Once upon a time there was a bear named Krondor. He was a very large bear, standing over 5 feet at the shoulder, which set him apart from other bears.

            The other bears liked to take advantage of him, as his size was very useful. It wasn’t a rare occurrence for Krondor to be invited to gather honey, only to be used to get the hard to reach honey and subsequently ignored; on camping trips he carried the tent and other equipment; he was the first one ‘friends’ called when they were moving; he was the one left with the task of getting many a car out of the mud. A few times he was used as a bodyguard, a job he didn’t realize he was doing until it was a few bruises too late. The more Krondor thought about how much he was used the more he hated his stature.

            One night, walking home from yet another bar fight, Krondor came across a very small elephant leaning against a building. The elephant, although no bigger than Krondor, was clearly a fully-grown adult. Krondor simply brushed him off as a genetic anomaly and kept walking.

            “Hey bear! You seem awfully big for a bear, am I right?”

            “Well yes, but why do you care? There’s nothing I can do about it.”

            “Well let’s just say, I can do something about it. You’ve probably noticed I’m quite a little guy for an elephant; this is no accident. I myself used to be pretty big, even for an elephant. Now I don’t want to go into the details here, but if you follow me maybe I can help you out?”

            Krondor was a little hesitant, he didn’t really trust the elephant and couldn’t recall an elephant that ever was honest (not that he could recall ANY elephants, honest or not) but he threw caution to the wind. “Ok, I wouldn’t mind being a little smaller.”

            The elephant lead the bear on for many city-blocks until he reached his destination, an old run-down building, deep within the ghetto. They climbed up a few flights of stairs (the elevator was broken) to get to the elephant’s dingy apartment. The place looked like a high school science lab gone wrong and reeked of chemical odors. The elephant searched for a few minutes then produced a small vial full of clear liquid. “If you drink this you’ll be normal sized, I promise.”

            “Forever?”

            “Forever.”

            (It must be noted that Krondor was drunk at the time and couldn’t give the decision the proper thought it deserved). “How much?”

            “100 rupees now, come back and pay me 400 more before the end of the month.”

            Krondor did indeed have 100 rupees, but it was only because he had just gotten his paycheck; it was quite a lot of cash. He could still manage the payment however, if only just barely, and made the first transaction right then.

            It took almost a week for the vial to take full effect; Krondor shrunk to be a little on the small side, in fact. He was absolutely elated.

            The effect on Krondor’s friends was immediate. They were of course a little alarmed at the shrinking act, but much less so than you or I would be (they were talking bears after all). The second week since drinking the vial Krondor got only half as many invitations to go out with friends; the third week he got only a quarter as many and on the fourth he only had one single friend who wanted him to visit.

            Even in the past, Krondor had recognized this friend as the only one who genuinely liked him rather than just wanted to use him. Now that he was small Krondor realized he didn’t really like that guy anyways and made a point of being so rude he would never be invited again.

            A few more weeks went by and Krondor couldn't deny he had absolutely no friends, fake or not. Although he had scraped together the money to pay the elephant a while ago Krondor found he visited the elephant more and more, if only just to say hello.

            They became friends eventually (dwarf elephants aren’t exactly popular either) and spent nearly every day together. The elephant turned out to be no more than a heroin addict who had shrunk himself to save money (he required a much smaller dose for the same effect). Krondor accepted this at first but eventually grew tired of the elephant’s antics and visited less and less until they didn’t speak at all.

            Once again Krondor was completely alone, the only positive point he could think of about his life was that at least he wasn’t being used. He wished he could go back to the time when he had many friends, fake as they were, because he was so alone. Then he remembered how much he hated life then anyways, decided he hated life in general and searched for a handgun

            A voice called out to him from the heavens. “…You all right? Come on man, are you ok? Dude, get up, you’ve been on your ass for half an hour.”

            “But what’s the moral of the story!” I yelled out to the voice, which more and more looked just like my neighbor, Trent.

            “Story? Dude, you must’ve got seriously fucked up.” Trent laughed.

            It was Trent. I was in my room, the bowl in front of me still had remnants of whatever I had smoked (which I still couldn’t remember) and bears definitely can’t talk.

            “Dude, that shit will fuck you up!”

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