A Tale of Two Kidneys

Once upon a time, there was a young woman who liked to drink soft drinks. She liked the taste of cola, she liked the way the caffeine made her feel energetic. But she knew that soft drinks were bad for her, and so she made a change.

She would drink soft drinks no more.

Instead, the young woman decided she would drink water, and only water. Water was healthier for her, she knew — no sugars, no preservatives, nothing that would take years from her life.

And so, water it was. For days upon days, she drank water, more water, and nothing but water.

Her change in behavior did not go unnoticed.

“We’re supposed to have more junk in here!” said one of her kidneys to the other. “Sugar! Syrup! Flavors and preservatives!”

“She must think we can’t do our jobs! She must think we can’t keep her blood clean!” the second kidney said in reply.

The two kidneys sat in thought. “I have a plan!” said the first kidney. “We’ll show her just how efficient we are!”

“Okay!” said the other kidney, in that excitable way that kidneys do.

The two kidneys fell quiet. After long moments of silence the second kidney said in a whisper, “So what’s your plan? How do we show her just how efficient we are?”

The first kidney said nothing. Then he jumped up and shouted for joy. “The liver! He keeps all sorts of strange things around. We’ll have the liver release all sorts of toxins into the bloodstream, and then we’ll clean them out. That will show her just how good we are at our jobs!”

The second kidney saw the possibilities in the plan, and said so.

The two kidneys went and talked to the liver. They explained their plan.

“I don’t like it,” said the liver.

“Why not?” said the second kidney.

“Yes? Why not, indeed?” said the first kidney.

The liver sighed. “You crazy kids don’t know what you’re getting yourselves in for.”

“Of course we do!” said the first kidney.

“We want to filter out the blood!” said the second kidney.

“We’re tired of only filtering out water and making urine. We need something more to do!” said the first kidney.

“She’s taking our job away!” the kidneys said together.

“You really want to do it, then?” asked the liver.

“Yes!” exclaimed the kidneys.

“I can give you some nasty stuff,” said the liver. “You don’t know the things I keep locked up here. Scary things.”

“The nastier the better,” said the first kidney.

“We want to show her what we’re made of,” said the second kidney. “We’re not scared.”

If the liver could have frowned he would have. “Just remember, you asked for this,” said the liver. “I’ll do it. It’s against my better judgment, but I’ll do it.”

The kidneys danced around, they were so excited.

A few days later, one of the kidneys was sick. “I can’t do it anymore,” said one kidney.

“Things are getting sticky over here, too,” said the other kidney. “I’m full of stones.”

“I knew the liver could do bad things,” said the first kidney. “I didn’t think he could do things this bad.”

“We should have listened to the liver,” said the second kidney. “He told us not to do this.”

“He was trying to teach us a lesson,” said the first kidney.

“But why did his lesson have to make us hurt so much?” said the second kidney.

The two kidneys agreed — they would never badger the liver again.

And that, children, is the story of how the two kidneys got kidney stones.

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