by Adam Greenberg
On my sixteenth birthday, I received a most curious, wonderful gift from my neighbor, Adriano. He gave me guardianship of a wise, wish-granting counselor. The counselor was only 36” tall and immeasurably handsome, with glowing features, blonde hair rolling across his forehead as if without a care in the world, and a sparkly gold tan to his flesh. He always wore perfectly-tailored gray velvet trousers and jacket, with a living violet, which never withered, flourishing on the lapel. He spent most of the day in meditation on my mantelpiece, but when I returned home from my long, bitter days as a slave in the factory, he would spring up to greet me and give me all sorts of wise bits of advice and predictions, and occasionally grant me wishes. All he required for sustenance were four peas per day — simple, ordinary peas, the kind that grow everywhere in the countryside, even out of cracks in the sidewalk. By the power of his perfectly accomplished meditation, my counselor was able to subsist endlessly on this grub, only growing lovelier and wiser with each passing year, and never aging a day. He required feeding at the moments the sun made pivotal transformations in the sky, one pea each at sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight. Such was my devotion to my precious counselor that no matter the circumstances, I happily forced myself to his service, returning home from the factory at dawn and noon, and tearing myself out of bed at midnight each day to feed him.