A Jewish tale that illustrates how the truth can be more palatable when clothed in story.
The bones of the story:
- There was a time when Truth walked among people unclothed and unadorned, as naked as her name. But whoever saw truth turned away in shame or fear and gave him no welcome. So Truth wandered through the earth rebuffed and unwanted.
- She noticed that on many of her travels, Parable followed a similar path, but unlike Truth, Parable was welcomed wherever she went, adorned in her brightly-coloured clothes, speaking her lyrical language, and flashing her smiles on all who passed her.
- One day, Parable came across Truth naked and cold, huddling in the doorway of a ruined house. She bent down, worried, and asked why Truth had fallen so low.
- Truth explained that her nakedness frightened the people, that she was unwelcome and unwanted.
- Parable took pity on her and gathered her up and took her home. There, she dressed Truth in story, warmed her, fed her, and sent her out again.
- Clothed in story, Truth knocked again at the doors and was readily welcomed into the villagers’ houses. They invited her to eat at their tables and warm herself by their fires.
- This parable has been attributed to Rabbi Yaakov Kranz (1741–1804), the Maggid of Dubno.
- A long and beautiful version can be found in Beatrice Silverman Weinreich’s “Yiddish Folktales”, p7, 1990