The Art of Happiness

Ms. Kusa of 5, Rain Shots street was having a bad day. She had failed to master the art of happiness and was in danger of being offered as a fat sacrifice to goddess Ayan in less than 48 hours.

She had witnessed what happened to those who failed to master the art of happiness. They were expelled into the forbidden forest never to be seen again. No one really knew what lay in the forest. There were strange reports of what lay within but one could never be sure and she did not want to find out.

The Chicken Republic worshiped Ayan, the deity of sorrow. Every 6 full moons, the republic offered the goddess a fat sacrifice to usher them into the next cycle. She feasted only on those full of sorrow.

A man’s happiness was determined by three things: the circumference of his waist, the size of his purse and his number of friends. The wider, the larger and the higher those three things were, the happier he was considered.

Ms. Kusa had a love for bush meat and to no surprise had the widest circumference for a waist in all the land. The size of her purse was not lacking. What she lacked was the friendship. Per the happiness barometer, she was one friendship short of complete mastery of the art of happiness.

On this not so fine morning, it was sweltering hot. She trudged across the land as sweat raced down her cheeks seeking for a hand of friendship. One more friend and she could be finally happy. She visited the hare, but his social plate was full and was no longer taking guests. She visited the hyena who likewise had a full social plate. Her last visit was to the snake. By the time she got to the Snake’s, she was drenched in sweat. The snake impatiently hissed her out of his house. She couldn’t blame him. He didn’t want her getting a puddle of sweat on his exquisite python seat.

Sorrowfully, she returned home. If only it had been a cool day. She would never be happy, she thought to herself.

On the day of reckoning, as she and two other men were being led to the entrance of the forest to be offered as sacrifice, she took occasional angry glances at the sun. The sun was to blame. Why did it have to be so hot?

Her thoughts were disturbed by the rumbling clouds. It began to rain. The rain sent the crowd running in different directions for shelter.

She stood rooted as the rain washed away her tears. Today would not be her last. With sweet sorrow, she realized that happiness arises through struggle. How could she appreciate all the rain brought with it if she had not experienced the most sweltering heat of the year.

She realized in what would have been the final moments of her life the art of happiness.