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Ed Rock

A Buddhist Fairy Tale - Chapter 1 - One More Journey - Part 3

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Chapter 1 - One More Journey - Part 3

Of course! Power! It's what I had always thirsted for. I knew that I was destined for more than this princely role, this insignificant excuse for royalty that kept me so restrained. Yes . . . I could picture myself a great warrior leading my vast army to uncompromising victory, conquering all the kingdoms and showing my feeble father how it should be done.
In the blink of an eye, I became obsessed with this idea of power. "Well done!" I exclaimed. "You have permission to begin changing sand into gold, and while you are filling the bottom rooms of the castle, I will begin making myself worthy to lead my men to victory. I will become the fiercest warrior the realm has ever known!"
My guards were rushing up the stairs. What caused their delay? Did time somehow stand still for a moment?
The sorcerer said no more, just smiled faintly and disappeared into the thin night air.
That night, sleeping was out of the question, as in my mind I led my army to victory. But I would need that great white steed that I imagined in my visions, the fastest and most powerful horse in the kingdom.
Early the next morning, the royal stables were deserted. A mist was rising from the warm hay piled alongside the stables as the stablemaster slowly raked out the stalls.
"Hello in the stables," I shouted, with my usual authority.
He looked up, disinterested, but laid down his rake and slowly began walking toward me. After a few steps, he realized who was waiting and his gate improved appreciably as did his demeanor. Breaking into a nervous smile, he called out, "Sire, how nice of you to visit. I must apologize about the conditions because . . ."
"Shut up!" I called back; I didn't have time for this small talk, "I need the best charger in the land."
He glanced over at a corral, and then quickly glanced back at me, apparently unsure of whether or not he wanted to get involved with this.
"Let's go," I said, and began walking toward the coral that he glanced at. He obediently fell in step behind.
"Sire, there is a magnificent white colt over there that is unlike any I have ever seen, but I must warn you; he is dangerous, very dangerous, and I wouldn't want be responsible for . . ."
"Shut up! . . . Shut up! Just tell me where he came from, you imbecile!"
"I am sorry, Sire, I didn't mean . . ."
I shot a stern glance at the stablemaster.
"What I meant to say Sire, if I may, is that an old man in torn robes, quite a sight I must say, brought him here a few days ago and asked if I would stable the horse until a person of royalty came for him. I laughed at him at the time, but the old man did have very strange eyes, hmm . . . and I could see that the horse was unusual, so I did as he requested. Did the beggar come by and see you?"
“No, you idiot! Nobody came by to see me! Are you sure this is the best horse?"
"Oh yes, Sire, if you have the courage to mount him. Oh, I'm sorry, I know that you have the courage, what I meant to say was that if you ride him, you will see that there will never be a match of his speed and power. But Sire, he is extremely strong, so please be very careful. It would not be good if you got hurt at my stables. Oh, and Sire, the beggar mentioned that the colt's name is Conqueror."
This groveling stablemaster was getting on my nerves, "Get out of here. Go do your shoveling or whatever it is people like you do. Now!"
"Yes, Sire," the stablemaster mumbled, as he backed away bowing toward the stables
The horse and I looked each other over. Neither of us moved. He was apparently of northern stock, a huge horse with powerful shoulders built to run like the wind. He cautiously eyed me with his ears laid back, and then issued a clear warning by slowly and deliberately pounding the turf with his right front hoof.
I slowly moved closer, and then slipped cautiously into the corral. He could kill me easily now, but he was exciting, imposing, and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. Suddenly, my fear gave way to an extraordinary feeling, a feeling much like the sensations I had when fighting with the jailor, an underlying familiarity about something, something that I couldn't put my finger on but it was as if I had known this horse from somewhere, some place, sometime in the remote past.
And while I was pondering this, the colt began walking deliberately toward me.
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