Once upon a time in the land of t’Internet there lived awoman called Gem the Word Weaver. Her fame hadspread throughout her village for she spun words intogold before the very eyes of those who purchased them.Customers came to her little shop each day and asked herto spin a word or two for them. Some days she spuneveryday words like ‘love’ and ‘cherish’; on other otherdays she was called to spin words that were out of theordinary like ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’. Her dayswere filled with the sounds of words and the colour ofgold. People went away happy, knowing that she hadfulfilled their need and made life a little easier for them.
But Gem was unhappy with her life. She longed to spinmore than just words, for in her heart she was astoryteller, longing for the challenge that came withspinning a whole story into gold.But where were the customers who might buy such aproduct and what would they need it for?Each night Gem climbed into bed and hoped herdreams would provide the answer.
As it happened, it turned out that it was one of her most loyal customers whosuggested a solution.“Gem, why are you not spinning your words into stories in the city’smarketplace?” He asked.“For sure, it’s too far for me to travel and I fear for what my customers would dowithout their daily golden words” she responded, looking down at her toes andscuffing her feet.“Why don’t you ask your customers to order their words in advance, surely we allknow when we will need them” he replied.“You could spin them through the night and I would be happy to look after yourshop for a day or two each week”.“What a wonderful idea, I’m amazed I hadn’t thought of that before”. Gem wasgrateful for the suggestion and gladly took him up on his offer.
That night she spent several hoursspinning the words she knew thatpeople bought most regularly. And, inthe morning, although she was tired,she headed to the City’s marketplace.
Sitting upon a little stool, she plied her trade; spending hoursspinning stories into gold for the city’s residents. As time passed shedrew a larger and larger crowd, each person telling another of thewoman who spun stories into gold for a modest fee.
By the time the market finished for the day Gem was surroundedby the coins of those who had bought her stories. It was muchmore than she had ever seen before and she decided to treatherself to a brand new blue ribbon before heading home for thenight.Giving her loyal customer a proportion of the coins she hadgathered, she settled down for another evening’s word spinning.
The next day, she went to the market once more and again herfame spread throughout the city; people came back who hadbought the day before and new customers arrived every hour.Her stories were spun on demand for all who were prepared topay. And Gem had found a new way to supplement her living.In time, even the Lords of t’Internet came to hear about her fame.And Lord Google himself came to hear her speak, asking her for astory he could present to his young daughter on her next birthday.
However, times change and one day Gem noticed that there werenot so many people crowded around her little stool; and the pile ofcoins was not as large as it had once been.She suspected something was afoot and decided to investigate.Sure enough, she found a stall a little further along the market thatwas selling her old stories to other people; it seemed thatpurchasers tired of them after a little while, and sold them to recoupa little of the money they had paid to Gem.
Once more she was unhappy, once more she climbed into bedeach night hoping for a solution; and once more it was her loyalcustomer who provided the answer.“Why don’t you rent your stories instead, that way when peopletire of them they can bring them back and exchange them foranother?”
It seemed perfect and Gem put it into practice the next time shewas in the market.Once more her little stool was surrounded, once more shegathered more customers and this time they stayed, each bringinga friend along to share the experience with them.
The years passed and Gem was running a thriving business, sellingwords at home and tales in the cities of t’Internet.Each story she spun was sold many times over meaning she hadtime to take a holiday now and then, or visit with relatives andfriends.
Many years later, when Gem was old and on the verge of death,her loyal customer asked her what the most valuable lesson shehad learned was.Gem lay back on her cushions and thought for a moment or twobefore saying.
“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Find more Tales of t’Internet, the SEO Fairy Tales series, atWoman on the Edge of Realitywomanontheedgeofreality.com