Once upon a time there was a box of beads and they could not get along.
"We come from the sea, so we are better than you," said the beads of shell.
"We can do one better than that," said the mother of pearl beads, "because we lived inside creatures who lived inside the ocean."
"We lived deep in the earth, alongside the Morlocks," said the Kambaba beads. "Clearly we are superior."
"We were shot out of a volcano!" said the lava beads. "Need we say more?"
"We're nuts!" said the nut beads. "We don't care."
"We come from the cradle of civilization, in Africa," the trade beads countered.
"We were carved from bones ~ the essence of life itself," claimed the beads of bone.
And so it went, with all the beads arguing and rolling on the ground.
Finally a bead of pressed glass, from the Czech Republic, spoke up. "Can't we all just get along?" she asked.
This sounded vaguely familiar to the beads, so they stopped rolling for a moment to listen.
"It is true we come from all the corners of the earth," she continued.
"The earth doesn't have corners," muttered the resin beads.
But the pressed glass bead pressed on. "And from the seven seas... and lots of oceans, too."
"Don't forget the islands," grumbled the beads from Indonesia.
"Hath not a bead holes?" she asked. "Hath not a bead edges, drill marks, mandrel scratches, finishes... blasted in the same kilns, tossed by the same waters, dug out from the same earth?"
"If you drop us, do we not roll away? If you string us, do we not make harmony with the beads beside us? If you wrap us too tightly, do we not crack?"
"If you discard us, do we not trip the family dog? If you string us, are we not strung? If you wire us, are we not wired? If you wrap us, are we not... um... wrapped?"
The beads murmured and rolled amongst themselves. They considered the words of the Czech bead. "She has a point!" said the pearls.
"No, that's just a flaw," said the lampworks. "Happens to the best of us."
"She could be right," said the crow beads.
"I don't know. I'm nuts! said the nut beads.
But as they looked at each other (through beady little eyes) they had to agree that, no matter what their origins, they had a lot in common.
And so, without further ado, they rolled together, joined holes, and decided to bead all that they could bead.
And they all lived in pieces of harmony until the next time they had the same discussion. (You can find these bead stars here.)