Once there was a lawyer named Winter Square. He was a very good lawyer and tried to be the fairest in all the land when mediating disputes. He had a great success rate for settling out of court.
One day, he had an appointment after lunch with a group of brothers. When they trooped into his office, the first thing that he noticed was that they were all very, very tall. And then he noticed that he didn’t have enough chairs. “How many of you are there?” he asked.
“Seven,” said the one with glasses.
“Four more chairs, please,” Winter said to his assistant. Soon every one was seated. “Let’s start with introductions. I am Winter Square.”
The one with glasses stood up again. “I am Red, and these are my brothers Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Purple.” Each brother stood in turn and shook hands with Winter.
“I know they’re unusual names,” Green said.
“Mom really liked adjectives. She named her parakeets crazy things like Shy and Dozy and Grumpy,” Purple said.
“My name isn’t exactly normal, either,” Winter said. The brothers laughed. “So, what’s the problem?” he asked.
“One day we came home from a busy day at our jewelry design business,” Red began.
“Here’s our card,” Yellow said. Red cleared his throat. “Sorry.”
“As I was saying, we got home, and there was a strange man in our house, washing our dishes,” Red said.
“That wasn’t the first time,” Green said. “The first time he was sleeping on the couch.”
“No, he was cleaning the microwave,” Blue said.
“In any case,” Red said, “the man keeps coming back. We changed our locks, but he came in anyway. When we called the police to take him away, we found out that he somehow got the charges dismissed and the officer let him go.”
“I see,” Winter Square said. “This is rather unusual. Does he do any damage? Is anything missing?”
“No,” Orange said.
“Has he said why he keeps coming back?” Winter asked.
“He said he’s hiding from his evil step-daughter who is home for the summer,” Red said.
“And why your house?” Winter asked.
“Our apartment was the first one he saw when he stepped out of the elevator,” Purple said. “He looks normal, really normal and boring, but I think he might be crazy.”
“Do you have a phone number or address where I can reach him?” Winter asked.
“We don’t even know his name,” Blue said.
“Well, the next time he comes, call me,” Winter said.
Three days later, Winter Square left his office to visit the apartment of the seven giants. The strange intruder was there. Winter had the paperwork for a restraining order in his briefcase, but hoped he wouldn’t have to use it.
The man was sitting at the table playing Solitaire. “So what’s your name?” Winter asked.
He waited. “Gray,” the man finally said.
“So, Mr. Gray,” Winter said. “I’m sure you realize how unsettling it would be to find an uninvited stranger in your home. I understand that you don’t feel safe in your own home. Perhaps we can help you find some assistance.”
“My wife is a queen among women, but my step-daughter is evil. Would you let me stay if I pay rent?” Mr. Gray said. “I feel so safe snuggled into the giant furniture. It would only be on my days off during the summer.” His eyes looked wide behind his glasses.
Everyone looked at each other for a moment. “Well, if he paid rent,” Green said.
“He does help with the chores,” Orange said.
“I guess I’ve gotten used to him,” Purple said.
There was a pause. “Are we all agreed then?” Red asked. The brothers nodded.
“We’ll protect you from your evil step-daughter until you can return to live with your queenly wife and live happily ever after,” Indigo said.
“Until the step-daughter returns next summer,” Yellow said. Everyone looked at him. “Sorry.”
“Mr. Square, please help us write up a contract,” Red said.
A short time later, Winter Square left the apartment, agreement in hand. He had successfully mediated another conflict. He smiled at his reflection in the elevator door. “You’ve still got it,” he said.
“Winter Square, you are the fairest in all the land,” the reflection replied. Creepy. Winter Square decided to take the stairs.