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A Tale of Envy; Sixth of the Seven Deadly Sins

Why does it trouble me so?  Why do I want, need, in fact, why is it that I must have those things that are the possessions or circumstance of others?  Ah yes, I know you - Envy –gnawing now at my soul.

But Envy has its lessons, too.  And I am reminded of an ancient tale; one of two neighbors both wonderful friends, who prayed before all the gods to grant them their hearts’ desire.  But both men were sadly weak, for one was a greedy man and the other, wholly eaten by envy.

The gods for their own play and humor, that day granted the two friends their wish, sending a pair of green serpents to fulfill the wishes and through whose eyes the gods could witness the events. But wait - there was yet a condition - that whatever one man wished for himself, his friend and neighbor would receive twofold in return.

The greedy man, who already had much and lived in luxury, chose first and wished himself a room full of gold. His wish was immediately granted but joy turned to soon anger when he saw his neighbor with not one, but two large rooms full of precious gold!

Then, it was the envious man’s turn. His soul, eaten by envy, he couldn’t bear for his neighbor to have even more wealth than before and so he wished to have just one of his own evil eyes be put out, knowing that the other man, his friend, would become totally blind!

That wish was granted too and with that, the envious man lost one eye, but his greedy friend lost both.

What foul trickery the gods played that day!!

And so, beware my Lords of envy, -  T’is the green-eyed serpent that doth mock the flesh it feeds upon!


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