Long ago, there was a story told of a kingdom about a king, his son and a slave.
The story has it that the king loved his son so much so that he never goes anywhere without him. He was trained in the ways of the monarchs, had the best royal upbringing possible. He was also loved by many and there were no doubts as to who the successor to the throne would be upon the demise of the king.
There was also a slave, a favourite of the king in who the king delights unlike any other slave. The king’s subjects often wondered at the much affection the kind had for him which was not found lavished on others. There were rumours that on certain occasions that the slave had misbehaved on scale punishable in the kingdom and the king had over looked it with just a slap on the wrist. It was also feared that crossing the slave may also lead to incurring the wrath of the king.
As is it is with all things that have a beginning, it was announced one early morning that the king has ascended to the great beyond. There was great mourning and wailing in the land because he was a good king and was loved by all within and outside the kingdom. The king had decreed long before his passing regarding the throne and his possessions. This was known only to the council of elders.
With the king’s passing, it was time the elders made it public. A council of elders meeting was then called the next market day. Surprisingly the slave was also served with an invite! The news of this development spread so fast like wildfire, so much so that the subjects were confused and divided just as their thoughts; some concluded that the king had made up his mind to divide the kingdom between his beloved son, the Prince and his much favoured and loved Slave. So much so that many were just waiting to hear the pronouncement and thus decided which side of the divide they will migrate to.
And the day came!
All seated, and the spokesman for the elders began.
Hear me all that are gathered this day that these are the pronouncements of the king as recorded.
- May the ancestors add sorrow and take away joy accordingly if the king’s decree has been tampered with in any way” he went on,
- “The king decreed as follows regarding the kingdom, we must continue to love one another, we must live at peace with our neighbours, we must remember that a wound inflicted on a brother is felt not in the bone but in the flesh”.
- “The king decreed that none of his pronouncement must be challenged, changed, amended or protested in any way imaginable”.
- “The king decreed as follows regarding his son, the royal Prince of the land, the heir apparent to the throne, that he shall be entitled to chose only ONE but any of the king’s worldly possession, and only this shall he wholeheartedly bequeath to him!”
The pandemonium that greeted this pronouncement was unprecedented regardless of the earlier pronouncement which forbade anyone to challenge these decrees. All except the elders who had prior knowledge were astonished, they wondered if the king had taken leave of his senses. Maybe an evil spirit had taken over him shortly before this decree was made some muttered under their breath! There was more pandemonium when the spokesman read the next line of the decree.
- “The king has also decreed regarding his favoured and loved Slave, that consequent upon the bequest to the Prince, that all other possessions shall henceforth belong to the Slave!”
It took much appeasement and cajoling to get those present to listen to the rest of the king’s decree. For in one camp there was sorrow, confusion and despair while in the other, there was joy, dancing and merriment, how right it was for it to be so! The last decree was according to the spokesman;
- “A new king cannot be crowned without the Prince’s decision and that he has till the next market day when the elders and all those present shall gather again to hear his decision.”
The gathering was brought to an end and all dispersed. The Slave in an ecstatic overdrive, the Prince in a dilemma, what was he to do? Why has the king shamed him this way? By the way, what is the King’s most valued possession, if he were to pick just one thing anyway? Some of the question playing on his mind as he walked away, shoulders sagging, and head bowed, eyes glazed, looking confused!
Story continues in part II . . . . . The King, He isn’t Barmy, or is he?