Reminded sometimes, I am, about the Genie that was caught in the net of the clever little fisherman. His bottle, that is, was caught in the net, and the Genie released when the clever little fisherman incautiously rubbed it.
The little fisherman, being clever, thought that this was his lucky day, and that the Genie would now grant his wishes. Alas, it was not to be.
“There was a time,” said the Genie, “there was a time. When first I was imprisoned in the bottle, I did think, yes, someone will find me and release me soon, and out of gratitude I will grant his wishes, but that was long ago. After hundreds of years, my heart grew hard, and I thought, yes, someone must find me soon, and release me, and out of gratitude I will grant them one small wish, but that was long ago. After a thousand years had past, my heart grew harder still, and I thought, eventually someone must find and release me, I will pay them no mind, I will go on my way, but that was so long ago, it hurts me now to remember. After time beyond counting, my heart turned to stone, and my only thought has been, if anyone ever finds me, and has the misfortune to release me, I will seize him and chew him into pieces.” The fisherman, when thusly seized, thought coolly, I guess I’d better think of something clever pretty damn quick.
Bitter, the bottle prison, and cleverness to be desired.