Out in the dark beamed a radiant light, a steadfast glow in that silent land. A fire to be sure, but not just any fire, it was a fire aglow with the eloquence of King David, the insight of Solomon. Red, orange, and golden tongues leapt with a brilliant flare as the tinder, kindling, and fuelwood began to ponder amongst themselves. The tinder charred while its mind burned with questions.

"Nightly, we are thrown to the flames, and we gradually dissolve as we lay down into ashes," the tinder began, "yet we passively give ourselves to this end without apprehension. Why?" The question flickered in the air and cast a single ray into the surroundings, like a flame jumping and sweeping the shadows away from the tree trunks.

"We are here to serve the humans," pronounced the kindling, simply and profoundly.

"Why must we serve the humans?" demanded the tinder. He thought. "Ah, by the power of fire they make war. By the power of fire they forge arms and armor in their smiths. It's the lust of every warrior to be the mightiest in the land, the power of valor."

"Fire fuels more than the chariots of warfare," answered the kindling in a hot breath. "Other needs are fulfilled." The conversation took a turn for the metaphysical as the smoke brewed an odor of great broiling.

"Such as…"

"Well, all sorts of things," declared the kindling. "People have a myriad of needs to see through, like cooking and boiling water. Also, they need the heat of fire if ever they desire tools superior to stone. You wouldn't deny that humans require food, now would you?"

"Aye, the tools of war," seethed the tinder. "It all comes down to fighting force and fury fueled by tools and kitchens alike. Their civilization must defend itself from barbarism and to ensure their safety, weapons are needed. Even simple hunting is a form of war, war against the wilds of nature."

"Let us not forget the most basic necessity of warmth. I assure you, never was there an icy flame. As surely as the hearth freezes not, man must have warmth in his bones to do what ought be done. Lad, it goes beyond the physical."

The fuelwood probed the situation laid before him before finally speaking his mind. "Fire exists for the knowledge and betterment of man."

Now licked the fiery tongues the stones walling in the three philosophers and the fire's heart assumed a raw hue. There was a pause. "I can see how knowledge comes into the picture," said the tinder.

"Books! You must see the light to write the words, to read the inscriptions, to decipher the hidden." The kindling burst into excitement like a spark. He continued, "Alexandria's great library would have never been without the benevolence of fire, Isaiah's revelation would not have met the scrolls, wisdom herself would have been barred from the searching eye!" The kindling's rant had reached its crescendo and the valley itself froze for a moment as it absorbed the meaning of his message.

"It is imperative that we remember what has been wrought from fire goes beyond that of written knowledge and sustenance." The fuelwood had again shattered the silence to deliver some beneficial gift of wisdom. "We know that flames alone do not constitute the creation of a book, though they may and do inspire people to more abstruse forms of action. What a man sees when he looks into a fire is a reflection of the great design that has been woven into the very fabric of the universe and that vision kindles in him the will to do likewise and find a means of communicating the creativity that has been imparted him. A painting reflects real things and real thoughts as fire reflects the ingenuity of both the human mind and that which lies above. As first is needed sustenance and basic knowledge, thus is the creativity of humanity made the pinnacle of culture. Let the fire burn within you."