It's our dreams that keeps us alive.
The queen spoke: "Our hopes and dreams are what keeps us alive and moves us forward. We, therefore, make known today, the light-thaler thanksgiving day, to the world soul our aspirations for future generations." She had the energy sphere inscribed TIME FOR ARON. THE KING AND QUEEN launched for all to see. The people went wild. The queen's energy sphere, TOWER OF GROWTH, which she launched next, was likewise accompanied by jubilant cheers.
When the prince sent his gold dust, his dream of a good family, toward the sky, the queen accompanied it with the words: "In aeternum - for all eternity. Once upon a time there was a little prince who longed for nothing more fervently than a good family. Perhaps one day there will be another prince or princess who will feel the same way. May their wish be fulfilled wherever they may be living. For everywhere in this world, children are happiest in their families."
The sunlanders held their breath for a second before bursting into raucous applause.
Miss Monti stormed onto the balcony in the nick of time, took out her energy sphere and launched the lustrous little sun sphere into the sky. The prince accompanied it with the words: "The light in the darkness. The energy sphere with the gold dust of the royal cat Miss Monti. Gold dust draws its energy from the sunlight. When the sun dies, the dreams will vanish as well. Thus our brave Persian lady carried the sun into the darkness and established a sign."
Monti felt very much honored. The award of the title "Royal Cat" was just after her taste and outshone at this moment the just previously bestowed honor of "fire cat." She bounced cheerfully on to the parapet, startling the sunlanders. Suddenly there was dead silence. Nobody wanted to see the royal cat hurtle into the depth. When Monti placed her right paw on her heart and bowed in all directions, she too received wild applause.
Then the prince took heart and began to speak for the first time to his people: "It is up to us to decide what we believe and what to we aspire. Preserve your gold dust just as the energy spheres safeguard the gold dust, and just as the world soul safeguards the energy spheres. For the true gold dust is that which is really important to us in life, that which has immeasurable value for us - like the gold dust so to say, like this family." The prince pointed at his parents, the king and queen. "And the people of this land who carried the virtues in their heart." As he spoke, he spread out his arms wide and stepped close to the parapet. "I am proud of my country and I shall represent it to the best of my ability."
Hearing this, the Nubians' enthusiasm could no longer be contained. Again and again they cheered the prince and the royal couple, waving sun banners, palm sheaves, and wreaths of sunrays, and had their children wave with olive branches. Prince Aron was happy that he didn't have to give a long speech for he was still very inexperienced. Patiently, the ruling pair received for a while longer their people's homage. Then they bade farewell in order to make last-minute preparations for the evening's feast.
As Aron was descending the stairs, he told his parents: "There's so much I'd still like to tell you, how my angel protected me and . . ."
"I am glad you found the way to your angel," his father interrupted. The king and queen scurried behind their son. Aron really seemed in hurry.
And the king said: "Your mother and I not only believe in angels, we have an angel. Our angel, too, protected us in the time of darkness. He is always with us." The prince was quite surprised. The king and queen believed in the heavenly blessing of angels! He would never have thought this possible. A something likewhiff of appreciation floated through his thoughts. The prince thought it fabulous that his parents were not all reason to renounce all the wondrous mysterious aspects.
"By the way, how is it you know about the energy spheres?" the prince asked his parents. "I had no notion of their existence until I entered the valley of tears," Aron added. They were just crossing the knights hall where a fire crackled in the hearth.
The king began to speak: "I too was once very unhappy and took my pain to the valley of tears. When my soul had been purified, I asked my angel how I could defeat the evil in the world. He gave me a simple answer: strengthen the good thoughts, give your official for good thoughts more leeway to act. Though some people have lost their faith in the dominion of good thoughts, they are of inestimable value for our existence. For the memory of the universe feels showered with gifts when the energy spheres with good thoughts rise into the sky. Yes, that's how it was on the eve of your ninth birthday. I felt greatly relieved and had made a mental note to speak with the official immediately after the festivities. But it wasn't to be for this awful dispute destroyed everything. I resented your mother for giving me the same advice as my angel. I was always resentful about everything and often felt that I was being patronized. I saw her as an enemy who was out to fight me, while she saw the enemy in the evil against which she sought to do battle jointly with me. Now after all this time, we know about the discord Ozelot had sown in our hearts and which impeded any rapprochement between us. Discord is a poison that saps our energy and renders us incapable of thinking about anything else. And yet, it would have been easy to overcome all anger, for your mother's battle was always directed against the evil, never against me. To recognize this, however, I would have had to be more astute. Astuteness would have triumphed over the anger. But IRA was stronger and had already filled our hearts with hatred. The good thoughts were too weak to overcome hatred with astuteness. Therefore, our family and our nation deserve to work in common for the cultivation of good thoughts. For you must know one thing Aron, evil can never be totally eradicated. It is a part of us. Another Ozelot will rise one day and attempt to threaten us. The battle between order and chaos will ignite again."
Fright struck the prince's heart. In his mind's eye, he saw Ozelot's hate-filled eyes before he was destroyed by his own hatred. But then he regained his composure: "We'll have a lot of time until then to increase the governance of the good thoughts."
On this their first day back home, he didn't want to have any worries even if his father's prophesy was right. There are no Ozelots growing in the sunland, the prince was sure of it. But then the prince's thoughts had already wandered along a completely different path. He excused himself from his parents for he had to take care of a matter of the heart.
Not much time was left until the evening to say hello to the lilies, those lovely, innocent creatures in the castle garden.
"It's enough to burst into bloom, it's enough to burst to bloom!" The flower elves found no end in reveling with delight and jumped exuberantly up and down in the lily chalices. But the tone of their voice changed. "Prince Aron," they murmured, "we bow before your greatness."
The flower elves had to take care not to bend their heads to far down so as not to damage the blossoms. The prince felt flattered. But suddenly the lilies furrowed their brows sorrowfully: "We worried a lot about you," they confessed to the prince. "You were still so small." The lilies covered their mouths with the leaves because the wrong word had escaped them inadvertently. "We don't mean small, of course we meant to say young. You were so terribly young when you left us. The only defense strategy to resist the dark thoughts could only be the hope for your mind to grow as quickly as possible. But in reality there was no counting on it. In reality, the fate of our entire land was in the hands of a little, spoiled prince whose only concern was his own size."
Again the lilies placed the leaves over their mouths. Had they gone too far? But one should be able to tell a friend what one thinks, even if he's a prince. Especially if he's a prince, the lilies took heart. But the prince didn't hold it against them. Why should he? They were only speaking the truth. "Strange," thought the prince, "everybody except I myself seems to have been aware of the drama of my life. It's good that I was so out of touch."
"We feared that it was only a matter of time before your unstable character would be mislead and the downfall of us all would be sealed. We simply couldn't imagine that you had the necessary mettle for the battle against evil. We misjudged you. That's why we bow down to your greatness," repeated the lilies.
"What sorrow I caused you, my dear lilies. Please forgive me and listen to me: I wasn't without fault and got to feel the black ruler's superiority. There was a moment when I had dispatched my soul into the eternal night."
"Nobody is perfect," the lilies consoled him.
"Without my angel I wouldn't be here today. He comforted and shielded me and gave me fortitude and strength in the battle against the lord of darkness. I owe him our fortunate return home."
"In the end it all turned out well and that's all that counts. You returned to your roots. We wished for nothing more fervently than that the compass would lead you back home," the flower elves beamed at the prince. Who could say it better than the flowers who are nourished by their roots.
"Yes, I returned home though our good fortune hung on a silken thread. What would have become of us without my angel?" The prince recognized the true worth of a heavenly creature. "A compass shows the right direction, but an angel knows the road along the way."
"You see, you almost didn't believe in him. Some things cannot be explained, like this light." The lilies looked to the left and the prince too turned his head. "And yet, it is there."
The prince bowed humbly before his angel who made himself known in his unearthly beauty only to go out again immediately like a candle.
"I thank you, guardian angel of the sunland," the prince called after the angel. Didn't the lilies just speak of roots, it occurred to the prince. The word "roots" set off a certain curiosity, fostered by the scholars, in Prince Aron. And indeed on closer look, the lilies stood on a carpet of gold that was hidden under all kinds of leaves and underbrush. Prince Aron, who saw the gold sparkling in the sunlight, picked up a crumb. He felt the noble, the eternal, saw the everlasting splendor, the sun-like beauty. Inquisitive and completely incredulous he fixed his gaze on the delicate creatures. They too were interwoven with gold threads as they glistened with quiet modesty in the sunlight. The lilies lowered their gaze. They answered without Prince Aron having asked: "For your loyalty," (1) (2) they said and nothing more. It was their way of thanking their best friend. Now Aron lowered his head before the lilies but was unable to say a word. He wanted nothing more than embrace each one of them. Their generosity put the prince to shame. Loyalty was something he had taken for granted. For in whom should one put one's trust if not in a friend? Suddenly, a rattling sound was heard, the leaves started to dance, and the lilies swayed to the melody of the wind: "At long last. He's back! He's back!" The delicate flowers elves became quite animated. The smallest and most delicate of all the lilies exclaimed with her soft powder sugar voice: "I want to be free (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) as the wind." "Yes!" they all chimed in. "We too! We too! We too want to be free as the wind."
Then the lilies resumed their familiar place in the life of the prince. "Tonight we'll celebrate the great light-thaler thanksgiving feast at the palace. After the fireworks, you'll meet Papillon, my come-to-life ballerina," the prince roused the lilies' curiosity. "Papillon will tell us her story."
"Oh, that's wonderful! We love to hear stories. We'll look forward to seeing you," the lilies were elated.
"Of course, Miss Monti will accompany us," added Aron.
"Of course, of course, I'll be there too," the wind invited himself with pouting mien.
"Sorry about that, world connoiseur. I thought you might be too exhausted and I meant to be considerate," Aron tried to soothe the wind. At any rate, a brilliant feast was to take place in the evening. Any kind of storm would therefore be a catastrophe. The wind gave off a few more irritated puffs in all directions and then reined himself in again. "Well then. After the fireworks, here with the flower elves," the wind made a date with his companions.
"It's a deal," the prince said in a hurry now to see his ballerina. next