Zeptepi emptied the dust and shards from her pockets. She could not complete her training. The was one obstacle: gold. She knew her sisters had been trying diligently to support each other. The reality was this: since their parents’ absence, they were on their own. And since none of them were to give themselves over to indentured slavery or other unsavory exploits (least of all marriage to a fat, ugly nobleman – gads!), their independence was a bit starved on occasion.
The unexpected patronage and friendship came from the horizon: gold never buys friendship, not friendship of any real value. Those who recognize that gold and gifts are merely the ease to increase life’s enjoyment fully get the most of those lives.* The boost, the aid, helped her have the next bit of courage she needed to get to the next step, steps she could now, and forever more, take with a friend.
*How many parables does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? King Midas, Ebenezer Scrooge, and Gollum all seemed to get this.

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