Once Upon a Night….

From Doug Fitler — long, convoluted, it belongs here.

Many years ago, a traveler came to the ancient land of Day. As he traveled through the country side he saw many fields and pastures. The people working the land all appeared to be peasants, living in abject poverty. However, all he passed seemed to be in good spirits. Asking a peasant how he could be so happy while living in such an impoverished state, the man told him that this land was ruled by a huge, intelligent and benevolent bear called King Mu. He continued to inform the traveler that while he was poor now he could, when he thought he was ready, participate in a kind of rite of passage and become a knight.

Asking what was involved in this rite the peasant replied “You know the usual stuff, drinking till dawn, reciting sports scores from five years past, telling tall tales about women he had never met, discussing the advantages of the designated hitter rule, and many other things of similar difficulty.” The traveler agreed that would be a grueling test indeed. “Tell me, Peasant, what are the rewards for passing such a test?” asked the traveler.

“Why, Sir, when you are made a knight you receive all the goodies. You get things like a Royal Express card. No limit on those things you know, Sir. You can move to a nice condo on the beach, and maybe even get a trophy wife to replace the one you got now.”

“Amazing!” said the traveler. “This I would have to see to believe.”

“There’s a test going on now in the capital,” said the peasant.

So the traveler moved on down the road to the capital to see for himself if all was as the peasant had said. Passing through the gates and into the beautiful capital city he saw that the Festival of Testing was indeed in progress. In the center of the town, on a raised ornate throne sat King Mu, who was indeed a bear and looked as if he stood, he would be at least twelve feet tall. (Don’t be so suspicious. This story won’t go the direction you think it might.)

Moving through the crowd, the traveler saw three men standing before the throne. Two of the men looked to be in fine shape, clear of eye, with their collars buttoned down and wearing a neck scarf in a power color. Both had at some point in the competition won the honorary Rolex sun dial, which they wore on their wrists. The third man however, looked horrible. His eyes were blood shot, and as he stood holding his head, he looked like he was not too steady on his feet.

Rising from his throne, the king approached the two men and placing a huge paw on each of their shoulders the king announced, “These two men I make knights and grant unto them all the privileges they deserve.” Turning to the third man, the king said, “This man did not, however, pass the test.” With that he raised a paw and much to the traveler’s horror struck the man down, killing him on the spot. At that point a king’s aide brought forth a great shaggy dog , at least four feet tall at the shoulder, and presented it to the grief stricken family.

Turning in shock and confusion, the traveler asked the man standing next to explain what had just transpired. “Why, everyone knows,” said the man, “there’s nothing better, after a bad day’s knight, than the dog of the bear that hit you.”

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