The Parable of the King Who was Considering a Holiday on Tenerife

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Life, Tenerife, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It had been a difficult year for the King and he desperately needed a holiday. However, he wasn’t a spontaneous man and preferred to know exactly what he would discover when he travelled away from the comfort of his kingdom.

He summoned three of his favourite subjects.

“I’ve heard tales of a paradise far, far away where the sun always welcomes you with a kiss, a mountain breathes fire and there’s a tree as old as civilisation itself,”
the King told them, adding. “But you know how these explorers exaggerate such things. I want you to travel to this place and report back what it’s really like.”

The three, elated to do the King’s bidding, immediately set sail on a voyage to this mythical paradise. After 20 days and 20 nights of journeying they alighted on the shores of the island to be met by a welcoming party of three.

The first, a woman of heartbreaking beauty and with dark pools as eyes, danced around the first subject; the rings on her fingers sparkling and tinkling as she swayed.

“Come with me,” she purred huskily. “I will take you to a palace where you can eat and drink till your belly is full and your appetite sated. Trust me you will be treated like a prince.”

The first subject, needing no further persuasion, took her hand and was led away.

A devilishly handsome man with a smile as bright as the midday sun approached the second subject.

“I too will take you to a palace where you will be treated like a prince, but I shall also take you on a voyage of discovery to show you our wonderful island,” he smiled and held his arms out wide, before lowering his voice. “But beware; this can be a dangerous place. Do not talk to any locals, or go anywhere with them or you will be stripped and robbed and left to die…and we cannot help you if that happens. Stick with me and only with me.”

The second subject, frightened at the thought of what might happen if he didn’t, nodded his head, agreeing to the handsome man’s proposition.

The final person, a man wrapped in an unassuming cloth and smoking a long pipe remained quiet. The third subject approached him.

“So what will you offer?”
He asked. “Glittering palaces and sumptuous banquets?”

The man with the pipe merely smiled and replied:

“All I am offering is this advice. Strike out on your own and you will find more treasures than you could ever possibly imagine.”

And with that he turned his back and walked away.

Two weeks later the King received his travelling subjects to hear their verdict on their experiences. He called upon the first.

“Hmmm,” the King stroked his beard. “You look quite a bit more portly than when you left. Tell me what you discovered.”

The subject shuffled his feet.

“I was treated like a prince your majesty,” he mumbled. “I ate and drank more than my weight in fine food and fast flowing wine.”

“Yes, yes, yes…that’s all very well,”
the King leaned closer to the subject. “But what of the place itself?”

“Actually…” the first subject’s face reddened. “I never left the palace. They said there was nowhere to go.”

“Fool,” the King boomed. “Ask subject number two to join us.”

The King put the same question to him.

“I also was fed like a prince, but I travelled beyond my palace,” the subject smiled, pleased with himself. “I saw a mountain that breathed fire and a tree as old as civilisation itself.”

“But I knew of these things before you left,” the King shouted. “Where else did you go?”

“Err…” the subject lowered his head and his voice. “Nowhere your majesty, I was told there wasn’t anywhere else to go.”

“Send in subject number three,” commanded the King.

The second subject looked up at his King with fear in his eyes.

“I can’t your majesty…he never returned with us,”
the second subject held out a piece of paper. “He asked us to give you this.”

The king read it aloud.

“I have journeyed through ancient, mysterious dappled forests to places where the views were so wondrous they caused me to weep; I caught fish the size of whales from azure seas and stumbled across hidden villages where people who laugh and sing endlessly fed me choice cuts of meat and plied me with wine that tastes of the summer vine and yet they refused my coins…I have walked in the garden of Hespérides and it has enchanted me. My heart would be in danger of stopping if I ever left these shores.”

The King let the letter fall to his side.

“Did either of you two experience any of this?”
the King enquired.

“No your majesty,” both cried at the same time. “We saw nothing of this; it is surely a fiction.”

“Hmm…” the King thought for a moment then held the letter aloft. “You two tell similar tales. I believe you. The sun clearly fried this one’s brains.”

The King waved the subjects away and turned his mind to thinking of somewhere else to take his holiday.

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Comments
  1. islandmomma says:

    Love it!!!

  2. […] he wasn’t a spontaneous man and preferred to know exactly what he would discover … Originally posted here: The Parable of the King Who was Considering a Holiday on Tenerife […]

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