The Perception Tale


United States
48° 32' 25.1088" N, 122° 7' 35.634" W

In the heart of the city of Manhattan,
There once was a girl by the name of Ashton.
She was as rich as could be,
As her parents were the CEO’s of a large company.
Her funds were spent like they never would end,
And a giving hand she’d never extend.
This girl was the definition of “spoiled brat,”
And to her everyone was just a doormat!
As if being rich weren’t enough for her narcissistic psyche,
She was also blessed with looks of Aphrodite. 10
Boys would swoon at her every beck and call.
I would say so myself, it was quite pitiful!
Excessive, snobby, and arrogant was she,
And only obsessed with money and beauty.
Though, she would soon come to realize
A few wise lessons an old man had to advise.

On a cool spring day like any other,
She went to her favorite boutique to find some new treasures.
Whatever her eye would spy she’d buy.
Her credit card was never on standby . 20
As she walked out the store with bountiful bags,
She encountered a homeless man waving a flag.
Nothing but tattered rags he wore on his back,
And to his name he had only a knapsack.
On his sign read ”Please, help. I’m a veteran of war.
I’ve lost all my benefits and am now very poor!”
He held out a can for any donations,
As Ashton ignored and her pace began to hasten.
“Any spare change would help, my dearest beauty,”
Said the old man of retired duty. 30
“Ewwww, NO, NO, NO!” said Ashton,
“I refuse to associate with such terrible fashion,
And how dare you ask for any of my fortune,
Without even offering anything back of proportion?!”
To her he said,“Well young lady of such entitled thought,
You should respect the people who for you have fought.
And money is not best used to boast,
But to share with the ones who need it the most.
The only way I see fit for you to learn
Is for you to walk outside the shoes in which you were born. 40
Therefore, I decree that you shall live penniless until
You have come to understand the messages I have instilled.
No longer will you possess your extraordinary facade,
But you will be seen for all of your flaws.
Reversing this spell will come about
When your beauty is shown both inside and out.
I’ll grant you six months to finish this task.
If not done by then, eternally this charm shall last!”
And with that ,he bid her adieu,
As Ashton was stripped of her plentitude. 50

For days upon weeks, she sulked in her sadness,
And wished for a way out of all this madness.
Though, eventually, she came to her senses
And realized she needed a job to pay for all her expenses.
She searched at places for what seemed like forever
Until she finally came upon an interesting endeavor.
The ad read this, “ Come apply right away!
We’ll even call and interview you today!”
A quick opportunity was right up her alley
Except for the fact that it was in the valley! 60
But, Ashton could not pass up such a deal,
So she prepared herself and readied her spiel.
Reluctantly, she drove to the address,
Which turned out to be a farm, nonetheless.
Ashton was shocked and couldn’t believe
That she was in a place so filthy.
Loudly, she screamed when she stepped in some grime.
“Not on my favorite boots!” she said with a whine.
Out came an old woman when she heard all the ruckus,
And she said to Ashton, “ Are you inquiring to help us? 70
Because if you are, my precious dear,
I guarantee you will get dirty while you are here.”
Holding back her tears, Ashton said,
“I really need a job working at your homestead.
You see I have recently come upon misfortune
When I lost my funds of a very large portion.
I plead with you now that can you help me
Finish my task that I’ve been decreed.
I have only short of four months left
To find the true meaning of money, of which I was bereft. 80
In addition to this, I must assimilate
That the soul is what true beauty imitates.”
“Okay,” said the woman, “then we have a deal.
I will help you if you promise to gain skill.
If ever I feel you are wasting my time,
Then on your way I will send you to find.
And one last substantial part,
You will hear what I say and take it to heart.”
So, this was the beginning of how it started.
In the end they would both be rewarded. 90

Over the months Ashton attained
Talent and work ethic, and she never complained.
At the end of each month she gained more comprehension
Of the life lessons the old man had mentioned.
In the first month she was taught a basic moral.
Money comes to those you don’t rest on their laurels.
For each bucket of cow’s milk that Ashton turned out
The woman would pay only a meager amount.
“What is this? I can’t buy a thing!”
Thought Aston who’d never been in such a sting. 100
Accordingly so, she acquired a new thought:
“I must save all my money to pay for the things I have sought.”
In the second month she was put to the test.
The woman taught her to give to those less fortunate.
Ashton pondered, “How could there be any more misfortune than this?”
But, when she went to the soup kitchen, it couldn’t be missed.
For the first time in her life, she saw what it was like
To have no possessions. Not even a bike!
She served the hot food to people of all walks of life.
From little ones to elders and all just alike. 110
“These poor people have less than me;
The least I can do is spare time and money.”
The next month she came upon a valuable message
That you can’t see a person through purely appearance.
As she talked with the old woman, found to be named Clem.
She noticed many similarities shared between them.
Clem had once lived a lavish life
Until one day her parents and her got into a strife.
She was too spoiled and did not realize
The blessings she had right in front of her eyes! 120
Her parents did the right thing and sent her off on her own.
No longer could she mooch off of their throne.
So, she was forced to build a life for herself,
And the farm was all she had to show of her wealth.
This was the thing that Ashton most came to realize-
To succeed in life she must equalize!
Life is best spent by not only aiding thyself,
But by giving to others and sharing your wealth.
Suddenly, Ashton’s whole world was back;
She had fulfilled the prophecy, and now nothing she lacked! 130

And so it was said that the time that followed her onerous task
was spent doing good for others at last!
The Ashton before was hardly recognizable,
For her graciousness was now quite sizeable.
The first thing she did was donate to those in need,
Never again did she possess greed.
She gave to Clem a generous token
To keep her farm going so she’ll never be broke again.
For the old veteran she bought a home,
Because no one so selfless should live like a gnome! 140
Likewise, her beauty shone brighter than ever
Since her essence was now rid of all selfish endeavors.
The point of the tale is to say
If avarice begins to get in the way,
And you’re ever in need of a change of view,
Take a walk down the road in someone else’s shoes.
It is then that you will truly come to see
That your life isn’t as bad as it seems.
And if ever you happen to get ahead of yourself,
I hope you think back and remember this tale.


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