A woman whose tongue was sharp and unkind was accused of starting a rumor.
She was brought before the village chief protesting,
“What I said was in jest … it’s merely humor!”
“My words were carried forth by others. I am not to blame.”
But the victim cried for justice, saying, “You’ve soiled my own good name!”
“I can make amends,” said the woman accused,
“I’ll just take back my words and assume I’m excused.”
The old chief listened to what she said,
and sadly thought as he shook his head,
“This woman does not comprehend her crime,
she shall do it again and again in time.”
And so he said to the woman accused,
“Your careless words cannot be excused.”
“Until … You bring my feather pillow to the market square.
Cut it and let the feathers fly through the air.”
“When this task is done,
bring me back the feathers … every single one.””
The woman reluctantly agreed.
She thought, “The wise old man’s gone mad indeed!”
But to humor him, she took his pillow to the village square.
She cut it and feathers filled the air.
She tried to catch.
She tried to snatch.
She tried to collect each one.
But weary with effort she clearly discovered,
the task could not be done.
She returned with very few feathers in hand.
“I couldn’t get them back, they’ve scattered over the land!”
“I suppose,” she sighed as she lowered her head,
“It’s like the words I can’t take back, from the rumor I spread.”
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.