay?
Reply
:iconjanna-hawkins:
Janna-Hawkins Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010  Student Digital Artist
You're very welcome! :)

Heh, so would I. What kind of dragon would you like to have?(if they ever actually started selling them on ebay)
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
I would totally go for the Night Fury. Simply too cute. Although if I could find a dragon that talked exactly like Sean Connery a la Dragonheart that might be tempting too...
Reply
:iconjanna-hawkins:
Janna-Hawkins Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Yeah I'm pretty sure just about everyone(including me)wants the Night Fury...but I do have a friend who wants the Green Death :D

Ah, I must see that film!
Reply
:iconhfoursaur:
Hfoursaur Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010
This is a wonderful little piece - simple and to the point. Lovely, well done.
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you very much. :)
Reply
:iconmiffix:
Miffix Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh lovely!
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Is the adjective I strive for. :D

Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconmiffix:
Miffix Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your welcome! I used to love Aesop's Fables, part of the reason this was really nostalgic for me. It's good to be able to trigger that in a viewer. You did great. :)
Reply
:iconpsychybrid:
Psychybrid Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lovely. It touched me deeply.
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you. :blush:
Reply
:iconragnaice:
ragnaice Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I do like :D A lot! Can't say much more than what has already been said...
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
No need to say more. :) I'm quite pleased you like it.
Reply
:icondvandemon:
Dvandemon Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice! I want to do a piece on that now
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you. ^_^ And please do, though you must send me a link.
Reply
:iconblackgryph0n:
BlackGryph0n Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010
This is beautiful!! I hope you win!
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Thank you. :) And I did, I did! ~happy dance of glee~

I'm such a contest whore.
Reply
:iconblackgryph0n:
BlackGryph0n Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010
YAY! Spank that contest! Show it who's boss! WHO'S BOSS?! YEAH!! YOU'S BOSS!!
I am proud of you! You have done well my child! You have pleased me. And for that, you must be rewarded! Have a cookie! :donut: oops... donut...
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
DONUT! OHMYGOD nomnomnom.

I am most delighted with your gift. Though it seems to disappeared rather quickly.
Reply
:iconblackgryph0n:
BlackGryph0n Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010
Hmmm. How peculiar... We must investigate this unfortunate occurrence, for it is unsettling indeed! I shall pursue with unrelenting diligence the cause of the disappearance of said scrumptious morsel. I trust in return, when I do discover the whereabouts of thine ring wrought delight. Though shalt oblige me by means of bestowing thine blessed bounty upon mine stomach?
Reply
:iconabiant:
Abiant Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010
Brilliant! I'm normally never fond of short stories but you made such lovely one, and with an important lesson!
:heart:
Reply
:iconorphicfiddler:
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Ahhh, you must give short stories a chance! They're beautiful little creatures! ~pets the precious~

Ha, and thank you. :)
Reply
:icondemondog888:
Demondog888 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
tis beautiful! :iconroseplz:
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