Once upon a time, there was a Kingdom, somewhere, I’m not very clear about the specifics of the location, but then that wasn’t the important bit anyway.
Let’s call this Kingdom, the Kingdom of good fortune and fruits. All kinds of beings lived happily here, if social media was anything to go by. But when you have everything, you end up getting bored. And that’s what started happening in this Kingdom too. People were bored and all the good fortune started dwindling because no one wanted to work, or play. The boredom started turning into hatred which started to lead to violence. And this is how we found our King, in his current predicament.
The King, like all leaders, didn’t have much to say for himself except for the fact that he had a very supportive family and an extremely wise cabinet of advisors, who basically ran the Kingdom for him.
“What do we do?”, asked the King wearily. He himself was bored and now worried. It was a deadly combination that usually led to self doom.
One of the ministers spoke up, “I think we need something to engage the Kingdom in. Some kind of a challenge with a reward at the end of it.”
The King’s eyes shone with admiration and he clapped his hands in delight and said, “Yes!! We shall have a challenge then!!”
The next day, the King made an appearance in his Castle’s balcony and addressed a live audience. But before that the audience who had paid handsomely to attend the King’s Concert were also entertained by some of their famous artists. All of this was also being streamed Live on all social media platforms.
The King announced, with all the swag he could muster, “My dear bored fellows! The time for boredom has ended! I announce that whoever from you can bring me the elusive Golden Apple, will be blessed with eternal happiness and will never be cursed with boredom again!!”
The crowd went mad and immediately, the hunt for the Golden Apple began. Never had the Kingdom been so busy! People were traveling far and beyond. Some were digging into the soil looking for this treasure. Some scaled mountains. Some tried to use magic, while some resorted to scientific experiments. Many leaders sprung with false promises of leading people to the Golden Apple. Many businesses sprung up to help the seekers find the Golden Apple. An entire industry featuring the winner of the Golden Apple merchandise originated and thrived. Years passed but without any luck.
One day, many years later, a little girl was walking alone the forest, which was less of a real forest and more of an artificial forest. But nevertheless, one of the few special places this little girl enjoyed since her parents were extremely busy looking for the Golden Apple. Her favorite spot in this forest was that of the Pear Tree.
Someone had planted a bunch of Pear Trees sometime ago. No one knew who had planted them and for what purpose. And no one touched any of the low hanging green pears from these trees. Most of the time they ripened, fell to the ground and were eaten by birds and bugs. The Kingdom folks didn’t have time to stop and try out a green pear, for goodness’s sake! Everyone wanted only one thing – The Golden Apple.
So, this little girl, walked up to the Pear tree. She plucked one of the low hanging fruits. A light green one. Lightly spotted with brown dots. They always made her smile, those brown dots. Because this little girl had similar brown dots on her nose and cheeks. She took a bite of the fruit and revelled in the juicy, sweetness of that bite. She savoured the bite and then took another, followed by another, until the fruit was gone.
Once when she had brought her parents to the Pear tree, to share with them the same joy and delight she would feel while eating the fruit, her mom had remarked, “oh honey, you’re adorable. Why don’t you go ahead and enjoy the pears. Mummy and Daddy can’t stop their quest for the Golden Apple. Can you even imagine how lucky we will be if we find the Golden Apple? A lifetime of happiness! A lifetime without boredom!!”
The little girl had thought her mom looked tired and her dad looked angry. She really wanted them to find the Golden Apple. Maybe that would make them happy. Because she couldn’t make them happy. She didn’t understand what boredom was. She had so much to explore and enjoy that it had never occurred to her that people could have been bored once.
And so the Kingdom went on. Most of the inhabitants looking and searching for the elusive Golden Apple. And a few sitting beneath the Pear Tree, munching on the sweet, juicy fruits, watching the world go by, and smiling.
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Copyright: This story was first published on 18th Nov 2021, on Starryeyedenigma’s blog.