Sunday, November 7, 2010


A lady pays a visit to the shop of a famous milliner and asks him to create for her a one-of-a-kind hat, something unlike anything her contemporaries would have seen before. The milliner pulls from a drawer a length of red ribbon. Before the woman's eyes he begins to weave, knot and generally fashion this single piece of red ribbon into a most splendid creation, a hat of perfect loveliness.
The lady exclaims at the beauty and ingenuity of the hat, gleeful that it will soon be hers.
'How much do I owe you?' she asks.
'$10,000' the master milliner replies evenly.
The lady gasps, 'What? But it's just a piece of ribbon!'
The milliner gently unweaves, unknots and pulls at the hat in his hands until only the piece of ribbon remains.
'The ribbon,' he tells her, 'you can have for nothing.'

When I first heard this story (I don't know where), its message was totally lost on me - I just thought it was super cool that the lady got some free ribbon.

Photo by Naomi Hoare.

Anyway I've had ribbons on my mind a lot recently partly because a friend of mine is currently raising money for The Australian Lung Foundation. It's got me thinking about how little attention this cause gets - their's is the pearl-coloured ribbon, by the way, and you can donate here.

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