Once upon a time there lived a poet named Renaldo. He enjoyed composing stories and poems to entertain friends, although very few people could grasp the oddities he wrote.
"Renaldo," they would say. "You have a wondrous grasp of languge, for your words flow like sweet waters from an everlasting stream."
"But, Renaldo," they continued with shrugs of resignation, "as lovely as this seems to the senses we cannot understand it. Pray tell us, what do your silly phrases mean?"
"What do they mean?" Renaldo replied, befuddled. "The meaning's as plain as peasant food."
"For you perhaps. For us it's a mystery that causes our eyes to cross. You write riddles, Renaldo."
"Write something simpler and we'll listen," they added as they left.
Renaldo thought a very long time about what the villagers had said. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps poems should be plain and songs should sing themselves. Perhaps...
So Renaldo shed the guise of the poet he once was, and despite sleepless nights and a hill of crumpled paper, he codified his thoughts and became wealthy as a king.
Then all his friends were thrilled, for the magic of his words now required little labor to be fully understood.
And the walls of his domain glittered like the hidden jewels his mind had once conceived when his visions had been dreams.
Life was fat and easy.
But Renaldo wasn't happy and nothing could appease him. His new status left him empty and his challenges were few. What was wonderful was hollow as his castle's unused rooms or his many statuettes.
So he sought the sage advice of a mentor in the mountains who babbled quite a lot and ocassionally made sense.
The old man listened quietly as Renaldo detailed his dilemma, pausing to mumble words as odd as those Renaldo used to write.
"My God, write what's in front of you!" The old man finally shouted. "I say screw the critics! Else logic's just a lovely bird that sings a fetid song."
"'Do your best to be yourself,' That's what I would have answered, if you had had the sense to ask the second question first."
Renaldo thanked the hermit for this bitter admonition that a dozen others echoed on at least as many mountains.
"Perhaps it's time," he said, "to truly be immortal. After all the man is measured by his very last pen stroke."
So he sadly scaled the stairs of the vast estate he'd founded; unable to choose between his comforts and his literary soul.
He leapt into the darkness toward an unforseen conclusion, and caromed like a bullet off a group of men below.
"How fortunate to have landed on such a worthy group of tourists," he said of the friends who'd tried to change him long ago.
Slipping his credentials into the pocket of the nearest, he allowed the world to mourn his passing as he disappeared into the darkness and became another man.
Buoyed by the broken bodies that had broken his fall, Renaldo melted into the mists of obscurity to become a legendary poet and a somewhat better writer.
And the dead lived happily ever after.