The Emperor’s new clothes - revisited

In a land far, far away, at a time lost long ago, there was this little kingdom... small it was but quite prosperous.

The people always smiled and helped each other - no one was left to suffer, not even if they were poor... it was a good time, a time of respect and appreciation; Life was rich and everyone was happy.

So it came to pass that the old King breathed his last - alas, without heir... and left the land in a pickle.

“What are we to do now...Who shall guide us... Who is the best person to lead us... Who shall we bow to...?”

Oh, so many questions, so few answers...

They tried holding a competition, but none wanted the responsibility... they tried simply appointing someone, but they all just refused... You see, they were a nice people, and just a little too humble for leadership.

“Well, we all know our place, we do... Not up to us to ‘lord it over everyone else’...We ain’t no royalty, now are we... wouldn’t know which fork to use for soup...eh...”

[that brought quite a few laughs, it did, but still did not solve the problem...]

What to do, what to do...?

After many a month they looked at the bankers and merchants, and asked them for advice - after all, these were the very backbone of the land, astute in the ways of money and riches... surely they would have the answer ... but sadly, they did not.

“It isn’t up to us, y’know... we’re just like y’all... simple folks, just like the rest...”

And then it was all so clear - they needed an outsider... one who did not grow up ‘just like everyone else’... one who could be strong, and lead without concern and restriction... who could cast all aside in his passion for his rule !

And so the town-criers rode out, to the four corners of the land and beyond, loudly declaring -

“Who shall be our new King... Who shall lead us... Come forth and present yourself so that our people can once again be safe in their prosperity...”

Now many young princes set forth to reach this promised land, and some even traveled together, in bon-ami as they say... but only to be stopped by a dark cowled figure

“Stay back, all you young men.. Stay back, if you favor your health. There is a plague in the kingdom, and fear runs rampant... No-one is safe, the land is cursed...

Stay back if you value your life... They tried to lure you with fake tales of needing a king... it is no place for kings or kingdoms... the Dark Times have arrived !!

Begone, if you still want to live... begone...”

When they heard such vile news the young princes turned around as one, cursing such contemptible ruse and the people who would lure them... “The next crier I hear, I shall behead him for his foul lies !” said the prettiest prince as he pranced away on his bejeweled horse, leading the others away... without noticing the not so dark figure, laughing as he turned his horse towards the kingdom.

And so it came to pass that only one man showed up to claim the crown, and he swore to all who met him, that he was a ‘righteous man’, well suited to leading such - ehm - ‘pliant populace’ to even greater riches...

So now there he sits, on his golden throne, his coffers bursting at the seams as more taxes are imposed, and old nay-sayers are deposed... after all, the land must be united... even if these changes are not for all...

There he sits counting all his gold as he shouts for more wine, more revelry, more carousing...and his lackeys gorge themselves on all that once was rich for everyone...

...

No one to oppose him, he thought himself safe... but look - there on the far horizon - is that an angel or a demon, who carries with him a spotted sword...

Is that the prophecy of plague the false king decreed... is that retribution for all - or just a chosen few... I wonder...

[Whatever is loudly declared, so it shall be... until it reaches its inevitable consummation]

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