Teucalas once inquired of Bocologon the Mimrite, “The men of my tribe would go mad if they were made to do all the needful things one does inside Mimri. An elevated man says heed this, another, heed that. To observe all these things would weigh upon my soul like a fallen tree. It is a persecution but to abide here three nights,” he paused to look around at the high walls with geometric bas-reliefs. “Why follow any of this custom at all? Why set yourselves up suchly with laws and taskmasters and order men unnaturally?”
The terrible din of the market clanged off the bronze walls of Mimri.
Bocologon the Mimrite answered, “It is a simple matter. You, of the tribes and the desert, are a wolf spider wandering in the field. A Mimrite meeting you in the wilderness would perish. Would you yourself not deal with me harshly out there? I would be your prey and all my precious metals become yours. We are a mound of fire ants, toiling together so that all may thrive. An ant may not follow his own law, but must act as the others act. So must each of us do likewise. Thus together we can protect ourselves against even many of you who take up arms against our walls.”
The barbarian answered back, “But if you’d join us without the walls, you wouldn’t need protection from us. You are not ants and we are not spiders. We are all men.”
Even as Teucalas said these words, Bocologon revealed the short club he had been hiding behind his back. With a terrible thunk Teucalas fell over onto the cobblestones. Bocologon sifted through the folds of Teucalas’ cloak and removed his boots to feel inside of them. He found nothing of consequence. Undesirous to depart in disappointment, he removed his sandals and replaced them with the insensible man’s boots. They fit a trifle too snug, but appeared durable despite their wear.
Teucalas awoke later. As he stood, wiping the drool from his mouth, there tinkled to the ground two small coppers that had been lodged in the folds of his robe. As he shielded his hands from the harsh glare of the city and sun, another passerby dropped a third coin onto his lap. He spent them on limegrass wine at a tavern, merrymaking in the evening with the Mimrites.