Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Island King

Dug this out of the drafts today. This is an old entry from like, November, inspired by the story I told a friend when he laid down on the couch before rehearsal and said, "Tell me a story!" Also inspired by my mother, who has made up short, enchanting stories like this one since my childhood, and continues to do so to this day, occasionally posting them on her blog

Once upon a time, there was a young boy. He lived all alone on a desert island. One day, as he was walking along the perimeter of his home, he thought to himself, "If I am the only one here, I must be the ruler." He stopped and said out loud, "Why, I'm the king of this island!"

And no sooner had the words left his lips than an enormous crowd of people appeared. They came out of the jungle, they stepped up from behind him in the sand, they crawled out of the ocean. One among them stepped forward, bowed before the boy, and said, "We have been waiting the arrival of a king."

The boy was surprised, but took this all in stride. Just to be polite, he bowed in return.

"Thank you," he said.

The man who had spoken looked up at the boy. "We have been waiting for a ruler who can slay the creature who has us at our mercy." They explained that their island floated on the back of a giant sea monster, who would occasionally eat a wandering islander, but they couldn't figure out how to destroy it without also destroying themselves.

Well, the young king had never been asked to do something like this before, so he was a little unsure how to proceed. He gathered all the island's scientists to form a plan. (They were just sort of "freelance scientists," as the island didn't have any universities.)

Finally, they came up with an idea. It was a little risky, but it involved killing the monster and then attempting to re-inflate it using primitive bellows. They all gathered the necessary supplies and on a certain day, they gathered to enact their plan. They were just about to thrust their spears into the creature's side when suddenly they heard its voice rise up from the sea!

"Oh, do not slay me! I only wish to be loved! I do not mean to eat your people. I mistake them for seals and other sea creatures! I'm sorry for the sorrow I've caused you."

The islanders and the king stood back in amazement. Finally, the boy king spoke. "Creature, if we wear bright colors when we swim, so that you do not mistake us for seals, can we live in harmony?"

"Yes! Yes!" the sea creature cried.

So the islanders all agreed to wear bright colors whenever they swam, and the sea creature lived in harmony with them, letting them float on his back, and joining his voice with their island festivities. And they all gathered their weapons of war, and build a mighty monument out of them, and there it remained on the beach for the rest of time, as a reminder of the day that the young king brought peace to the the island.

1 comment:

Mary K. Mennenga said...

A very nice story, thank you.