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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


October 20th, 2019


Lucilius arrived at the house with two packages, giftwrapped in brown paper, and bow-tied with black twine.  It was the day after his godson’s birthday, and Lucilius had purposely waited so that the allure of all the birthday gifts would have waned, the novelty spent.  Lucilius knew his gift was one that required quiet, and concentration, two things that rarely frequent the parties of young children.


His godson was overjoyed to see him, his eyes magnetized by the two packages Lucilius held.  The family welcomed Lucilius in, and Lucilius handed off the gifts, calling down the hall to his godson.


“Don’t open them without me, there are special instructions.”


He took off his coat, listening to an account of the wonderful day before, as they walked down the hall to join his godson.  The boy gently shook the larger heavy package.  It was shaped like a cube, and the other one was a small thin box.


“Open the other one first, but be careful,” Lucilius said.  The family gathered round watching the excited boy tear open the paper.  He opened the small box and pulled out a small hooked knife.


The mother sighed, “aw geez, you really know how to stress me out.”


“The boy’s gotta learn how to handle danger,” Lucilius said.  “And plus,” he added in a quieter tone, “it’s pretty dull.”


The boy investigated the knife carefully, putting the tip of his finger to the tip of the knife.  He poked himself gently and then looked at the pad of his finger.  Then he looked at the bigger package.


He put down the knife and untied the bow, tore the paper away and looked on a wooden box that had branded on the side the word SOAP.  The boy stared at it a moment and then tried to open the lid.


“Lift the box,” Lucilius said.  The boy followed and the box separated from its base, revealing a large cube of…. soap. 


The boy looked at it a moment, and then looked at his mother, before looking to Lucilius.


“Well, at least you’ll be clean,” the boy’s mother said.  Gently laughing.


“You have a puzzle before you. Bring it here.”


The boy lifted the cube of soap, remembering the knife and brought it to Lucilius.  The man hoisted the boy up on his lap.


“I made this cube of soap for you, but more importantly is what’s inside.”


The boy’s gaze quickly shifted from the soap to Lucilius.


“Inside there is a container, like a balloon, but shaped in a crazy way.  It is very delicate, and there might be many of them.  And because they are so delicate, they can easily be popped with a knife,” Lucilius said nodding to the curved blade the boy held.


“And you don’t want to pop any of these balloons because they are filled with a special liquid, and if that liquid spills out, it will disintegrate the paper I have wrapped around the balloons and you will loose the message I have written for you.”


“But what did you write?” the boy asked.


“The message gives you the location of a special gift that I have hidden for you.  And it will be waiting for you as long as it takes you to uncover the message. But be careful because it’s very easy to lose the whole message.  You need to carve away at the soap very carefully.”


Lucilius set the boy down, and the boy went to a coffee table that his mother had just covered with some newspaper.  The boy set about scratching at a corner of the cube with his knife, and the adults picked up their chatting. 


After some time, with a couple of the corners rounded and laced with scratches, the boy grew tired of the task and moved on to something else.



Years passed and as Lucilius made his visits he watched as the cube of soap was moved around and slowly, it disappeared.


Long after this, Lucilius found himself atop a mountain, spending the days simply, meditating for much of it and chipping away at a little project.  He was sitting with a warm cup of tea, watching the sun set over the ocean when a soft green light underneath the skin on the back of his hand warmed to a noticeable and gentle glow.



He uncloistered his mind and tapped back into the network.


“How are you godfather?”


Lucilius smiled.


“I’m well, and you my boy?  What are you getting up to these days?”

“I finally carved out the riddle you buried in that soap.”


Lucilius gently laughed.  “I forgot about that…..


and what did you end up finding?”

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 553: A Lucilius Parable: A Carving Lesson

Tinkered Thinking

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