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The Story of Leel

April 10, 2020

Leel was born whole, perfect and complete. But the one thing the Skurn could not abide was someone who was whole, perfect and complete. With their knives, they waited.

Each time someone hurt Leel, a gap appeared in Leel’s protective armor where the Skurn could reach in and slice off a piece of Leel’s body. An insult left them space to cut off a finger or an ear. A big betrayal gave them a gaping hole big enough for Leel to lose a leg. As life wore on, Leel became smaller and smaller.

The Skurn could fly thousands of miles in one day and would carelessly drop the pieces all over the world as they flew.

Leel thought a partner could provide protection from the Skurn, so Leel married Gul. But Leel was wrong. Gul hurt Leel so often that the Skurn chopped Leel down to almost nothing. Leel got a smaller suit of armor because so little of Leel was left.

Finally, the only part of Leel that remained was just a heart. Leel tumbled out of a gap in the armor and rolled down a hill, away from Gul. Gul didn’t even notice because Leel was so small and hadn’t spoken for so long. What was left of Leel miraculously kept beating there alone in the grass. 

Rardna, the Being of Mercy, heard the lonely beating heart and came to visit Leel. 

“Do you want to become whole again, Leel?”

Leel was unable to answer, no longer having a mouth. With great effort, Leel managed to beat hard enough to jump off the ground and impress Rardna with the ferocity of the response.

“Very well,” Rardna said. “If this is what you truly want, here is a magic basket woven from my own silver locks. You must take it everywhere the Skurn dropped a piece of you, collect them all, and knit yourself back together.”

For a tiny heart, such a journey isn’t easy. First, Leel had no map to where the body parts had been dropped, so the search was long and arduous. And Leel had to keep beating the heart hard enough to bounce down rocky roads, over rivers, and across mountain ranges.

Finally, Leel found a missing piece and put it in the basket, but did not know how to reattach it. As Leel was resting by the river and wondering what to do, a wise old Owl appeared and, seeing Leel’s bravery and exhaustion, showed Leel how to knit the piece back on stronger than ever before. Leel trusted Owl because it was easy to see where Owl had been knitted back together. Owl offered to accompany Leel on the journey and would fly beside Leel, carrying the basket. Owl, having flown high and far, could also point Leel to the places where the Skurn often dropped the pieces of their victims.

Whenever Leel found a body part, the journey became a little easier. When Leel found a leg, Leel could hop instead of beating the heart so hard. Rediscovered ribs protected the heart from damage. A foot made the trip quicker, and toes added to the balance.

Piece by piece, Leel gathered what had been lost. The trip took years and by the time Leel and Owl were done, Leel was much older and looked a little strange, having been knit back together from pieces. But Leel knew every millimeter of every part of the reassembled body because of the long nights spent knitting.

Leel, whole, complete, and far from perfect, thanked Owl and then returned to Rardna to stand before the Being of Mercy. 

“Rardna, I have completed the task,” said Leel, at last able to speak. “I would like to say thank you and to return your basket, but I have one question.”

“What is that?” asked Rardna.

“How will I protect myself from the Skurn now?”

“Your knitting will protect you,” said Rardna. “When you knit yourself, you did such a good job and became so strong the Skurn knives will no longer be able to slice through you.”

Leel sat the basket at Rardna’s feet, knowing another would soon need it, and walked away, listening for a lonely, beating heart. 

  1. April 10, 2020 09:47

    I think I”m going to cry.

  2. Deana Sherry permalink
    April 10, 2020 10:28

    Tender magic and perseverance. Glad for the owl. May the Skurn fade away losing all power to harm.

  3. Gail Munro permalink
    April 10, 2020 21:42

    Love this Sue ❤️

    On Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 9:13 AM Suebob’s Red Stapler wrote:

    > Suebob posted: “Leel was born whole, perfect and complete. But the one > thing the Skurn could not abide was someone who was whole, perfect and > complete. With their knives, they waited. Each time someone hurt Leel, a > gap appeared in Leel’s protective armor where the Skurn” >

  4. April 11, 2020 08:33

    I cry every day anyway, and these days, it’s more like two to three times a day, but it’s only 8:30 in the damned morning, Sue.

    • April 13, 2020 09:11

      Praise from you means a lot. Thank you.

  5. Eric Riggs permalink
    April 12, 2020 20:53

    This is one of the best things you’ve ever written.

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. April 13, 2020 09:11

    Thank you, my friend. That means a lot. Now go write something yourself!

  7. Diane Tolley permalink
    April 20, 2020 10:49

    This is awesome! So many lessons… So many lessons.

    • April 20, 2020 13:16

      Thank you! I appreciate that you took the time to comment and that you enjoyed.

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