THE WIZARD AND THE QUEEN

Once there was a small Magic Box that was guarded very carefully by a Wizard.  It was said, within the realms of his existence that, this Wizard possessed  really unusual things,  among which were the abilities to make some things larger and some things smaller.  He could even make things disappear into nothing at all.

At other times, it was rumored, he had been seen completely recombining  and transforming things into another form.  For this reason, he had been feared throughout the lands.  Sometimes, people shook when they saw him, for they all feared that they would be turned into a dog or cat or even worse there secrets would all come out.  The stories about the wizard grew and grew.

In fact, the Magic Box was kept, like a lady in waiting.  For the Wizard protected it in the invisible worlds where no harm could come to it waiting for the day–the day when the Wizard felt the time was right to use the magic box.

Because of this, the Wizard stayed by himself.  But sometimes, he could be seen going down some old and forgotten path covered in darkness and where no one would travel anymore.  Usually the doctor had traveled the road many times before, but when darkness loomed, when there was no hope and someone’s soul was about to  leave, the Wizard was often called for.

Where the doctors had left with no hope for their patient, the Wizard created a rainbow of light.  Often, as the Wizard walked out into the dark or early morning light poor people would offer their  treasures and the Wizard doubled or tripled its value and would not take anything in return, so that rumors of the miracles spread about him.   Everyone had their own idea about the Wizard.

Generation after generation, Queens and Kings called him to their castle when they were in trouble and faced with a strong enemy.  Stories of him went back for centuries.  It was spoken about in secret words that the priests, politicians and landowners were not allowed to hear.  Those who knew things well realized that, he must be an immortal You know someone who never dies since the stories of him seemed to go back as far as known time.

The Wizard’s beard was long and white with silver sparkles that drifted out.  When one looked at it a strange happiness possessed them so that they became mindless and childlike—letting go of all the worries of the day and realizing how silly the words rumbling through them really were, so that they became pure and innocent again. Usually,  the Wizard kept his beard tucked away and only took it out on significant occasions like when he faced a room full of grownups.

One day the queen called for him.  It seems that there was a plague spreading throughout the land Do you know what a plague is.  Who can tell us and the Queen had spent much time battling this plague but it was getting so bad that even the castle walls started crumbling, and the gargoyles frowned and murmured of it as she walked down the long hallways.  She feared for her land and called for her first meeting with the Wizard, who had actually been longing to see her for quite some time.

When the Queen met the Wizard, she had not known that this was the imaginary friend of her childhood or that once, sitting on her father’s knee, she had been introduced to him nor did she think that on some nights, when a voice twinkled in her ear like stardust, it had been the doings of the Wizard.  All she knew was that her father had told her before he died that, if ever things were such that she had tried everything she could and did not know what to do to send some of her trusted men to the small house at the entrance to the forest, tell the person there, and they would see that the Wizard would come to her.  Really all she had to do was think of the Wizard and he would have come.

When the Wizard met the Queen, who was about to prepare for what she thought to be a great battle against those who had become strange  from the sickness, she was completely tired , even the air about her seemed thick, dense and difficult to breathe in.  She felt, as if, some slow poison were in her—something she could not see or taste, but she could feel it and almost smell it and the animals around her seemed to be sniffing the air more than usual.

As the Wizard entered the room, it was filled with the most gifted healers of her land that talked away quoting this description or the other of the sickness that was falling upon them.  Each was purporting their own variation of the what the sickness was doing to the people of the Queen’s land. They talked on weak and tired—some were already dropping to the floor and none would leave the Queen alone, so that she did not have, even a moment’s peace.  Even during her sleep, they watched her with chants and wishing that she not fall sick, but, in essence, making her more tired and worried.

The Wizard seeing this pulled out his beard, danced around the room looking into all the people’s faces and suddenly a silence like golden honey grew and people relaxed.  It was as if….well, the color certainly returned to the room and this brownish nasty look in the air was gone.  The Queen could breath again.  At this, the queen was overjoyed.

The Wizard asked to share a few moments alone with the Queen.  All the wise people left to another room, where some of them continued to talk, once they were out of earshot of the Wizard that, it was actually their medicine which lifted the cloud—some of them that the Wizard knew were the bringers of the sickness themselves, but he said nothing.

The Wizard, thankful for this time alone with the Queen brought out the Magic Box we talked about at the beginning of the story remember?  He seemed to pull it right out of the air.  The magic box was covered with jewels that sparkled and  the queen had never seen anything like it.  This box was really one of a kind., for it seemed, as if, a ray of light would beam out from each jewel on the cover.  “This will drive the sickness from the land, when I am gone,” said the Wizard.  The Wizard taught  the queen how she could know the people around her by which jewel’s ray of light the person liked the most.  But, he said, there is one stone on this box, and if that stone shines on someone in your presence, you know they are not telling you the truth.

The queen hearing this deeply thanked the Wizard, but told him that she had no time to rest any longer, since her work had really been delayed.  The Wizard hearing this called all the wise men back into the room.  As by now they were talking away again, he pulled out his long sparkling beard one more time and silence returned, “This is your Queen.  Beware, she now has the power to see the truth in your hearts. She is about to leave on a noble journey and you must serve her well.  Each of you has your own special gift and talents, which is indispensable to the Queen.  Hear me well.”  And with that, he opened the box, at which point a beautiful light filled the room that, now glowed like a rainbow cloud floating and shining and going into every corner and crack of the room and throughout the land.  When it was gone, so was the Wizard, but the Magic Box remained hidden in a secret place, guarded by a prayer that kept it unseen to anyone, but the Queen, as she went off on her mission bringing peace to all the lands she came to.

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