Thee Origins of Grendel

This is a story of a jack in the box, a tin soldier and a ballerina. The tin soldier was part of a child's toy collection. One day the child received a ballerina music box. He placed it on a shelf way up top above a fireplace. The ballerina would move to the pleasant tinkles of the chimes which comprised it. One day the toy soldier happened to look up to the shelf and caught a glimpse of the ballerina, his heart leapt but he did not know why, he longed to be near the beautiful dancer. He started up toward the ballerina. The ballerina too looked down at him and felt a closeness. On his way up to the shelf, the tin soldier passed by a jack in the box (which was up on the windowsill). The tin soldier could not see how to get way up to the ballerina, so he asked the jack in the box. The jack in the box told him that he should climb up the string in the front of the fireplace to reach his love. "Love", thought the tin soldier,... he did not know what it meant, but it felt like he somehow understood... The tin soldier made his way to the fireplace and then started his way up the string. He climbed and climbed forever, with glimpses of the ballerina as the string swayed back and forth. The soldier was almost near the top and the ballerina and tin soldiers' eyes met. Both of them felt an aching so vast that they could not speak. The child came into the room at that same moment, headed for the fireplace, and reached for the ballerina. The jack in the box being on the windowsill popped up at that very moment distracting the boy. The boy turned around to see what made the noise and knocked the tin soldier into the flames of the fireplace without notice. "Silly jack in the box", the boy said, and then left the room forgetting what he came for. The tin soldier was melting in the flames with a tear in his eye. He looked up at the jack in the box on the windowsill, who was smiling, but his last thoughts were of the beautiful ballerina dancing. The ballerina saw the soldier fall, and knew what happened. She could do only what she was made for, so she danced and she wept. The jack in the box, just smiled.

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