ONCE UPON A TIME, in a magical land far, far away from any place you have ever seen or imagined, there lived a village of elves who were solely responsible for the invention and existence of all the cookies in the world.
And in this land so kept away, the cookie elves worked and lived in peace and harmony. Each elf was born on more-or-less equal footing in life, as each had an equally important job to do that contributed to the general well-being (and cookie consumption) of all. Among them were bakers and makers and growers; and the product of their work was enjoyed not only by the elves themselves, who ate only cookies, but by travelers passing through, who spread tales of the cookie’s deliciousness throughout the lands. Cookie elves lived many hundreds of years, and for every elf that passed on to that deluxe bakery in the sky, a new elf was born to take its place. In such ways did the days and years and centuries fly by…until it came to pass that an elf was born to elderly parents who despaired of ever having a little elf of their own. This elf, named Disability, was different from the beginning.
Disability Elf didn’t want to learn how to be a baker or a maker or a grower when he was a little elf, preferring instead to have his cookies brought to him by his doting parents while he whiled away the days eating more than his share of cookies that he had no part in making. Disability had no qualms holding his parents emotional hostage by reminding them that should he perish in a tragic baking, making, or growing accident, they would be all alone again. Such things were unheard of in cookie land before Disability Elf was born.
As the years passed, Disability became convinced (and convinced a number of other elves) that there were plenty of bakers, makers and growers already – why, they couldn’t eat all of the cookies in the storehouses if they were to live a hundred lifetimes! Besides, Disability didn’t feel like making, baking, or growing. His arm hurt. Before he reached the tender age of 200, his arm was hurting – and to add insult to injury, it was his cookie-eating arm. Disability’s father, who was a master maker, constructed a cookie-delivery system that saved Disability’s arm from further injury, preventing his untimely demise, and his parents despair.
Life continued in this manner, with all of Disabiliy’s needs/wants supplied through the labor of others, until Disability’s parents were called to their reward in the deluxe bakery in the sky. By then, he was way too used to not working for his cookies — how could he possibly be expected to make, bake, or grow? He didn’t know how to do any of those things! Without his parents to shield him, word of Disability’s laziness, and the laziness of other elves quickly reached the Council of Cookie Elders, who, alarmed, called a meeting to discuss this emerging trend. Unfortunately, the meeting had to be postponed for a century, in light of a new and even more startling report that was brought to their attention: the inexplicable depletion of their cookie stores.
Meanwhile, Disability and his followers found mates, as all elves are wont to do. They married trolls (known for their stupidity and poor self-esteem) in secret, and proceeded to bring forth a new race of trelves for whom not doing a damn thing but making mischief, feeling sorry for themselves, and feeling entitled to cookies they had no part in creating was inherent. After a time, the working elves thought they had surely worked enough to replenish their mysteriously depleted cookie stores. Imagine their surprise to discover that this was not the case, and that no one elf under the age of 300 had worked in a century! Everywhere one turned, there were panhandling elves with cookie sheets extended to accost all passersby, who had just enough cookies for themselves. There were cookie riots breaking out in the cobblestone streets, and the storehouses were overrun with self-loathing, slack-jawed trolls and their hordes of obstinate trelf offspring, screaming demands for more cookies, and greater varieties.
Perhaps the trolls thought (their ability to do so was questioned far and wide) to elicit sympathy from the workers for their plight, for who would deny the suffering endured by any creature who was saddled with such husbands and offspring to feed — with no possible means of doing so? Indeed, the effect upon the Elders was grave. For it was then that they, without delay — yet with no small amount of regret — summoned a mighty dragon who was in their debt, and had the entire non-working population devoured or otherwise annihilated, leaving few elves of childbearing age to further the cookie-making legacy that continues to this day.
You see, the Elders understood — not only that there weren’t enough cookies in the land to meet the demands of lazy elves who aren’t willing to do their part to grow/make/bake them, but that stupid and lazy is a dangerous genetic combination that would have eventually destroyed them all, regardless. So they did what they had to do, taking some comfort in the knowledge that the tragedy that began with the coddling of little Disability was contained within their realm. “For none,” as it was told in bedtime stories to the precious few elves born in the years that followed, “could defend against Disability — at least, not without the assistance of a favor-owing dragon, and those have long since vanished from these lands.” Yet cookies remain. They are making them to this day as you well know – cookies enough for the entire world, in infinite varieties, thanks to the devoted efforts of all the little bakers, makers, and growers-to-be who snuggled deeper under the covers, shivering with fear and/or delight at the possibility of truth in the tale of Disability and the Dragon.