Lore: The Gnorrbear and the Brillit

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The Gnorrbear and the Brillit

In the time before the Immortals, a gnorrbear and a brillit were trapped in the middle of the sea, clinging together to either end of a plank of wood. Neither could swim, and land was nowhere to be seen.

The gnorrbear had a single loaf of bread that it had rescued. It took several bites of the bread when the brillit asked, “Will you please share some of your bread with me? I have nothing, and we must work together to find land.”

The gnorrbear looked at the bread and became afraid at how little was left. “I can spare only a morsel,” the gnorrbear said, “for we do not know how long it will be before we are saved.” And the gnorrbear tore a single bite of bread, no larger than its nose, to give to the brillit.

All that day and all that night, the gnorrbear and the brillit kicked in the water, traveling together as far as they could. The Sun rose, and no land was to be seen.

The next day, the gnorrbear took another meal from the loaf, and the brillit said, “Will you please share some of your bread with me?”

Again, the gnorrbear looked at the bread and was wary, for though the loaf was large, there was even less than there had been the day before. The gnorrbear offered the brillit another small bite.

“Yesterday’s work was hard,” the brillit protested. “I am weak from the effort. Can we not share equally? For you have much, and I have nothing.”

“This is equal,” said the gnorrbear, “for I am larger and require more to give me strength.”

“But we have done the same amount of work,” said the brillit.

But the gnorrbear was afraid and could not give up more. “Let us work together again. Perhaps we shall find land today.”

So, the gnorrbear and the brillit swam for another day and another night, but still, no land was to be seen.

When the gnorrbear ate the next day, the brillit said, “We have been out three days, and your loaf is as large as when we began. You have more than enough, but if I do not eat, I will die.”

The gnorrbear looked at the loaf and thought the brillit foolish, for though it was large, there was clearly less than there had been the day before. 'If I share equally,' thought the gnorrbear, 'it will only last a few more days. But if the brillit eats a little, it will last for weeks. Surely, I can find land in that time.'

“You must not be greedy,” the gnorrbear said aloud. “If we work hard, we will soon find land, and then you can have all the bread you want.” The gnorrbear gave the brillit another small bite, and they swam together for another day and another night.

When the sun rose the next morning, the brillit did not ask for more bread, and the gnorrbear was thankful. What’s more, as the gnorrbear finished its morning meal, it looked to the horizon and sighted the peak of a mountaintop. The gnorrbear shouted in triumph. “There, you see? We have done it together!”

But the brillit did not see. The brillit was too weak to even speak. It closed its eyes, lay down its head, and slipped off the plank into the sea.

The plank became unbalanced, and one end tipped high into the air. With a cry of panic, the gnorrbear fell into the sea as well, leaving only a plank and a loaf of bread atop the water.

The moral: None of us swim alone. All things are connected to all things.