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Location:Texas, USA Naturalized US Citizen of Irish extract -   Fixed Wing and Helo trucker.Interests: "The Absurdity of Man". I am a proud supporter of Blarney, Nonsense, and Hooey. I enjoy being a chopper jockey, and trying to figure the world, people and belief systems out. I'm just not very good at it, so it keeps me real busy. I scribble, blog, run this website, mess with rental houses, ride motorbikes, and read as much as I can. I went solo 44 years ago, and I like to say I'm gonna get me a real job one day. When I grow up. ("but not just yet, Lord, not just yet") For my aviation scribbles see www.chopperstories.com.... enjoy! I wish you Peace in your Life. May you always walk with the sun on your face, and a breeze ruffling your hair. And may you cherish a quiet wonder for our awesome Universe. Life isn't always good. But it is always fascinating. Never quit.
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The King's Great Castle


The King's Great Castle

An allegory


     It was funny, being old.
Benito would spend his days, sitting on a low, stone wall. Just outside the gates of the King's Great Castle. He would watch, and think, and occasionally chat with those who passed by.  He would lean on his gnarled old walking stick, hunched over, and slowly take it all in. He liked remembering. He filled his days with it.

     Often he would ponder his early days as a shy and timid young servant, working in the King's kitchen, washing pots and pans. Life had consisted of the inside of pots and pans. That had been his whole field of view, along with the old kitchen sink. If he did a good job, and the inside of the pots and pans were cleaned to shining perfection, there was little approbation, but at least a lack of condemnation.  Life revolved around the inside of pots and pans. And wine goblets. If he did a good job, then he had a good day, and didn't get shouted at. He would go home to his awed parents, and every night they would ask him about his day. And every night, he would tell them about his very important day, cleaning the pots and pans. His parents, who were very simple folk, were amazed at how well their boy was doing in life.

     It had been many years before, at last,he had become a man servant. He would carry and fetch, open doors and windows, carry and fetch, serve and bow, and then carry and fetch. Instead of spending all day peering into pots and pans, and wine goblets,he spent his whole day now running from room to room in one of the outer wings of the King's Great Castle. His Master was, in truth, just a very low ranking court clerk, but to Benito, his master was one step removed from the King himself. The world revolved around pleasing his new master, and running around the various rooms. In between his duties, he would fuss over the tidiness of those rooms, and often he had to deal with lower ranking servants, such as the new kitchen boy. Benito had caught him several times, asleep in a chair, instead of working at the sink. Or Benito would find traces of previous food and drink left behind on plates and drinking goblets. It was really infuriating. Benito's life revolved around those rooms, and the cleanliness of everything inside. If he did a good job, then he had a good day, and didn't get shouted at. He would go home to his awed parents, and every night they would ask him about his day. And every night, he would tell them about his very important day, running around the rooms, and watching over the cleanliness of everything, especially the plates and the drinking goblets. His parents, who were very simple folk, were amazed at how well their boy was doing in life.

     After many years, Benito's master,  the very low ranking court clerk, passed away. To Benito, and his simple parents, the end of the world had come.  It was a disaster. What would happen now? But soon Benito had a new master, who was a bishop in the King's Great Court. Benito couldn't believe it. Such extraordinary good fortune. Now he had to run around many more rooms, all over the King's Great Castle, and he had a lot more responsibility. Benito's life revolved around those rooms, and the cleanliness of everything inside. If he did a good job, then he had a good day, and didn't get shouted at. He would go home to his awed parents, and every night they would ask him about his day. And every night, he would tell them about his very important day, running around the rooms, and watching over the cleanliness of everything, especially the plates and the drinking goblets. His parents, who were very simple folk, were amazed at how well their boy was doing in life.

     Many more years went by, and then the bishop suddenly died. To Benito, and his simple parents, the end of the world had come.  It was a disaster. What would happen now? But soon Benito had a new master. The King himself became Benito's master! Benito couldn't believe it. Such extraordinary good fortune. Now he had to run around many more rooms, all over the King's Great Castle, and all over the country, and he had a lot more responsibility. Benito's life revolved around the whole of the King's Great Castle, and all the lands in the Kingdom, and the cleanliness and good order of everything inside and outside. If he did a good job, then he had a good day, and didn't get shouted at. He would go home to his awed parents, and every night they would ask him about his day. And every night, he would tell them about his very important day, running around the King's Great castle, and all around the King's lands, and watching over the cleanliness and good order of everything, especially the plates and the drinking goblets. His parents, who were very simple folk, were amazed at how well their boy was doing in life.

     Now as part of Benito's duties, he would travel around the Great Country as the only passenger in the King's coach, surrounded by soldiers and horsemen, and report back to the King on all important events. That included the latest science and discoveries. A man called Galileo was causing quite a stir, by insisting that the earth was not at the center of the Universe. Benito had always thought that (after the kitchen sink, and the clerk's rooms) that surely the King's Great Castle lay at the center of the Universe. Dutifully, he visited Galileo, and got the opportunity to look through the telescope, and hear firsthand all about the new theories. Then he returned and reported everything to his master, the King, who became very angry.

"Benito! How can you be so stupid! The earth revolves around the sun? What nonsense is this! There are other worlds doing the same thing? Earth is not special? How absurd! Go back to Galileo this instant, and tell him forthwith to cease this dangerous nonsense! Warn him that he is committing heresy!"

Benito bowed his head obediently, and returned to Galileo in the King's coach. But after a few more days with the soft spoken scientist, Benito became even more convinced that Galileo was right. Benito became sad, because he knew the King would be furious. On the return journey, he told the driver to stop the King's coach on a high mountain pass. Benito got out, and after a short walk he could look down into the mist draped valley far below, and if he squinted hard, he could just make out the tiny ant hill that was actually the King's Great Castle. He looked up into the sky, enjoying the perfectly clear heavens above. He thought of all the planets orbiting the sun, the earth just one amongst many.  The light of dawn lit up all the mountain peaks, and long fingers of light probed across an infinite sky. And he wondered how long the earth had been going around the sun, for how many thousands of years, and thousands of life times of thousands of people.

++++++++++

Yes, it was funny, being old now.
Benito, long since retired from the King's Service,would spend his days, sitting on a low, stone wall. Just outside the gates of the King's Great Castle. He would watch, and think, and occasionally chat with those who passed by.  He would think about the King, who had died many years before, still furiously angry at Galileo. Benito would lean on his gnarled old walking stick, hunched over, and slowly take it all in. He liked remembering. He filled his days with it.

And he would look at all the passers by, the busy ones, the noisy ones, the quiet ones, and the thoughtful ones. The calculating ones, the greedy ones, and those who could never be trusted.  And he would wonder how many of them limited their minds only to the inside of the pots and pans. And how many had seen the small anthill, from the distant mountain pass, that was in fact the dead King's Great Castle. And how many had wondered about the stars, other worlds, and how trivial and unimportant the earth actually was. And Benito came to the conclusion, that few really, ever, bothered to simply look up.

It was a pity, he thought.
A Great Pity.

A slight movement on the ground caught his eye. He looked down, and saw a stream of worker ants slogging their way towards a Great Ant Mound, laboriously dragging the shriveled up corpse of a long dead worm. They hauled and they pulled, they heaved and they pushed. Their labors were mighty.
Benito slowly studied the Great Ant Mound. Then his gaze traveled to the old dead King's Great Castle. With all the servants, frantically worrying about the insides of pots and pans and wine goblets.

Then he smiled to himself.

It was funny, being old...




Francis Meyrick





Last edited by Francis Meyrick on July 28, 2012, 2:12 pm
We little humans, hurtling through the Universe on our tiny, pale blue dot, will find few answers to Life's great mysteries. But we should at least find many of the questions. To write is to ask. To seek. To grope. With humility, and humor. Peace.
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