A FIREPLACE that once lived in a household was very greedy, to the point that he kept devouring firewood non – stop.
One cold winter night, however, he ate so much that his belly became swollen and he felt disgusted. It was the moment he lost his appetite for firewood. “We need more variety on the menu”, he told the silverware and decorative items of the household as soon as they brought him more logs to burn, and they couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with him. “The fireplace has lost its appetite!”, the items gossiped, and they got really scared, as the cold was already getting heavier and snow was falling outside. After giving it a thorough discussion, they put on scarves and caps, and went outside to find what type of wood he would feel like burning.
After searching everywhere in town, they found an old ship that was made of oak wood parked at the harbor. They hastily ripped some of its planks off, dragged them to the house and gave them to the fireplace, which, however, was unmoved by the sight.
“Maybe he has a taste for finer wood”, they all said, and went out to search again. They went everywhere, until in the end, they found an antique store that was full of old furniture made of the finest beech wood. “Maybe he likes those”, they thought and took them home. Yet, the fireplace let them down once more. “I no longer have taste for oldlogs”, he justified himself.
The last time the household items decided on a collection of well-polished and shiny musical instruments: guitars, basses and violins made of maple. “These will do”, they thought and carried them home. Yet the fireplace disappointed them for a third time: “No they won’t”, he simply told them and gave the instruments little attention.
Seeing that their efforts were fruitless, they thought of giving up. “Why don’t we just give him whatever we find and bedone with it?”,they complained. What they found first was a book of literature. They cut its first page to use as tinder, then threw it at the fireplace and went outside to get whatever log they could find.
Yet this time the fireplace got intrigued. He quickly blew the fire out, and tried to read the page. It was the introduction of a novel that impressed him so much that he asked to read the rest of it. The silverware and decorative items of the household were left speechless with his request.
“From now on, I have decided to devour literature”, he told them a few hours later as soon as he finished the book. So, they agreed that they would give him books to read and in exchange he would keep them warm by burning whatever log they gave him.
From that day on, our good fireplace never lost his appetite again. He also found good company to spend the cold winter nights with, as a good novel is often the best company in the world.