The Paper King

Once upon a time there was a king. But he was only a paper king. On one side of him there was his face, and on the other a blank card face. This made the king sad. Everyone around him only showed one side of themselves, always hiding the other side. There must be a better way, thought the king.

Going around the lake, the king came upon the land of the transparent people. He could barely see them and could see right through them. Only their smiles were barely visible. The king was saddened. He could see both sides of them but there was nothing there.

The king went to the lord of the transparent people, who told him of a great mountain range that might lead him to a different land. The king traveled for some time before he reached the mountains. They were too steep for his horse so he abandoned the horse to graze on paper grass, and climbed.

Climbing on and on, the king finally reached the edge of the paper. He stood on the top of the paper mountain and gazed all around at everything. He realized how small his world truly was. Then he fell. But because he was only paper, he floated gently to the ground near his horse.

Riding back to his lands, the king passed through many places. Everywhere they thought him both wise and mad, for you could see both sides of his face. Somehow on the top of the mountain he had bent in an impossible way and become whole.

The king returned to his kingdom, and resumed his throne. He gave great counsel to those that came from far and wide. Many wanted the king’s wisdom. But few ventured out to look for the mountains, and fewer still returned. Those that did the king welcomed, as he did anyone who came into his presence. For the rest of his long life the king remembered the top of the mountain, and taught as many as would hear him speak of it.


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