The Twinkling Lantern
Whenever the prince felt totally lost and was looking to be entertained, he went to this sacred place to visit his favorite flowers. He would sit down among them at the edge of the pool, savor the sweet scent of the snow-white Madonna lilies, and begin to pour out his heart. The lilies alone understood him. In their company, he could be himself. He could talk with them for hours without their being called away to some important event. How should they? Their roots were firmly embedded in the ground. They were thus unable to run away in pursuit of other matters. They had an endless amount of time and patience. Besides, there was one other thing the prince valued about the lilies-their wisdom. Once when he questioned them how they knew all those wonderful things he had never heard before, the flowers explained to him that it had to do with their bond with the earth. This raised the prince's curiosity even more and they had no choice but to reveal a long guarded secret, which they did only because they trusted the prince.
"Mother Earth safeguards the treasures for mankind. And because our roots (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) grow deep into the ground like long tentacles, we are able to absorb tiny crumbs of the earth's wisdom with our long roots and transport them to the surface through our stems," the lilies explained, not without pride, to the completely baffled prince.
He found this all so fascinating in a wonderful way that he asked immediately: "Do I have to dig in my legs too in order to receive an answer to all my questions?" This made the lilies laugh so heartily, their contagious mirth affected the prince as well.
"Only plants think with their roots. Your brain, by contrast, is located in your head. You constantly change places and still don't find what you are looking for." Since then, the prince never wanted to miss the lilies' blithe cheerfulness.
Therefore, despite stomach aches from all that pudding and loneliness, he sought out their company. For he had something on his mind that had long troubled him and therefore wanted to discuss with them. Even on the way to the palace garden he was already becoming a different person. The grump in him had already dissolved into thin air. The lilies had the wonderful gift of enchanting the prince. In their presence he was gracious, even thoughtful. Their gentle aspect and fragrance mellowed his moods.
"I'm the prince, but my heart is heavy," he spoke to them. "All my subjects know their place in life. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) The baker bakes bread. Have you ever tasted bread fresh from the oven?"
Our blossoms are inhabited by flower elves. They make sure that we feel good and grow well. Occasionally, the gardener loosens the ground and frees us from weeds. This provides us with fresh air to breathe in. But most of all we feel good in your presence." The lilies enjoyed the conversation with the sun prince as much as he felt good being near them.
"So even the gardener," Aron muttered disgruntled without returning the compliment. "Like everybody else, he too knows exactly what his purpose is in this world."
"There are farmers and artisans, jugglers and musicians, some people gaze into the stars and some write down their thoughts on why the world is the way it is. And you, you are the prince, the ruler of Nubia. You are a child of the sun. You are the most magnificent," chirped the flowers.
"Sometimes life will germinate strange blossoms," the lilies replied astounded by the little, radiant lantern seeking to fight its way through a dark cloud and was actually a sun prince.
Without a word, Prince Aron slipped away, carrying his sorrows with him.
"What a pity, until tomorrow. . .," moaned the flowers who had bloomed in his company. They always bloomed, it was their destiny. But for the prince they blossomed with particular beauty, for he always came back to them. After all, they couldn't come to him.
Abruptly, Aron turned back once more and asked: "What is the reason for your being in the world?" A rose-colored sheen appeared on the white lilies.
"We want to please. That's all."
"How beautiful you are," said the sun prince and gazed with admiration at the panicles on their stems. They were the strongest smelling and most delicate blooming creations he had ever seen. Modestly, the flowers lowered their heads. "And yet, my heart sits inside of me as heavy as a stone. How can I rid myself of this melancholy?" he poked the patient flowers with his questions.
"This is too much for us. We can't answer your question. We know a lot, but not everything. The earth gives us only a tiny crumb of her wisdom. There is something that is much older than our good Mother Earth," the lilies added.
"What's that?" Aron wanted to know. "What, what, what?" he called out impatiently.
"Treat us a bit more gently. We are very sensitive," complained the flowers.
"So what is it?" the prince insisted on an answer.
"The earth's roof: the heavens. The heavens are much older even than our earth. And since the angels inhabit the heavens and are as old as the universe, no question is alien to them. What you should do is ask your angel," suggested the lilies.
"What kind of angel and why do they inhabit the heavens?" the sun prince had trouble keeping his impatience in check.
"Angels inhabit the heavens because they are the messengers of the Eternal. Every human being has an angel assigned specifically to him to protect him," the lilies said in unison.
"I don't have an angel. I'm all alone in the world." Aron lowered his head in sadness.
"But, of course," now the flowers sounded very wise. They stretched their flower chalices toward him as if they revealed a secret. "All you have to do is call him. Then he will appear to you."
"An angel for me alone?" The little prince became very excited.
"Call him before you fall asleep," the lilies suggested.
"How's this?" Aron inquired.
"Close your eyes and open your heart." That was all they gave away. The flowers were exhausted and could only hum softly to the song of the wind. The latter had overheard everything, for, as always, he was lurking about. He liked to listen in. Then he darted all over as if what he had heard didn't concern him. But in reality his ears grew ever longer and his eyes larger. Nothing could contain his curiosity. Since he had overheard that the prince had doubts about his place in life, he was all the more annoyed at the lilies' advice. "Asked your angel," he secretly mimicked the lilies. "Where do these lilies get off?" the wind blew himself up. "All the prince has to do is ask me. I'm three times as clever as all these flowers combined. I'm the one who roams the world. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) I hear and see everything. The lilies experience nothing, they never go anywhere. They don't move from the spot and claim to absorb the world's wisdom with their roots. Don't make me laugh." In the process, the wind caused a rather hot breeze to arise as he whirled up considerable heat. The flowers moaned. They longed for water, not hot air.
"I'd like to know who these simplest of creatures think they are," the wind pondered. "All they do is stand around along the pathway and yet they manage to win the prince over to their side all the time." However, the wind refrained from wasting any words on them. Instead he started messing up their leaves and tugging on their blossoms. He tugged and messed to his heart's content. The flower elves peeked out of the blossoms and called out: "The wind, the wind -the heavenly child. He wants to play with us. Hold on tight!"
But the wind didn't want to play, he wanted to rile the flowers. And so he added something. The wind spirits crawled out from under the folds of his flapping frock and he blew himself up mightily until his hair stood on end. The lilies quivered and flew in all directions. They held on to their leaves in order not to snap. The elves clung to the edge of the blossoms. "The wind is in a bad mood. His strength is increasing. Hold on tight."
The wind laughed out loud and didn't behave heavenly at all. It was an easy game for him. He was mighty. The flowers were helpless. next