Hay For The Royal Horses

The villagers stood around screaming,

“The village is burning”

and there they were,

standing around looking at the fire

doing nothing but screaming.

“Put this fire out now!!!”

they demanded of the King

who, far off in the distance

was drinking mead

and enjoying the start of this annual tradition.

 

A traveler stopped and listened to the people’s cries.

The traveler inquired,

“Who grew the hay that the king’s men now use to fuel the fire?”

“We did” the villagers replied.

“So, the king’s men stole it from your fields?” asked the traveler.

“No” replied the villagers,

“We delivered it to the castle for the royal horses”.

“Oh………..” Said the traveler.

“Will you deliver hay for the royal horses next year”? The traveler asked.

“Certainly, and the year after as well.” replied the villagers,

“if not, what will the royal horses eat?”

“The hay, perhaps, that grows around the castle” said the traveler,

“and in the many fields beyond the mountains” they added.

“You are a lunatic!” said the villagers, “for it is our duty, OUR DUTY

to provide hay for the royal horses

for they must remain strong and healthy

should we need them to invade a far off land

in defense of the kingdom” they added.

 

After the very last bale of hay was tossed on the inferno

the traveler turned, shaking their head.

As they continued their journey

they could feel the heat at their back for miles and miles.

 

“What a very strange place,”

the traveler thought as they awoke the next morning.

“That must have been a dream.

What a wildly unrealistic dream” they thought.

 

A week later, the traveler was returning home along the same path.

“Incredible” the traveler thought “absolutely incredible.”

There in front of the traveler were the charred remains of the entire village.

The villagers were beginning to mill lumber to start the rebuilding process.

 

As the traveler passed by the castle,

there in front of them were the royal horses

grazing away

fat and happy.

Behind the horses, up in the castle

the traveler could see a fat man

taking a sip from a large mug of mead.

The king’s mother and father had enjoyed the fires alone

but what this new king enjoyed far more than the fire

were the days, weeks, and months that followed

watching the villagers balance their time between rebuilding their houses

and tending their fields,

well, it was that balancing act

that the king enjoyed the most.

 

 

 

About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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