Threads of Patience

Threads of Patience

A Story by Katie de Lavani

An enjoyable and memorable modern parable.


The dull teeth of Silence, Slowness, and Seclusion sank with a yawn into the fanning hands of the jungle. Three strangers stationed themselves under the lending visor of an automobile rental station.

The youngest was vested in green, the material so crisp and new it was a wonder he didn’t fold in half and tuck himself into Gate’s wallet. He tapped and sighed and moaned, his face practically encrusted with the arms of his Rolex. The second was wrapped in white, his hands were pens, twitching to scribble equations onto his jacket and his eyes were magnifying lenses, a curious itch to discover and question. He “oo”ed and “ahh”ed at the sights and sounds erupting from the edge of the tree line. The third and oldest was quilted comfortably in brown, his fingertips still brushed with the caring caresses given to his garden. His calm manner mimicked the swaying of the rocking branches, not a time teller on his person to dictate the pace of his movements or to pinch the strings of his humble heart.

The youngest began to complain to those next to him, “I must check into resort, my room of luxury will be waiting for me. I must get out of this entanglement so infested with flying beasts!”

The one of science and mathematics, still wide-eyed responded, “I must get to the village and set out my papers. I must begin soon documenting this fabulous ecosystem!”

The minds of the two who had spoken were racing, a pressure to go, to begin. The third did indeed have a task to complete. Indeed, that was why he had come, but it wouldn’t be the position of the sun or the run of the moon that could scrape down into his atmosphere and urge him along. He remained silent and gazed about.

The three remained under shelter from the rays of heat, waiting for a car to return to the depot. The youngest was rubbing together the threads of his Patience, wearing them thin and useless. He attempted to begin walking down the seventy mile road of jumbled rocks, dirt, and lively creatures only to return thrice with tousled hair and tinted hopes. The second began to circle the bouquets of trees and their binding roots, not able to stand still for long. The third remained silent and content.

A gas powered caravan arrived some time later, the son and scientist loudly rejoiced, swept up their burdens from home, and ran to claim it. The oldest strolled over to the transport, having no luggage to carry. Behind him, the weight and banging of the other’s suitcases caused the two to trip over their eagerness and fall to the dirt. The gardener arrived first at the car and slid into the driver’s seat while the others mumbled and shuffled into the other slots.

The old man, in no sort of hurry, tipped his foot onto the gas pedal as if he were tipping a glass half full of water. The automobile rumbled along.

Frustrated with the snail’s pace, the wealthy son asked if he could drive. Seeing no reason why not, the older man agreed but warned the son that there were obstacles on the road the he might look out for. Confident in his ability to drive and anxious to arrive at his resort, the young man took off at full speed. They were making good time for the first couple of minutes, even when the lose rocks threatened to send them off course if they attempted sharp turn.

Racing along and checking his watch once again, the young man did not see the large block of metal lying halfway into the road. Once they hit it, the open car went precariously swerving back and forth and eventually succumbed to the rocks’ menacing shoulders. The car went off of the road and down into the edge of the jungle. Luckily, the three landed safely on the side, but the automobile crashed and bumped through trees, heaving coughs and hideous sighs in its wrecked state.

The son and scientist both threw fits of anger at the twisted metal while the third raised his eyebrows, pulled himself up and began towards the road. Before he came to it, however, a woman’s voice called to the party.

“Need you assistance, fine men?” It came from a weathered woman, clothed in rags that must have been older than the century. All three looked over and not caring what appearance help took, responded yes. She nodded and ushered them into her home one hundred footfalls away.

As they made themselves comfortable, she offered water and fruit which all accepted then proceeded to tell them how she would assist.

“But first,” she told them, “I wonder if you could help me with a few things myself?” The son offered a check if he could be on his way. The second offered medical assistance if she would need it if he could be on his way. The third replied that he would indeed help, even if he earned nothing in return.

The woman rejected the offers of the first two and told the last that oh, he would get something in return as would they all if they complied.

There were three tasks. The first was to make blankets, for the Night threw quite a chill over the area. The three sat down around the woman as she began to explain how to make the blankets by hand.

The young son gave up immediately, the convoluted instruction of weaving and twisting was too much and he had not the companion of Patience to stay and learn. He offered to send warm blankets once he was in contact with civilization again then trudged outside the home to try calling the resort on his cell phone.

The second was fascinated by the intricacies of the blanket making and undertook the challenge in order to understand it enough to document it. The third complied happily, not too much caring if the entire thing fell apart for he had the time to begin again.

With the task complete, the scientist and gardener with the blankets and the wealthy son refusing to try, the woman moved on to instruction for the second task. “I had some kites fly into the trees some time ago and I wonder if you could take them down and untangle them.”

Each of them agreed and set outside to locate the flying contraptions. They weren’t difficult to find, each pronounced by bright colors. One a sour green, another a zesty orange, and the last a smiling yellow. A light tug from each sent them tumbling down, but what the tails presented to three was quite the task indeed. In the middle of each string was a terribly large knot. In fact, some wouldn’t be surprised if it was glued for its stubbornness.  

The first man fumed and spat at the horrid knot. Absolutely finished with the mess of trees, the heavy air, and the vicious flies, he resolved to have this matter over with. He took out his pocket knife and cut out the knot, tying the two ends together, but the string was no longer than the length of his body. He shrugged and went back to the woman to submit this quick work.

Upon his arrival back at the home and the presentation of her released kite, the woman told the man the third task. “Take this seed and plant it at this location,” she told him, handing over a large pit and marked map. “This seed will give birth to the most tasteful and filling substance to consume. Wait a day until this bears fruit. Caution yourself, however. All other food in the vicinity is poisonous, but the fruit this seed will bear is not. Once the fruit has been released, your assistance will come to the call of the fruit. Take what you have made and found here.”

The young man sounded his complaints about the time that would be devoured in this task, but eventually took the seed, map, and his injured kite then began his final journey.

The second man stared at snarling mess of string, thinking of the endless mathematical equations that have wound and burrowed their heads into the tangle. He sat down by the root of the tree and tried liberate a few rungs. For an hour, his puffy fingers tackled the ball and almost a foot of it had slipped out. Unable to wait any longer or to bear the encumbrance of never knowing if he would ever get it undone; he pulled as hard as he could on the ends. All of the loose parts flew together and were now so tightly sealed, every mathematical possibility went amuck. The scientist went back to the woman’s home, listened to the next task and made his way out with his handmade blanket and the saddened kite.

The third man saw this great lump in the string, smiled, and found a comfortable place to sit. With his nimble fingers that were used to lacing between delicate plants, he slowly let out bits of the cord. Patience reclined next to him, offering an ease of mind. Just before the sun was set, the kite’s tail was at its full length, more than one hundred feet to stand.

He returned to the woman’s home and displayed his achievement. The woman gave the man his task and heed and sent him on his way with blanket and thankful kite.



When the first man came to his location, he quickly shoved the seed into the ground, threw the map and kite aside and tried his cell phone again.

When the second man came to his location, he slipped the seed into the ground, pounded the soil with his boot, and, since the wind was blowing, tied his short kite to a rock.

When the third man came to his location, he skillfully placed the awaiting life into the earth, smoothed over the soil, and sprinkled some water over it. Since the wind was blowing, he tied his kite to a rock.


Night was an assassin. His element of dark cloaked him and enveloped his victims. Inside the air were dulled blades that worked in unison to gnaw on the bones of those unsheltered.

The young man pulled his coat tight that evening, but it wasn’t enough; he never woke again.

The middle-aged man and the old man squeezed their blankets round. Night’s attack was useless against such material; he stalked away with his single triumph.

In the morning, the second man felt hunger claw at the tendrils of his mind. He remembered the caution of the old lady, but as he spotted some mushrooms hiding under a tree, he thought he recognized them to be the mushrooms he ate at home. He decided to wait until the fruit came. When the green-orange food arrived, he thought he heard the wishing sound of a helicopter. He wanted to wave it down, signal his position but the trees were too tall. For hours and hours he waited and could no longer stand his hunger. After eating the delicious fruit, he waited just a few minutes and then turned to the mushrooms. A rescue party found him an hour later, white.

The third man woke and heard his hunger protest at the lack of substance. But, in determination to see this through, he put his hunger aside and waited for the fruit to come. Once it had protruded, he took a great bite and watched his kite’s flight high above the trees in the strong wind. He then heard a helicopter’s rumble and minutes later saw a ladder coming down right with the kite to guide the rescue. He climbed up into the helicopter and when they asked where he wanted to go, he gave his destination.

The old man arrived at the village’s center tree. It stood proud, its chest welling towards the west and trophies of green dangling from the arms. All of the white blossoms had fallen to the ground, most of them swept away by the wind. Although he had missed the tree’s beautiful bloom, he did collect what he came for. Patience chuckled in the corner’s square, weaving its product of skills and objects, embedding them into the trail of time. It watched as the old man took a fruit and two seeds, one a sour green and one a zesty orange to his garden of life back home.

© 2011 Katie de Lavani

Author's Note

Katie de Lavani
I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

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This was really good! I like how it kind of has a modern fairytale feel to it. I loved all the descriptions too. The second dude is such a nerd. I think he's my favorite. :D

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on April 26, 2011
Last Updated on April 29, 2011


Katie de Lavani
Katie de Lavani


Hi. Nothing much to say about me. I'm always looking for a good story in my life and sometimes base the stories I write on real life experiences. I love to read others writing to see just how horrible.. more..

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