A Story from The Gift of The Magic, by Richard Showstack

Illustrations by Eric Whitfield
full cover pdf The Gift of the Magic
Full cover pdf A Horse named Peggy

  and other enchanting character-building stories for smart teenage girls who want to grow up to be strong women

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The Gift of the MagicISBN 1-888725-64-8 The Gift of the Magic-and other enchanting character-building stories for smart teenage girls who want to grow up to be strong women. Richard Showstack, (2004)  5½ X8¼, 145 pp, $14.95

The Gift of the Magic, Large PrintISBN 1-888725-65   The Gift of the Magic-and other enchanting character-building stories for smart teenage girls who want to grow up to be strong women. Richard Showstack, (2004) MacroPrintBooks™ edition  16 pt, 8¼X6½, 280 pp, $24.95

A Horse Named PeggyISBN 1-888725-66-4. A Horse Named Peggy-and other enchanting character-building stories for smart teenage boys who want to grow up to be good men. Richard Showstack, (2004) ) 5½ X8¼, 145 pp, $14.95

A Horse Named Peggy, Large PrintISBN 1-888725-67, 8¼X6½, A Horse Named Peggy-and other enchanting character-building stories for smart teenage boys who want to grow up to be good men. Richard Showstack, (2004) MacroPrintBooks™ edition 16 pt, 280 pp, $24.95

The Wise Old King

A story read on the Dr. Laura Show by Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
Now you can buy the whole collection of these stories
THE GIFT OF THE MAGIC -
 
Perhaps the best way to find a good person to share your life with is to act like the kind of person that a good person would be attracted to...
Once upon a time in the far away land of Laurania, there lived a wise, wealthy, and powerful ruler.

This King had but one son, the Crown Prince. He was a good lad, and brave and extremely handsome, but he had not yet shown (at least to his father’s satisfaction) the kind of wisdom that a king should have.

One day the King decided that it was finally time for his son to end his playboy life and take a wife. So the King consulted with his ministers, and, through their network of spies, learned that there was one maiden in the Kingdom who was known for her common sense and intelligence. In fact, all of the other maidens came to her for advice. Her name was Celia, and, although she was not exactly ugly, she was rather plain-looking. (She was also known to be quite stubborn and strong-willed.)

Now the King realized that the Crown Prince was also a very strong-willed young man and also had an eye for attractive young ladies, and he would never consent to marry anyone that his father had picked out for him.

So, the king came up with a plan.....
He instructed his ministers to bring to the court, one per night, all of the prettiest maidens in his Kingdom.

Before the first maiden was brought before him, however, the King had a talk with the Crown Prince.

“The choosing of a queen is a very serious matter,” he admonished his son, “for not only your happiness but the future happiness of the entire Kingdom depends on the wisdom of your choice. And not only will you have to live with the woman you choose, but the children she bears for you will become the future rulers of our Kingdom. Choose wisely for it is perhaps the most important choice you will ever have to make.”

The Crown Prince swore to his father that he would choose carefully and wisely.

So the nightly introductions began.

As each maiden was brought before the throne, the King told her sternly:
“As your King, I order you to spend the night with my son, the Crown Prince. If you refuse, I will forbid you from ever marrying anyone else, and you will live the rest of your days and nights as a single maid. But if you agree to do so and please him in the way he wishes to be pleased, you will become his bride and will be wealthy and contented for the rest of your life.”

Well, this was not welcome news, and each maiden reacted with considerable consternation. (The Crown Prince, on the other hand, didn’t seem too unhappy about it at all.) But faced with the choice of sleeping with the handsome Prince or lifelong spinsterhood, each lass agreed to spend the night with him, hoping to please him in the way he wished to be pleased and thus to live happily ever after.

And each night, from the Prince’s bedroom could be heard the sounds of, shall we say, “glee.”

But morning after morning, the young man sent each girl away, telling the King’s nervous ministers that she had not pleased him in the way he wished to be pleased. And as time went on, the Prince seemed increasingly discouraged that he would ever find an appropriate mate.

Then one evening, the ministers brought before the throne another maiden. And although she was rather plain-looking, she had the pure innocent look of a child and she stood with the self-composed pride of a woman born with good character.

The Prince sat slumped in his chair, hardly seeming to be interested in the proceedings at all.
Then, for the umpteenth time, the King stated why he had had the maiden brought before him:
“As your King, I order you to spend the night with my son, the Crown Prince. If you refuse, I will forbid you from ever marrying anyone else, and you will live the rest of your days and nights as a single maid. But if you agree to do so and please him in the way he wishes to be pleased, you will become his bride and will be wealthy and contented for the rest of your life.”

Hearing this, the young maiden’s heart seemed to sink to the floor.

But quickly regaining her composure, she looked directly at the King and said:

“Sire, your wisdom is known far and wide, and I have always loved and respected you for it. But I would never sleep with a man under those conditions. For if I slept with him out of fear of never finding anyone else, it would be no different than if I let him rape me. And if I slept with him because of mere promises, I would be no better than a common whore.

“I would only sleep with a man if I deeply loved and cared for him in a long-term committed relationship and I knew that he felt the same way about me.

“I would rather never marry than lose my self-respect!”

Hearing these presumptuous words from a common girl, the King’s ministers gasped and began to tremble, apparently fearing not only for the girl’s safety but for their own as well!

The King, seemingly overcome with rage, sat speechless with his mouth agape. No one had ever spoken to him in such a way in his life!

But before the King could take any action, the Crown Prince stepped forward, took the maiden’s hand, and spoke in a kind but firm voice:

“Father, I understand your good intentions. And I would be less than honest if I claimed not to have enjoyed these nightly auditions.

“But though I have gained a lot of, how shall I say it?... ‘experience’ these past few months, to tell you the truth, I have grown weary of feeling pleasure without feeling love at the same time.

“Now, after hearing these words from this fair maiden, I know that I have finally found the woman I have been looking for, one that I can share a life (and not just sex) with. For in speaking up in the honest way she did to you, she has shown that she is not only strong, wise, and brave, but that she will also be faithful to her husband just as she is faithful to her best self, no matter what riches she is offered or what loss she is threatened with.

“I will marry her not because of her outward appearance or because I expect her to cater to my every whim, but because I know I can trust and respect her!”

Thus the Crown Prince had not only found someone who would please him in the way he wished to be pleased. He had also shown that he was even wiser than his father and was not just some buffed-up hunk with his brains in his codpiece.
So all the Kingdom rejoiced, and the two married the following Spring.

But the one smiling most broadly at the wedding was the King, for only the King and his ministers knew that, as a result of the plan they had come up with, the Crown Prince had not only learned wisdom; he had also chosen as his bride the wisest maiden in the Kingdom, Celia.
 

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last modified November 19, 2004
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