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Long ago, in the time when tools could talk, there was a hammer. It was not the biggest hammer, nor the heaviest hammer, nor the fanciest hammer. But it was the smartest hammer. It was so smart that it could remember the hands that held it.Author's Notes
On Firstday, Father picked up the hammer and used it to pound nails. He pounded nails into pieces of wood and built a birdhouse. Then he put the hammer back in its place.
"Thank you, Father," said the hammer.
"You're welcome, hammer," said Father.
This story came from the April 13, 2010 Muse Fusion. It was inspired by a prompt from Ellen Million.
Before the Upheaval, the Ancients developed highly advanced technology. This included computers, computer-operated machinery, and a variety of "smart" tools. Some tools would bond with a specific user so that nobody else could use them. Others were activated only by a key or a code. Some could be used by anyone at any time, but would record the user and the activity for which the tool was used.
After the Upheaval, most of the smart tools stopped working, either immediately or soon after. Nobody had the capacity to make more smart tools, so when those were gone, that was the end of them. However, a few such tools survived for a number of years and became very precious because of their usefulness and rarity.
The technology faded with time, but memories of it remained. Some of these grew or shrank in the retelling, features blurring together. Many legends exist in the modern Empire that tell of wondrous tools with strange powers. Parents have commandeered some of these to teach children good manners. "The Hammer That Remembered Hands" is widely told to encourage children to put things away when they are done using a tool or toy.