Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bedtime story

Once upon a time, in the far-off land of Dunkrugerstan, lived a very wise, rich man. His title was Grand Frommaj, and he ruled over the happy and content Dunkrugertani people with wisdom, kindness, and generosity. 

Unfortunately, the Grand Frommaj had a problem, which was this. Hardly anyone from other realms had even heard of Dunkrugerstan, and even some who had would struggle to find it on a map of the world. The Grand Frommaj summoned his Council of Ministers, who agreed that the best way to improve the status of Dunkrugerstan would be to host major international sporting tournaments. Knights and acrobats, gladiators and horsemen would travel from far and wide, and their entourages would follow. Dunkrugerstan would soon become famous throughout the world.

And so it came to pass. New arenas and hippodromes were constructed, and many people came. It quickly became apparent to the Grand Frommaj that he would need more inns, more and better markets, and larger and grander arenas. Streets would have to be widened and straightened because of the ever-increasing throngs of visitors from foreign lands.

The Council of Ministers quickly realised that they needed expertise that was not readily available within the Dunkrugerstani people. They sent messengers abroad, inviting wise men to come and be Trusted Advisors to the Grand Frommaj. Many answered the call, and they brought their families. And so successful was this venture that even more Trusted Advisors had to be invited to come and help the Dunkrugerstanis to build more inns, houses, markets, and streets for all these trusted Advisors.

It was regrettable that the Grand Frommaj, although wise and kind and generous, often disagreed with his Trusted Advisors. He would fly into a rage when a Trusted Advisor produced unpalatable advice, and the Grand Frommaj would order that this Advisor be banished. The Council of Ministers also had differences of opinion with each other, and although they always agreed with the decrees of the Grand Frommaj, the Ministers often worked against one another.

The Minister of Paper Clips would veto edicts issued by the Minister of Rubber Stamps, for example. And the Minister for Streets was often in opposition to the Minister for Houses.

And thus were created conditions where Trusted Advisors were constantly given different instructions, and told that the work they had done was no longer acceptable. Sometimes, a Trusted Advisor was told to produce the exact opposite of what the Grand Frommaj wished, resulting in one of those famous rages and the Advisor’s immediate exile.

Of course, with the constant changes, inns and streets, houses and arenas were delayed. Some were never built at all. So when the knights arrived for the most famous Grand Tournament in the whole world, nothing was finished. Arenas lay incomplete, and there were insufficient inns for all the visitors who had come to witness the Grand Tournament spectacle.

The Grand Frommaj was aghast. What would everyone think? So much wisdom; so much wealth, and yet nothing had been completed. The Grand Frommaj raged. He called his Council of Ministers and demanded to know how this could have happened. The Ministers spoke to one another, and concluded that the Trusted Advisors were entirely to blame, and they should all be exiled.

And so it was. Dunkrugerstan soon lay an empty wilderness, with half-constructed inns and markets, and deserted arenas.

And the Trusted Advisors? They all travelled away, and were never seen again.


1 comment:

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