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Angela St. Lawrence is the reigning queen of high-end, long distance training and Femme Domme phone sex, providing esoteric depravity for the aficionado, specializing in Erotic Fetish, Female Domination, Cock Control, Kinky Taboo and Sensual Debauchery. To make an appointment or speak with Ms. St. Lawrence  ...


For the Girls: A Parable

(and the boys, too)

The Balek Scales

Deep in the forest, far from the main roads and the view of passing travelers, lived a town of hard-working, almost downtrodden people. They worked in small factories making products for sale in the far-off cities. They endured the mechanical clatter of the machines, which drowned out all but the loudest of forest sounds, and spent their days trying to ignore the illnesses and wounds they suffered as a result of their work.

Despite these hardships, the people and the town kept alive a spirit of muted happiness. At night, during the few hours that the factories were silent, they could hear the wind moving through the trees of the vast forest. The families shared with one another, ate meals together, and grieved as one when some all-too-common tragedy befell them.

The people lived in simple homes, one room cottages with a single bed for the parents. Their children slept where they could on the floor, often in a pile like kittens to give each other comfort and keep each other warm. They ate thin soup and drank weak tea six days a week, waiting for the hearty stew and precious coffee that were Sunday’s gifts.

While their parents worked in the factories, the children took care of the home. In the mornings before school, they gathered firewood, did the cleaning, and peeled the scanty vegetables that went into each night’s soup. As soon as school was out, they went into the forest to gather mushrooms and herbs until dark, which they then sold in town to the Baleks.

By now, the woods and the factories, and in some cases, the very land on which they lived, was all owned by The Balek family. Rumor had it that once, generations ago, the Baleks had been like everyone else. Hard-working. Humble. Accepting. Ordinary. But somewhere along the way, the story goes, something had set them apart. Maybe they had worked just a little harder, slept just a little less. Perhaps they had been blessed with special knacks for thrift and ingenuity. Their wealth slowly grew. They bought land, built factories, collected rent. They moved to bigger houses on the edges of the village.

The fortunes of The Balek family really turned, however, when they took possession of the scales. Scrimping and saving, so the story goes, the Baleks acquired scales from a far-off city none of the others had ever seen. Soon, the Baleks were weighing out the mushrooms and the herbs that came in from the forest, paying out money to the other families, and selling the wares in distant marketplaces. In a matter of a few years, they built an enormous castle on the hillside overlooking the town, in which now resided the scales, where everyone else went to make their sales.

The laws of the town stated that no one else could own a scale. No one could remember the date of the law’s enactment, but everyone took it for granted. They found other ways to measure weights and quantities. And besides, the fancy gilded scales looked so fair, so efficient, so accurate that no one even thought of breaking that law. Why should they? But just in case anyone should be tempted, the penalties for violating this rule were severe. You could be fired from your job and banned from selling to the Baleks. Your house, if it sat on Balek family land, could be confiscated.

For years, one boy had been bringing more mushrooms and herbs before the scales than any other. Though no one else knew this, the reason he gathered so much was because he was not afraid—no, this is not true; he was less afraid than anyone else—of The Giant. The Giant was rumored to roam the woods that surrounded the town, protecting a hidden treasure. The Giant was the reason that the townspeople did not visit the other villages, or travel to the cities. Fear of The Giant confined most children to gathering mushrooms and herbs from a tiny plot of forest behind their homes.

Somehow, this particular boy was able to venture farther and keep his fear at bay. He found untouched riches in the forest, places where no one but him had ever before gathered mushrooms and herbs.

Twice a week, the boy would climb the road leading to the castle, carrying his sacks full of wares. At the weighing room, Frau Balek would smile down at him as he handed over the mushrooms and herbs to be weighed. She pretended to be impressed by his success, but something in her smile and in the tone of her voice made the boy uncomfortable. Frau Balek would write down his weights in a tremendous, leather-bound ledger, and then hand him his money. Sometimes she would reach her hand into the great glass jar of candy and pass one to him as well. He could find no reason for what inspired her to give him candy sometimes and not others. He had long since given up the idea that if he was polite enough, well-behaved enough, that he would be rewarded. It all seemed to depend on her mood.

This went on for years. The boy gathered mushrooms and herbs, received candy sometimes but not others, and kept a ledger of his own. He, like Frau Balek, wrote down every transaction. How many ounces of mushrooms and herbs, how much he had been paid for them.

In the year that the boy turned thirteen, the Baleks were selected by the Imperial Governor to join the nobility. The coming New Year would coincide with the celebration of this grand local event.

As a gift to the townspeople for their years of loyalty, the Baleks gave each household a quarter-pound of coffee. By this time, the boy was old enough to be trusted to run errands for other families, and so was sent to fetch the coffee for his own home and that for the three families that lived closest to him. He entered the castle on New Year’s Eve, and stood before the scales. To his surprise, Frau Balek was not there. A frantic maid was there in her place, sorting through the pile of four-ounce packages of coffee. Every now and then, the boy could hear someone shouting at the maid to hurry up, there was so much to do to get ready for the night’s festivities. The maid looked up at him, and he asked for the four packages of coffee he had been sent to fetch.

“Yes,” she said. “Certainly.”

She stepped forward with the coffee in her hands.

“And let me get you some candy as well,” she said with a smile, but when she went to reach into the jar, she saw that it was empty. She laughed, and said, “Let me go in the back and get some more.”

She absentmindedly set the packets of coffee onto the scales and hurried off.

The boy noticed that the pound weight was slotted into a notch on the arm of the scales. He looked at the four four-ounce packages of coffee sitting there on the plate, and then to the arrow that should have pointed to the carefully painted black line that indicated the proper reading — one pound. But the arrow rested well short of the mark.

The boy was filled with fury, but he still managed to think quickly. He reached into his pocket and brought out a handful of the stones he liked to collect as he walked through the forest. He placed them one after another onto the scale until the arrow pointed where it should. Seven stones. From his other pocket he took a handkerchief, and wrapped the seven stones in it. As he worked, he found himself sweating and shaking, feeling a fear far greater than any he had felt before. It did not subside entirely, even after the handkerchief-wrapped stones were safely in his pocket, his discovery unnoticed.

When the maid returned, he gathered his fear and his fury into a statement.

“I want to see Frau Balek!”

The maid was surprised by his tone, but she just laughed, as if his demand were so impossible as to not even warrant a response. He stood there looking at her as she filled the candy jar. He turned and left without the coffee, without the gift of candy.

The boy walked straight into the forest, following the rarely traveled path that led to the nearby towns. He walked and walked, never once thinking of The Giant until he had gone farther than he ever had before. Even then, whatever fear he felt was too weak to stop him, to counteract his sense of betrayal, his determination to set things right. He passed without a word through several villages until he arrived in a place where scales were not illegal. He remembered the place from a long-ago visit, when he had been ill as a child. His mother had carried him here when the treatments of the Baleks’ doctor had failed him. He had come to the home of a healer, who, in the dark corner of his home, had a scale for measuring out his potions. That was years ago, but the boy remembered, and hoped the healer would still be alive.

The boy found the healer’s house. He knocked on the door, and an old man answered. It was the healer.

“I want to have this weighed,” the boy exclaimed without explanation, and held out the stones wrapped in the handkerchief. The healer eyed him sternly, then reached out his gnarled hand, took the bundle, and disappeared behind the closed door.

As he waited, the boy began to cry. He cried for himself, and for all the generations of children before him who had been cheated by the Balek scales. When the healer came back, he seemed unphased by the boy’s tears. He handed the bundle back to him, and said, “Two ounces…Exactly.”

The boy wiped his tears, nodded, and turned to walk away. The healer called to him.

“Boy,” he said, his face just visible in the shadows of the doorway. “Good luck.”

The boy walked home knowing what he must do. He did not say a word as his father shouted and beat him for his unexplained absence and for his lame excuses about the missing coffee. He endured his punishment, then went to his room. Through the night, right up until the time when the New Year’s Eve celebration had already begun, he went through his ledger, page after page, calculating. He finished just as the fireworks began. He walked out into the square where everyone was gathered, shouting, cooing, laughing. He found his family, and stood beside them with his hands upon his hips. When finally they noticed his defiant posture, he shouted over the explosions, “The Baleks owe me 21 Marks and fifty pence!” When they asked him what on earth he was talking about, he told them the whole story.

Word about the scales spread quickly through the town. At the New Year’s Day church service the next morning, the townspeople were ready. The Baleks, expecting the streets to be lined with well-wishers, traveled from their castle to the church through an empty town. At the church, where the priests would bless their new coat of arms—an image of The Giant holding aloft a gleaming scale—they found a crowd of stony-faced and silent onlookers. The townspeople waited for the Balek family to enter and move to their seats at the front of the church before taking their own places inside. The priest, sensing the hostility of the crowd, sweated and fumbled through his sermon and the blessing of the coat of arms.

Before the service was even quite over, the townspeople crossed themselves, asked forgiveness for their rudeness, and filed out of the church, where they lined the walkway, waiting. As the Baleks emerged, they were berated with angry questions and a chant: “Your scales aren’t just…Your scales aren’t just!”

Frau Balek saw the boy standing there silently, and mistaking his silence for sympathy, she approached him, wearing the odd smile the boy had gotten used to.

“Why didn’t you take your coffee the other day?” she asked. The boy looked at her, and spoke firmly, calmly, slowly.

“Because you owe me 21 Marks and fifty pence.”

Frau Balek recoiled as if he had cursed her. She pulled her shawl bearing the family’s new coat of arms tight around her shoulders and spun away from him, heading quickly towards her carriage.

While this was going on, a few of the men had entered the Baleks’ castle and taken the enormous, leather-bound ledger that resided by the scales. When the other townspeople returned from the church, they gathered in the square, where the men had set up a table and were calculating the Balek family’s generations-long fraud. They worked on towards darkness, but before they could finish, the soldiers arrived. They stormed into the square, beating the people away. By the time they reached the table and snatched the ledger away, several of the men were hurt and one little girl had been killed.

The town, and the other villages who lived under the Baleks’ rule revolted. The factories were then silent for days on end. The children did not go to the school, where the priest gave a demonstration before an empty classroom of the scales’ unfailing accuracy.

Finally, soldiers went door to door and forced the people back to work and made the children back to school, threatening them with prison, fines, or worse. A law was then passed making the chant “Your scales aren’t just!” illegal.

Before long things appeared normal once again.

But thereafter, everywhere you went—in every town and village, and even, it was rumored, in the far-off cities, too—people told the story of the boy with the pebbles in his pockets, the boy who wasn’t afraid of the Giant. They also spoke of the silence of the factories during the revolt and how the sounds of the woods—birdsong and wind—could actually be heard again in broad daylight. After that, everyone knew the truth about the scales, and everyone was a little less afraid of the Giant.


This story was written by Nobel Prize winner, Heinrich Boell. It was sent to me quite a while ago (October 13, 2006) by our esteemed Pervert Savant, who is as smart as he is kinky. I’ve kept it all this time because it touched my heart deeply and I knew that someday there would come a time to share it. That time is now…and a certain measure of my fellow PSOs will understand why.

For the rest of you, it is a lovely story from which–no matter who you are–much can be learned.

You can find out more about Heinrich Boell by clicking here.

xo, Angela

6 Responses to “For the Girls: A Parable”

  1. HDB Says:

    This is a wonderful story Angela.  I had read this years ago and had forgotten it.  It is written as a children’s tale–yet speaks to us all about not letting “our giants” take advantage of us.

    Thank you for making my Memorial Day that much more memorable.

  2. Lyndee Says:

    Great story, Angela! Oh, how true!!!

  3. BIG EASY Says:

    what Lyndee said!

  4. Isabel Says:

    Here’s to all the all the little boys with pebbles in their pockets.

  5. science nerd Says:

    A wonderfully woven, touching story, Angela. I think we all have Giants in our lives as well as the cheaters protected by their image…on many levels.

  6. puzzler565 Says:

    A bit like “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” It takes the direct honesty of a child, sometimes, to show us the hypocrisy of our settled, adult ways. Thanks, Angie.

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