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Impulse and Reason

Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a King, the King of Reason.

The King loved to be rational, he loved to think things through very thoroughly and he loved to ponder over ideas and thoughts for a very, very long time. The most important thing in life, he felt, was in working things out absolutely correctly.

As a result, he never did anything quickly, or without a lot of thought. He never took an uncalculated risk. And he never, ever did anything unless he was absolutely certain of what would happen if he did. He liked to plan everything very carefully. He was meticulous and fastidious, careful and thorough and he would always double-check and triple-check everything to make absolutely certain.

His kingdom was a very quiet, serious and slow-paced place that ran like clockwork. There were a lot of wonderful ideas in this kingdom and everybody followed the Kings lead. All of the people spent all of their time thinking hard, working on theories, reasoning out hypothesis and checking and double-checking their calculations. Nobody would do anything if they weren’t absolutely sure what the results of their actions would be.

There was only one problem with the King’s kingdom: nothing ever happened.

Everybody was so busy working out whether their ideas were viable or not that none of their ideas ever came to fruition. The kingdom was a simmering stew of well-constructed arguments and unrealized potential.

One day, the King, who had been close to believing that one of his ideas was indeed perfect, began to get frustrated when he found an inconsistency in his theory. The King sighed. It really was irritating that he never managed to finish anything. He huffed and he puffed. Why could he never be certain of anything? He squirmed and he fidgeted and he grew more and more restless until at last, one of his advisers suggested he go out for a walk, to clear his head.

A good idea, thought the King, and off he went.

He walked and he walked and he walked and while he walked, he thought. He was so deep in his thoughts that he walked further than he’d ever walked before. When he finally stopped walking and thinking and looked around at where he was, he was surprised to find himself in the middle of a dense, wild forest.

He’d never been to this forest before; nothing about it looked familiar. He looked all around and back the way he’d come, but the trees seemed to have closed in and he soon realized that he didn’t know which way his kingdom lay. The King was lost.

He sat down to think. After a while, he thought up a very logical plan. His kingdom was to the east, so he would use the sun to guide him home. But the forest was so dark and thick that he couldn’t see the sun. Reason couldn’t help him here. The King would have to use his wits instead.

So he did something he’d never done before; he chose a direction at random and struck out through the forest in what he hoped was an easterly direction.

He’d been walking for a while when suddenly he heard a noise up ahead. It sounded like someone was crying. He soon came to a little glade and there, was surprised to find a beautiful woman hunched over on a log, sobbing into her hands. She was holding a golden crown.

“Why do you cry so?” he asked her. She looked up at him, startled. And saw that he wore a silver crown on his head and a cloak of purple velvet. “You are a King?” she asked. He nodded. “I am a Queen. A failed Queen.” And at this she began to cry again. What could possibly be so wrong, he wondered? Who was this woman and why did she think she was a failed Queen?

“Sit beside me and I will tell you my story,” she replied.

“Once upon a time, in a beautiful enchanted kingdom, there lived a Queen, The Queen of Impulse.

The Queen loved intuition, the thrill of spontaneity, chasing dreams and dancing with danger. Everything in her kingdom was exciting and creative and all the lands overflowed with colour and imagination. There were many, many ideas in her kingdom, more than the people could keep up with. The ideas flitted and danced through the kingdom, constantly changing and shifting as they played with the people. The people flitted and danced too, from one idea to the next. When a new idea appeared, everybody would flock to it with much enthusiasm, forgetting all about the old ideas.

There was only one problem with the Queen’s kingdom: nothing ever got done.

Everybody was so busy being excitable and imaginative, thinking up new ideas and chasing their dreams that no-one had time to stop and concentrate on any one thing for long enough to ever bring an idea to life. The kingdom was a riot of stimulating and inspiring chaos.

One day, the Queen, who had been so close to capturing all the pieces of an idea in one place, became frustrated when she found that a vital piece had disappeared again. The Queen sighed. It really was most difficult to keep ideas together. She huffed and she puffed. Why could she never bring any of her ideas to life before they changed or turned into something new and more exciting? She squirmed and she fidgeted and she grew more and more restless until at last, one of her advisers suggested she go out for a walk, to gather her thoughts.

And here I am,” she finished. “Lost in the wild woods.”

The King looked at her thoughtfully. Then he leaned over and kissed her. And from that day on, their minds became one and all their ideas flourished happily ever after.

© Bea Pierce, 2008