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The Tale of Bob
by Rick Tornello

Once upon a time, almost before recorded history, but not quite, in the time of Gilgamesh there lived a weaver of cloth named Gorfflemychu. Gorfflemychu, which means bright flame, is also the meaning of the name Bob. In order not to make things too confusing to our modern readers and listeners who have no passing conversational ability in Babylonian, we’ll keep his name as Bob.
Now as I mentioned, Bob was a weaver of cloth, as was his father, and father’s father before him, and even so down before recorded time. They made a decent living. Bob had a wife and many children. His skill as a rug maker was known locally and throughout the Fertile Crescent. Bob was a content human.
One day while teaching his number one son, also named Bob, the secrets of the trade, the boy-man who would inherit all that was his, primogeniture being the custom and law of the time, there came a stranger to the entrance of Bob’s establishment.
Bob the father, not the son, greeted the visitor with respect, as was his wont, whether or not the person in front of him was wealthy or not. “All people deserved respect,” the father would tutor the younger Bob.
Bob welcomed the man in. “Sir some drink, wine, beer, dates and other fine eatables as you might like after your trip. For surely sir, I would know if you were from these parts. Please rest. We’ll talk business only after you’re rested and fed.” This was the custom and Bob adhered to it.
The guest was very pleased. He displayed no trapping of wealth and was delighted that this rug maker, this worker of cloth treated him as a though he were a king. “Your honesty, generosity and fairness are known far beyond anywhere you can imagine,” said his guest.
“You are too kind. I am honored,” answered Bob.
Finally after food and drink a plenty the guest began,“ I come to you, maker of rugs because of your reputation, ability, skills and fairness which I have seen enough to know is as true as has been proclaimed. I would like you to make me a carpet of the best materials known in the world. Spare no expense.” And so saying dropped 7 bags of gold. “This should be deposit enough,” declared the guest.
“Sir, I’m not sure I am up to what I believe you might be looking for, and were I,” he said pointing to the seven bags of gold continued, “your deposit is more than I would charge.”
The guest laughed and said, “It might be more than you would charge but consider this my payment for your future efforts and current hospitality. When do you believe you will have it completed?”
Bob was quiet for some time thinking about some of the dreams he had had and the designs that had run through his mind. He would wake up from his dreams and press his cuneiform stylus onto the wet clay he kept by the bedside for his ideas. “It will be months at best.” He hoped this would not upset his guest but this was a tall order.
The guest said with a smile, “I will return in a half a year’s time.” He rose to his huge full height, which in our day would be reckoned as close to seven feet tall. He bowed and left.
Bob stood there wondering what, how and when this task could be completed. His son witnessed the whole proceeding. His wife, when she heard the story and saw the gold as proof of the guest’s sincerity said, “You’ve trained a number of people in the art. Hire them to do the basic work. You can put the finishing touches. You can afford to pay them and work this project. You have six months.”
Six months pass:
To the day the guest arrived and was treated in exactly the same manner. After the formalities, Bob said, “Please come with me and let me show you what I have made for you. I prayed to the gods for inspiration. I hope this meets with your desire and approval.” He pulled a curtain back away from a large loom that was specially fabricated for this project.
The guest looked, walked around the item, nodding all the while inspecting the thread count, the weave, the colors, seven times. At the end of the seventh time he stopped and looked down at Bob. He said, “This is the work of a god, not a human. I am blessed and for such a work I will impart a secret to you and you alone that you may impart to your first born only, and he to his, for ten generations.” He whispered in Bob’s ear. Bob turned a shade like that of alabaster.
Bob stood there quietly as his guest left, sitting upon the rug which flew off.
Bob made more rugs with the flying skills but only for guests who showed the proper identification that his first guest indicated would be a sign.
Many years later:
Bob was old and dying. His son now ran the business in the same manner and fashion as his father had done. One day just before Bob’s passing to the great unknown, his son asked him, “Father, you promised to tell me how you did this. What is the secret of the flying rugs?”
Bob motioned for his son to come closer. He whispered most of the secret. The effort was too great and in his final breaths said, “You must name the one who will inherit your business with the name Bob, for not only is it in the magic I just passed on to you, but it’s also in the magic of the name Bob. Son, you have to be both a Bob and weaver.”
As he said his last words in the heavens the thunder rolled and the lightening flashed and crashed.

By, Rick Tornello & The Village idiot Press