All the King’s men

An unlearned king is nothing but a crowned ass.  Henry I

Once upon a time… a baby was born into a wealthy family. Well-wishers from all over the world were summoned to offer gifts and blessings.

Numerous people (some on camels) came to rhapsodize and pay homage to the newborn sleeping in the golden manger. Two good fairies (friends of the family) also came and each blessed the child with a single valuable gift.

But a third hunchbacked fairy who lived in a hut in the nearby forest was not invited and took offense of the slight. Stirring a mysterious cauldron, she then said: this child will be successful… but…

if he ever breaks his covenant with the people who anointed him, if he lies more than 1000 times in his lifetime, his fall will be swift and calamitous”.

 The baby grew up, and propped up by family and business acquaintances he became wealthy and… arrogant. Surrounded by sycophants, he could do no wrong… and even when he did, the faux-pas would be quickly swept under the rug and forgotten.

Even though pathetically misinformed, the man became opinionated and narcissistic. Just like a third-rate potentate, he demanded that his name and picture be posted in prominent places.

He became so imbued with himself that he slowly began to think that he should be king of his country. A king he heard, was a man who could do or say anything without fear of being contradicted, and he found the idea very appealing.

He practiced playing king with his immediate entourage and he was pleased with the results. All his youthful blunders and flagrant shortcoming were whited out from the books and the public at large was treated to the grandiose accomplishments of the would-be king.

And to universal surprise, he was anointed by some to rule over the others… Many people were shocked, but not the hunchbacked fairy. She had kept a thorough tally of all the King’s fabulations, and the needle on her pressure valve was slowly inching toward the red zone.

The king did not seem to be aware of it… but his barons started to fret.

The ticker tape machine keeping a tab of all the king’s fabulations is inching towards a critical zone,  and the hunchbacked fairy is snickering under her breath.

The royal vessel is running an erratic course and seems to be bound for the jagged reefs already heard in the distance… and there are very few lifeboats… Save Our Souls!

Alain

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