The King & Queen
Priceless was the daughter of King Universe and Queen Infinity, this couple was by far the most successful and loving Royal family of all times. The people living in their Kingdom felt secure with them watching over. In fact, during their ruling no wars or disasters had ever been accounted for.
Only one problem had occurred, of what the elders remember, at the very beginning of their story… When King Universe married Queen Infinity, the King renamed the land after the Queen, to honor her, in a gesture of respect and devotion, however some argued the land’s name had to remain “Universe” instead, like King Father had baptized it long before and after which he was named, at birth.
King and Queen never argued about it, to them it felt the same, but so to restore the peace amongst the citizens of the Kingdom, they finally settled for: “Infinite Universe” as the new name of their land. This was a brilliant idea, it was welcomed with cheers of great excitement by all inhabitants, but most of all, best effect this choice brought was that people stopped arguing about their land’s name and begun focusing on more important matters, like the cultivation and production of beautiful plants, the eco-friendly construction of housing working endlessly on the possibilities for combination of man to the surrounding nature without the need for spoiling the latter… The inhabitants’ job was to put ideas on the table and bring them to life, there were no taxes to pay, no fees, all wealth was regarded as everybody’s, to use and to share.
Infinite Universe was a sort ofParadiseon Earth for all its inhabitants; tell me who wouldn’t want to live in one such Kingdom?
Always more people were coming over, literally begging for a little piece of this “delicious living” pie, and both King and Queen never denied requests of citizenship, providing all new comers swore loyalty and respect to the sharing mentality and the peaceful togetherness of this community!
The Princess’ birth was a big event in the Kingdom, when she was delivered all citizens were invited in the palace to celebrate, everyone was introduced to the little smiling baby, all queuing up as to hold her in their arms for a minute and speak a blessing.
This land, Infinite Universe, was a happy place, the land of Grace, contempt and joy… till the inevitable day came, 15 years after the Princess’ birth, when Queen Infinity and King Universe, too old to rule their land, delivered their duties to their only daughter: Priceless!
People begun worrying and panicking: “What is it going to be of our future? The Princess is too young, what does she know of ruling a whole country? How could she ever manage to protect us from invaders? To guide us?”
King and Queen tried to calm the turmoil and confusion gathering all the inhabitants in theForestto speak of their worries and in the meantime walk through the most beautiful sights in their land. To observe, admire and relax.
“Listen to me – said the King – as you well know, both me and the Queen are near the end of our lives, we aren’t frightened by death, we will soon unite with Earth, our land will hold our bodies, and we will become the soil You will cultivate, like our ancestors became the soil We cultivate. The Princess is the one who will follow us, in this great path… a road that through the years, the centuries, has travelled us to all the dark shades of Man and now finally into the light ones, from Wars and Conquests, from Greed and Envy to the present state of being… You, my dear followers, are the living proof that a World without boundaries, bound by care, can exist! It wasn’t easy to reach this point, it still isn’t easy to go further ahead, but Princess Priceless can guide you in this quest. We could take you so far, she will take you beyond that… believe me…” – he stopped for a minute to give a quick glance to the pale, scared faces ahead of him, when the Queen spoke: “Some of you might think the Princess is too young to take on such a responsibility, but I tell you it’s exactly what her age can teach you, her pure soul, that you need, so to carry on this path… For this reason, you must treat her as your own child; after all, we did raise her together, didn’t we?
She is the heritage we leave you with, please take good care of her and let her take care of your souls too! We never lied to you, so have faith in what we predict for the future, your future!”
The Story of a Pebble
The voices and disputes raised high into the forest, trees heard these noises, water did too and water decided to lead a pebble into the playground Princess Priceless was in, enjoying a hide and seek game with a squirrel. With the corner of her eye she saw the pebble coming close, pushed by the river, then rolling down the side of a trunk under which she was hiding, and falling right into the joined palms of her hands, ready to receive it… so to ask: “Are you here to tell me a story?”
And the pebble: “I am just a little stone, my Princess, how could I find a story to tell?”
And the Princess: “Everyone has a story to tell, also does a stone!”
And the little stone said: “The pond led me here, through the river, to inform you that during the gathering people whispered and moaned, because King and Queen are leaving the kingdom in your hands, my Princess, and you ought to know so…”
The Princess smiled, and asked the pebble: “Do you think this is too big a responsibility for me?”
The pebble replied: “Maybe I do have a story for you after all… One day, the river sent me to deliver a message to a boy, just like it sent me to you today, the message was for the boy to reach home by noon for a big surprise was waiting, the boy had lost track of his footsteps into the forest, but holding on to the great desire of getting back home, he managed to find his way back. He run in circles in the Forest, many times, yet again never lost his faith, and this helped him be back just in time for the surprise visit of his grandparents! As for your second question, my Princess, you must know pebbles don’t think, but we do feel, and I feel you are going to do just fine! Now, with all respect, could you please give me back to the water?”
The Princess wished a safe journey to this friendly pebble and then rushed to the place were her parents and the inhabitants had gathered, she arrived right on time for the question a man spoke: “My dear Queen, if we are to become guardians of the Princess, what is the point in letting her make decisions for our lives? If we are good enough to care for her, why should we need anyone to care for us? Why do we need a Queen, a King… a Princess?” the man hadn’t noticed the presence of the Princess, standing right next to him.
Everyone quieted, embarrassed, King and Queen welcomed their daughter into the gathering… “Mother, Father, can I answer this question?” she said, turning towards the people: “It is true that you are asked to guard me, just as I am asked to guard you. It can be done, you see, it is easy, we can look after each other, not needing for a constant provider of help at every need of ours, but running towards one the other, for help… we could all become both care givers and takers!”
Whispers began echoing in theForestagain, never before had it occurred to the people they could actually do not need a leader, that they could simply live together in peace and harmony, by offering protection and kindness to each other… They owed all they had learnt along the years to their King and Queen, knowing no life without their presence and now were frightened of the responsibility that would fall on their shoulders. Frightened, like a child becomes, when his parents leave him alone to find his way back home, and feels abandoned, lost, insecure, forgetting to feel free, to enjoy the experience he is been given.
Surprised and puzzled one asked: “Would this make of us all, Kings and Queens?”
“Why?” – The Princess replied – “Hadn’t it ever occurred to you, that so you already are?” And then she smiled a shiny sweet smile of hers, one of those that around here brighten up the sky, at night, giving start to a dance, amazement and warmth in the inhabitant’s hearts. The gathering ended in a walk back to the palace…
Three days later King and Queen became part of Infinite Universe, this was a sad day, everyone cried, Princess Priceless kept quiet and distant, her glance nostalgic, almost numb, many told her not to worry, that all would be fine, she agreed and shook her head, without pronouncing a single word. They all shared their meal quietly… slowly retreating in their shelters to find comfort in dreams, all of them slept long that night.
On the next morning Princess Priceless gathered everyone in the forest again, to walk the path her parents had last walked together, days back. They all sat under the trees and the Princess spoke to them: “Today I want to tell you a story, I dreamt it last night, probably my biggest fear, but I believe that if I share it with you, I will have nothing more to fear about, and neither will you!
I saw people all eager to become Kings and Queens, at first happy to be living together, caring for each other, combining their ideas and skills into a uniform voice that comprised them all inside.
One day an epidemic came through the air and all over sudden these people begun comparing in between each other, a man found the other too soft and weak, another found his friend too loud and fat, a woman saw her mother in old clothes and pitied her, another smelled badly and all would keep her far, demanding she was sent away, for her smell disturbed.
Gradually they all begun finding themselves better then one the other, preferring their own selves above anyone else, each one believing to be a better King or Queen, much more deserving than his fellow friends, the fight begun, inevitably, they all wanted to rule the land, and they killed each other over a throne made of silk, to sit on.
I watched them kill each other, slaughter with knives every bit of humanity left in their hearts. For as much as I screamed and shouted, for them to stop, no one could hear me. At the end of this war there was just me left, all alone in the forest.
A pebble came to advice me to run away, so to save myself, because the land, now holding the killer’s blood, also wanted my blood, as to declare itself the only Ruler of itself.”
The Princess stopped to catch her breath… then continued:
“My fellow Kings and Queens, there is plenty of space for all of us in this Infinite Universe.
Infinity is our soil now, and so being we transform in particles of Infinity!
Universe is our soil now, and that turns us into integral parts of the Universe!
But make no mistake; they were parts of us before, like I am part of you now and You, parts of me!
We are all Priceless, we are all Universe, we are all Infinite.
As such, we all have space in this land.
I beg you to protect yourselves from the disease!
Our differences exist and they are here for a reason, so to make us unique!
We have the ability to compare amongst each other for the purpose of learning from one the other, to grow together.
Don’t forget the skills Infinity and Universe taught you, for combining yourselves to Nature, use them, for finding ways to combine peacefully to your fellow men and not to skillfully kill them instead!”
Her eyes were filled with tears as she spoke; everyone was moved by her Priceless words.
One by one they all rose
Hiding the faces of shame,
Behind veils and tresses of hair.
Reached their belts to disclose their knives,
One by one dropped those into a pile,
Looked at her in the eyes,
Shook her hand and returned to seat,
In the silent consent of her spiritual lead.
A tall tree witnessed the event and said: “From above, up here were my eyes belong, I see circles of people around us embraced, they look like the concentric reverbs of water that form when a pebble is thrown.”
In the middle of this scene, Priceless and the little stone stud enjoying the warm breeze, “I told you, you would do just fine, my Princess!” the pebble said ready to flow away with the river. “Thanks to your help – the Princess stopped the stone so to say – I did do well indeed… but before leaving for one of your other journeys, my friend, you haven’t told me your name yet!”
“Humanity is my name – said the pebble – but my friends call me Heart!”