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Happy Winter Solstice to Us. Longest night of the year. Time of the greatest
darkness.

I saw our President's press conference last night, during which he stumbled through
questions about Iraq and his administration's handling of that war. Personally, I'm
STILL trying to figure out what OBLaden/WTCenter attack had to do with
Iraq...but I digress. Later, I helped our daugher brush her teeth, then I pulled down an
ancient, big book of fairy tales and opened to the table of contents. My gaze fell
straight to the tale "Seven In One Blow", a story I hadn't heard since I was a kid. So
I snuggled with her into her bed and began to read- wondering why that particular
story tugged at me, whispering, "read me now".

SEVEN IN ONE BLOW
is the Brothers Grimm story of a tailor who dreams of being a great hero, taming
dragons, rescuing maidens, and slaying giants. While making his breakfast bread with
honey, he swats at the flies circling his meal and fells seven of them in one blow.
Immensely pleased with his prowess, sets about sewing a bold hero's costume for
himself with the words "Seven In One Blow" emblazoned across the sash. Bertram
leaves his tailor's shop to make his mark upon the world.

News travels, rumors grow, and soon, Bertram the Tailor is being widely celebrated
for having killed seven nasty giants in one blow. The king calls for an audience with
Bertram, then promises him the princess's hand in marriage if he can kill the two most
terrible, awful, murderous giants in the kingdom: brothers Fiveton and Sixton.

Our hero Bertram finds the giants sleeping under a tree in the forest. Thinking fast,
he fills his pockets with pebbles and climbs the tree. First he pelts Fiveton with a
pebble in the eye. Fiveton awakens with a roar and swats at Sixton, accusing his
brother of striking him. Sixton denies it and rolls over to go back to sleep, then
Bertram nails HIM with a pebble. Sixton launches himself at Fiveton, and the two
giants fall to blows, wrestling and fighting until they cave in each others skulls.
Bertram jumps down from the tree and stands over the two dead giants, grinning and
victorious.

I close the book, pause, and wonder. Is there a Bertram at work in our current world
affairs?
Entry for December 21, 2006

The Dark Night & Brothers Grimm