He was proud of his collection. It sat, perfectly arranged and spotlessly kept, on shelves behind glass doors in his study. There were tankards with beautifully tooled surfaces; there were boxes, containing nothing but air, but which opened and closed with such a satisfying slide that it was worth having them for that alone; there were even some aged leather-bound books which he'd found at a fair, battered and mould-ridden - he took them home and lovingly cleaned and polished them back to their original sheen, placing them tenderly in his cabinet. There was something homely, warming, about these hidebound objects, familiar and comforting, and he was creating a museum of them for himself.
There was a knock at the study door: he called "Enter!" and a young man appeared, carrying a tray. He placed it on the collector's desk, bowed and moved to walk away. "Hey there, you, what's your name - look at this collection of mine. That's what defines a man you know - art, culture. Not your civil rights and insisting on more and more of your own way. Improve yourself and you're half way there. Look smart there - you've forgotten my sugar!" The servant apologised and rushed from the room to retrieve the sweet stuff, not so long refined from the plantation outside. As he went he marvelled again at the irony that this hidebound man should take so much pride in a collection of objects whose name mirrored his own state.
Daily short story prompts from Storypraxis: hidebound