Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Simple Fable

One day, not so very long ago, the good King was riding his horse in the countryside, enjoying the warm summer sun and the pleasant breeze. He greeted everyone he passed, praised the gardens of those he saw, and showered them all with his love.

As the sun rose higher and higher in the sky, the King realized that he was beginning to get a bit hungry. He saw a pleasant little inn just over the ridge and decided to stop in for lunch.

After a very nice meal, the waitress asked him his name. He told her, and she then asked him what he did for a living.

"Well," he said, "I'm your King."

She looked at him as if he were joking and said, "Good sir, everyone knows that the King is always surrounded by his bodyguards and his court. Where are all these people, if you are the King?"

He smiled at her, pleased that she was so aware, and said, "I left them all back at the castle, for I wanted a day on my own to be able to enjoy a pleasant ride in the kingdom."

But the waitress was not convinced.

"Good sir," she persisted, "everyone knows that the King wears the finest of clothes, and that on his head is a crown. If you are the King, why, then, are you wearing such plain clothes?"

Again, the King smiled at her perception. "My good lady," he replied, "when you go out in the fields, do you wear your finest clothes, or do you, instead, dress in clothes that are more practical?"

But the waitress would still not be convinced.

"All right then," she insisted. "If you are the King, where is your heart-shaped birthmark?"

This took the King by surprise, for he had no birthmarks, and told her so.

"See", she said, as if proving that she was right. "Everyone knows of the old prophecy that the good King would be marked with love. And this obviously means that he has a birthmark in the shape of a heart. So if you don't have one, you obviously can't be the King."

At that, the King smiled patiently, but was a bit saddened by this. "My love", he told her, "is in my heart, and can be seen through my actions. Whether or not I meet your expectations, this doesn't change my reality. A good day to you, my kind woman."

He paid for his meal, leaving her a generous tip, and headed back to the castle, refreshed by his joyous ride in the country.

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