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The Inventor had given them wonderful things—machines for grinding
corn, for weaving cloth, and countless others. The townspeople loved him.
But he was getting old, and there was only time for only one more
invention. So he decided that his last work would be a very special kind of
machine. This one would not be for moving or heating or calculating, but
for making happiness itself.
The townspeople didn't understand, but they trusted him. He'd
never let them down before. So the Inventor retreated into his castle and
Years passed. At first the townspeople waited patiently. Then they
doubted. Then they became angry.
“Where is it?” they asked.
“It's taking too long.”
“It's costing too much.”
“He's tricking us.”
“We must destroy him.”
Just as the mob arrived at the castle, the gates opened and the
Inventor came out. “It is accomplished!” he declared. The mob quieted for
a moment and he led them inside.
But there was no great engine—only a roomful of tables littered
with cards, booklets, and tiny pieces of wood. “Where is the machine?”
asked the leader of the mob, readying his club. “Where is the machine of
“It is here,” said the Inventor, motioning to the dice, rulebooks, and
game boards. “Have a seat, and let's play.”
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