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Chapter 31

El Dorado

A kingdom of hearts and of good thoughts.

In the evening, the bells rang out the opening of the light-thaler thanksgiving feast and every sunlander carried a little bell that reinforced the din. The sun banner billowed above the palace and grew high into the sky when Prince Aron rode on a glass steed from the palace gate straight into the crowd. Sitting perfectly erect as if he had been born to the saddle, he guided his horse, the reins firm in hand, despite the fact that he had never been taught. The sunlanders moved back a step with admiration, murmuring: "Ooh!" For there was a special story behind the glass steed. Inside its transparent body floated countless energy spheres with the most genuine gold dust imaginable. Filled with curiosity, the Nubians craned their necks to find out which fhopes for the future their neighbors had at heart and what they wished above everything. They saw the energy spheres with gold stars and inscriptions floating in the glass body of the horse. The sun belonged, of course, to the gold dust, just as a lion was a symbol of strength. Rings and hearts, the language of love, had turned to gold dust as well as an ancient, sealed book that seemed to have been close to someone's heart or was to be elevated to symbol of knowledge. Venerable old measuring instruments, among them a magnetic compass and a hinged drawing compass, a sextant, and a sundial made the heart of all explorers and discoverers leap. In some of the energy spheres could be seen raging seas or mountain meadows sated with flowers, others had taken in the sound of music and whirled notes and clefs about. From the musical scores emerged a girl playing the clarinet. Then appeared the fervent wish of an artist who sought to enchant people with his paintings. His energy sphere was awash in a lavish array of colors and a brush was busy mixing new combinations of hues. Furthermore, cats, birds, and even an elephant that had turned to gold dust floated about in the horse's glass body. Some people seemed to be dreaming of health, for medicinal herbs were mixed in with the energy spheres as well. For others, in turn, it was all about beauty for whose sake a mirror was racing through the glass horse.

"Wisdom!" a child called out and pointed at one of the seven glittering rainbow delicates whom they all venerated as their virtues. They floated about star-like as wondrous gold dust spheres and expressed the deep human longing for being good. But mostly the sunlanders seemed to aspire to love, hope, and faith, for as hard as they tried, these remained the most beautiful and greatest gifts of the Eternal. No one could buy them or merit them.

"Gold dust is what's best in us," somebody called out enthusiastically. "Gold dust is the gold in us," another agreed. A wave of jubilation rose up. The people applauded and bowed before the Nubians' favorable side. And on it went as they followed all the gold gleaming spheres with abated breath. Someone had discovered a feather that was hard at work with writing down a text on a never-ending roll of paper. Some other seemed to feel no greater desire than to be a poet. A scale rolled through the horse's body. It represented the Nubians' eternal aspiration for balance between order and disorder. Then the people rubbed their eyes for in one of the energy spheres they saw a coat that fluttered one moment and was gone the next. "Just see. The family's invisible coat that envelops us," cheered the children who were having a ball watching the magic gold dust. Suddenly laughter broke out because a frog king was flying through the glass horse. Was there indeed someone waiting to be woken with a kiss from a prince? All these happenings were so interesting, the Nubians had a hard time deciding where to look first. Then the horse opened its mouth with a joyous neighing over so much attention. A small gleaming gold dust cloud issued at this moment from his nostrils so that all the good wishes and hopes could be inscribed into the memory of the world. What a horse! What a rider! He was practically bursting with gold and splendor. A child called out astounded: "El Dorado!"(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) .


And all chimed in with cheers of: "El Dorado! El Dorado!" swamping Prince Aron of Nubia, their hero, with adulation. The sunlanders had never seen their prince in such a flamboyant state. Aron's majestic appearance radiated like the sun high above the Nubians' heads. Enveloped in a lustrous sheath of finely ground gold, he seemed molded in gold. And again the people called out: "El Dorado! El Dorado!" and bestowed on him the most beautiful sobriquet he could have wished for. For inside as well as outside, their prince was pure gold. A great paragon for the sunland natives who cannot be weighed in gold. He wore silk trousers interwoven with threads of pure gold and over it a gold glittering ankle-length coat. Though it wasn't crimson and neither was he the dream god, but somehow he felt like the "gilded one" in the fairy tale. Aron had placed his bet on the right horse. He was the golden rider . Fantastic that his father should have given him this heavenly steed although Aron had never let out a single word about his dream. What a gift! A glass steed replete with gold dust had never occurred to Aron even in his dreams. The king's gift elevated Prince Aron to the position of guardian over the dreams and hopes of his people. He felt the strength which gives hope. He saw the spark in the eye when a dream becomes reality. He saw the good core of the Nubians, the virtues. And Aron recognized the one golden truth: gold dust is the element that keeps mankind together. From now on, he vowed, the way would be open for every Nubian to follow his dreams. Just as he himself had followed the gold dust.

Aron believed in gold dust as the source of energy that endows him, his people, and all mankind with fortitude. The kind of fortitude one feels when a fervently desired wish comes true. To further and forever protect this human resource was to be his mission from now on. Gold dust was to bubble over until the end of time bringing happiness to all. Whoever was without gold dust and felt his inner élan flagging would be urged to set out on a quest for it.

"A people without gold dust is like a heap of ashes in which the last spark of hope has gone out," the official for good thoughts had said once. These word echo like a warning Prince Aron's ears. A terrible vision. No wonder that the idea of the glass steed had originated with the official. During the long absence of the ruling pair, Nubian commoners came daily to the palace to convey their good wishes for a providential return. In the process they were not remiss in putting in a request for their own families, their friends and neighbors, or for themselves. As soon as they had expressed their wishes, an energy sphere placed itself around the gold dust in order to make all good things come true. In the course of this long period, the official for good thoughts collected them and barely knew where to put them all for they multiplied more and more. It was then that the wish official requested an unbreakable, glass steed wherein to safeguard the dreams and hopes of the sunlanders. It absolutely had to be transparent so that he could check and make sure that the myriad wishes felt comfortable. In moments when the good thoughts felt crowded, when they yearned to escape into the world to put their longing for adventure (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) to the test so as to grow and to come true one day, then the official saw to it that they could leave their abode through the glass horse's nostrils. Only thus did they become one with the eternity of the universe. All he had to do then was pat the horse between the eyes and unlock his mouth with a silver key for the gold dust to rise up and leave the throne room through the open cupola.


Upon the return of their majesties, the king asked the wish official to have an unbreakable vessel turned into a real horse. That he would thereby be fulfilling a long-held aspiration of his son's, he, of course, had no way of knowing. For the wish official is was an easy feat to endow the glass horse's body with the toughness of metal. But when Aron leaped unto the glass saddle, it gave away and the prince sank into it as into a soft pillow. Aron was the guardian of the source. The steed neighed again and a gold dust cloud with guardian angels escaped through the nostrils in order to provide a shield over Aurum during the greatest celebration of all time. next

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