A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of US, a great calamity fell upon the land.  A pestilence so mighty that all of the people in the kingdom were afflicted.

King Bama gathered his council, lords of the kingdom, wise men, and even those with whom the Black King did not always see eye to eye.  They assembled in the Great Hall of the White Castle.

The King began. “Woe is US.  This pestilence shall be our undoing unless some noble and worthy actions are taken to defeat it.  It afflicts the best and worst of us.  And, yea, we have spent most of the royal treasury battling it without respite.”

The council member on the right side of the great table, Sir Newt, cautioned against any rash acts.  “Oh King, do not move precipitously to quell this pestilence.  Yea, truly it does afflict us all.  Yet those of us, you and I, live behind the battlements, enjoy the attendance of a host of court physicians, and will survive.  Nay, does it matter to us that lowly serfs and servants are without such benefits?  That is the way of our world.”

Sir Teddy sitting to the left of the Black King, having warned about the pestilence when it was yet a mere boil on the neck of the kingdom, disagreed with Sir Newt.  “I have devoted my long life to eliminating this pestilence.  Verily I too am afflicted and enjoy the benefits spoken by Sir Newt.  Yet I shall fall upon my sword before abandoning my quest to do unto others.”

The King’s personal mendicant, Merlin, weighed in.  “Oh great King, yea, these many years have I served you.  Nothing have I spared in seeking out whatever affliction, real or imaginary, has afflicted you, those in the Royal Family and anyone else who has the coin of the realm.  I shall continue to do so.  You need not worry.  Trust me to do what is right, regardless of the cost.”

The Black King considered what had been said.  “Yea, I believe that we shall survive.  But I, being a compassionate king, fear for my subjects.  There is not money in the treasury to offer them any relief from the pestilence.  Pray tell, perhaps we should have the royal physicians go to the countryside and service our people.  You, my wise council and the other knights, barons and lords could each contribute a pittance from your great fortunes, earned on the backs of those living in servitude, to reward our noble physicians for this additional care.”

Sir Newt rose and spoke.  “Yea great King, have not we, your strongest and ablest, contributed mightily to the treasury?  Another farthing and we shall surely cease to participate in any further grand crusades which have heretofore brought us untold riches.  Surely, there must be another way.”

Merlin rose and beseeched the Black King “Thou have a wondrous nature, kind to a fault.  However, I fear that the ignorant people of the countryside shall reject my overtures.  They are so fixed in the use of their own potions, incantations, and witchcraft that they shall reject me and my medicines.  I fear they are too set in their ways.”

Sir Teddy exclaimed eloquently. “Oh my King.  Lo these years have I labored to conquer this pestilence.  The time is now.  I fear that my energy wanes.  Do not listen to the counsel of those who have only their own welfare in mind.  Be brave.  Thou shall not have an opportunity such as this again.  Strike while the iron is hot.

The Black King rose majestically.  “Yea, ye who have served me and my people lo these many years faithfully and with great zeal.  Thou speak with great clarity and forcefulness.  I have considered what you have spoken.  My kingdom is at a crossroads.  To continue the ways of old in relative comfort while others suffer under the great pestilence.  Or to rise up beyond our petty arguments and, knowing full well the possible consequences of our actions, attack the pestilence with all our might.  My time here is short.  Shall I risk to suffer the consequences by acting with vigor or shall I remain motionless, comfortable in my own White Castle?”

At that moment, a great light shone down from the dome of the assembly hall.  A gentle wind blew and a voice was heard as if from the heavens. “King, thy choice is clear.  Be brave and risk all.  For to do less, is not why you are here.”

And the King did.  And they all lived happily ever after…except for Sir Newt.


1 Response to “A Fairy Tale”

  1. 1 Willis Allen July 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Fred, your fairy tale needs support from the doctors, the politicians, and the tax payers who will pay the taxes to make this fairy tale come true.



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