22 June 2005


Some nights the king thought he heard crying - a child crying.

"Strange," he thought, "that there should be a child crying. There are no children in my castle."

When he would wake in the morning, the demands of the day served to distract him, and he would seldom think of the sounds that he had heard in the night.

One evening, in the silence of the well-run castle, the king thought he heard the crying. He put an ear toward the sound and listened. Echoing, he heard the cry. He put down his evening business, and padded off through the dim hallways to locate the sound.

You must understand that a castle is a tremendous thing. Even its king is not familiar with all of its turns and tunnels. Half finished constructions from generations of Kings have turned nearly every castle into a maze.

The king followed the cry until he feared to lose himself entirely in the unexplored depths. By now the cry was distinct - clearly the cry of a young child.

The king begin to see dancing shadows cast by candlelight, and he quickened his pace. He turned the corner and saw a hallway with a door of iron bars at its end. The flame of the candle shown between the bars.

The king nearly ran the length of the hallway and put his hands on the bars. Sitting in the cell was a child of not more than six. The king spoke reasurring words to the child until he stopped crying, and looked up at him with piercing, honest eyes.

The king listened, and the child spoke.

"I myself was king once - the child king. My rule was cut short, you could say overthrown. My family may even have turned against me, for reasons I don't understand. I was supressed, thrown in this dungeon."

"How long have you been here?"

"Nearly as long as you've been alive."

"But how can that be? You're just a child!"

The child looked at the king, silent tears beginning to form. The king looked into the child's eyes, somehow deeply familiar.

Finally, the king began to understand.


Kalman Rushdie said...


MC Aryeh said...

Where is this from?

'laizer said...

It's from an experience that I had once...