The Legend of the Ivory Tower

On top of the tallest mountain on the top of the world, almost reaching the roof of the earth and the floor of heaven, stood the Ivory Tower. There, it welcomed the four winds that bring news about everything, even the smallest events that happen on earth, sea, and sky. There, it received epiphanies dispensed by the Sun and the Moon, and on occasion, even revelations from heaven.

Within that tower, there lived a boy who gazed at the world through windows, which gave him a vantage point to all four directions. The boy lived alone, for he was removed from the world and the rest of its inhabitants. This boy was different; this boy was punished for his hubris.

When he was just a child, his mother and father doted on him. They loved him so much that they bought him whatever he wanted. He said that he wanted to learn, so they sent him to the best school that their wealth could afford. They also taught him anything that he ever wanted to learn. If they did not possess the knowledge, they always gave him the best tutor that they could find.

With the boy’s thirst for knowledge, he learned all there was to know about everything. He learned from Pappas of the hexagon and its superiority over the triangle and the square in making use of the least amount of materials to fill a limited space; the bees share this architectural knowledge with him as evidenced by the honeycombs they make. He also learned, by virtue of biology, that horseshoe crabs are of noble birth; they had bluer blood than any member of any royal family can ever bleed. He learned that the Sun is a mere ball of hot gas suspended in space, ever burning and ever so common as there are a billion other stars similar to it. He learned that the Moon only borrowed her light from the Sun by harnessing the magical art of reflection.

He started professing his knowledge to the world, and he debased each noble or learned man that came before him. He brought the Pharaoh of Egypt to his knees, so obsessed with his Pyramids, by making him realize that he wasted his wealth on a great monument, a symbol of magnanimity and immortality, by engineering it in the wrong shape. He debased the Queen of England and all of her kin for claiming that her family had blue blood when they can all bleed to death with nothing but a red stain on their halls. Most of all, he shamed the Sun and the Moon by telling everybody that he was only a ball of hot gas and that she was a shameless borrower who reveled in her vaingloriousness.

The boy was proud of himself, and he was proud of being proud. Unfortunately, he became famous in all four corners of the earth. Orators spoke highly of him to social climbing women who gossiped with shady ladies on the streets. The shady ladies enchanted their bedfellows — mostly sailors — with feigned familiarity and secondhand news about the boy. The sailors, while drunk, blasphemed and swore that this boy was indeed omniscient! With this talk buzzing on earth and sea, the winds caught careless chatter and loud testimonies about the boy to their master, the Sun.

Angered at this smear on his reputation, dignity, and pride, the Sun conspired with the Moon to punish the boy. With the Winds at his bidding, the Sun commanded that they blow hard and strong to cause the continents to move and form the tallest mountain. With the tides at her bidding, the Moon drove water up to create a snow-laden cap on the mountain. On Africa, the Sun blazed so hot that half of the elephant population died. He withered the carcasses into bare bones. The twin Winds of Africa, Samiel and Simoom, carried the tusks to make the foundations of an Ivory Tower. As the Sun saw that the task cannot be completed because the elephants began to shy away from his great eye, he asked the Moon to furnish more ivory. The Moon, Lady of the Tides, gleamed with mischief. She made the tides churn in Greenland to kill off the walruses to finish the construction of the Ivory Tower.

Meanwhile, the peoples of earth felt this great upheaval. They sought the shades and the shadows of their dwellings because they knew that the forces of heaven are not happy. The fishermen said, “T’is the Lady’s doin’, this highest of tides, ’cause she’s in a fittin’ rage over the boy.” The merchants of China, Africa, and Greece all chant, “The Lord of the Skies, with his great eye, is scorching and scorning the earth because of this blaspheming boy.” Even so, with this new gossip, the boy didn’t take caution nor action. For all his knowledge, he did not heed the buzzing of the masses, the warning of seers, and the advice of priests. He trampled and trod on the street without heeding anything from those he secretly called ignorant.

Because of this hubris, this self-made pedestal, and criticism of Daedalus for gluing feather with wax instead of rubber, he was picked off from the street by a tornado and was flown over the sea, above mountains, across the sky, and through clouds. Huffing, coughing, and scoffing, he found himself inside a tower, the Ivory Tower.

He was amused, bemused, and bewildered all at the same time. He looked around and saw no one. He called out loud, but nobody would answer. Desperately, he went towards a window to gather any bit of information that can save him from this solitary situation. At the window, he saw the Moon, powdering herself with crushed meteorite. He asked for help, but she only put half of her eye on him and even then, her interest waned and waned until one night that she only had a crescent of patience for the boy’s wailing.

“Little, blasphemous, proud, obnoxious boy, suffer your punishment — the punishment for shaming me and my husband, King and Queen of the Sky,” she said. “You shall be locked inside that Ivory Tower, your prison, the product of your trespass against our Royal Family.”

“This shall be your prison. With this Ivory Tower, you shall learn everything there is to learn about heaven, sky, earth, and sea. You shall possess all knowledge but have none to share in glorious revelation of the secrets that we shall reveal to you,” beamed the Moon. “You shall burst with crackling and potent knowledge, but the world will not know about you nor your greatness. You shall suffer solitude for trading innocence for knowledge and pride.” With that said, the Moon closed her silver eyes.

Because of this reprobate, the boy knew all there was to know, but he was alone and secluded. He felt sorrow and anger, but he sought solace whenever the four winds tossed his hair from side to side as they wailed news to him. He received epiphanies and revelations from the Sun, the Moon, and Heaven only to suffer in solitude and contemplate his fate, but he did not repent for his blasphemy and pride. While he was granted mastery of the tower, he was no more than a prisoner sentenced to suffer in solitude for all eternity within the ivory tower that stood beneath heaven’s floor, near the roof of the earth, on top of the highest mountain on the top of the world.


One thought on “The Legend of the Ivory Tower

  1. Pingback: Amaris and the Paper Airplane Prophecy | Kraken's Ink

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