Curious about metaphysical matters, a greeb once inquired of Ixnay about the true meaning of the phrase,
“All that appears is nought but illusion”.
Ixnay immediately slid a silver ring from a finger, tossed the glimmering ornament into a nearby river, and casually grinning, barely audible, suggested:
“Bring the ring back to me and then you will know.”
With great trust in Ixnay, the greeb promptly dived into the river. The instant he entered the water, he lost all consciousness of who he really was. He surfaced, climbed a bank, and stumbled around in unknown territory, completely befuddled.
Eventually, he found a small town, accustomed himself to the locals, and even got himself a few acres to farm for himself. He was intelligent, and over the next few years or so, created ingenious ways to increase the farm yields, eventually becoming the best farmer in the county, and very prosperous.
He married the Mahub’s daughter and they had many children. He traveled far and learned even more, and became a great expert on agricultural methods throughout the country. When the country went to war, he joined the army and became an officer. His children grew, and though they had the usual ups and downs (one died while still a child) everyone did well and prospered.
One day, he was walking beside the river, contemplating his interesting life. Although he was successful and had everything life could offer, he still was not completely happy or satisfied. Something was missing and it continued to bother him, but he had no idea what it was.
It had been raining a great deal in the last week, and suddenly the bank gave way under his feet, submerging him in the swell of a rushing river. As he was swept along under the surface, his eyes spied something silver shining in the bed of the river, and despite his immediate predicament, he was mysteriously drawn to it.
With great effort, he was able to grab the object and rise for air. For what seemed like hours, he battled the turbulent waters, eventually heaving himself with tremendous difficulty onto the bank.
The instant his feet touched the land, he remembered with crystal clarity who he really was. He remembered asking Ixnay the question about illusion, and then diving for the ring in the river. He also remembered all his years as a farmer, soldier, father, husband and successful greeb. But even as he thought of those experiences, they began to fade, just like a dream.
He turned and saw Ixnay smiling at him.
Looking into Ixnay’s eyes, the greeb smiled back, handed over the ring, and exclaimed,
“That was an excellent answer!”