The Messenger from Heaven
„I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
At the end of this eventful day, Aron finally went to bed. He stared holes into the air and thought: “If only my angel would show himself. The days weigh as heavy as lead on my shoulders. Frequently I get into unpleasant disputes with my officials. Even though I don't like it, they constantly challenge me. The angel remains my hope. He lives in the heavens. He is the only one who can see the sadness in my heart. The angel will heal me.” These and similar thoughts went through his head. Then the prince's eyes fell shut. The night was black, only the stars in the sky glittered. Aron was in a deep sleep when a wing touched him. He immediately opened his eyes as if he had been waiting to be woken. Still somewhat dazed, he asked:
“Good evening. Who are you?”
“I am your angel.”
“But I didn't call you.”
“It doesn't matter. Your heart called me.”
“I have never seen you before,” the sun prince said amazed.
“Only those who believe in me can see my body of light.”
Filled with admiration, the prince looked at the buzzing wings of gleaming stars as if they had fallen from the sky onto the angel.
“What would you like to know? What is it that weighs on you?” the angel asked the prince.
“How do you know. . .?” Aron couldn't stop being amazed.
“We are always called when humans are unable to find answers to their questions.”
The prince heard the ringing of a thousand little bells. With every movement, the angel shined on him and the bright sound of his voice touched the prince gently. Bedazzled by the enchanting apparition, the little prince asked the angel: “What is it that makes me so sad? Why don't I know what I want?”
Aron waited for the answer with sorrowful eyes.
“Because you don't know the longing of your soul!”
“What does that mean?” asked Aron.
“That you must give the longing of your soul a name!”
“I don't understand,” the prince probed further.
“Think about it,” the angel's childlike face shined on him.
Then the angel disappeared as if someone had extinguished the light.
The little prince listened into the night. Nothing was there but silence. For a long time thereafter, he still searched his thoughts for what the angel might have meant until, all tired out, he fell asleep. The angel sat at his bed in order to send him good dreams.
Then the prince heard the thundering hooves of horses. Not that he had missed the crimson dream, not at all. It wasn't a matter of being able to cast a glance into the magic mirror for him to learn more about his fate. He also wanted to be enchanted by the crimson. Phantasos, about whom fluttered the glistening cloak, galloped with lightening speed through the prince's head. Again, crimson flowed through the dream images of night: a flight of stairs leading nowhere, a lion dog guarding a treasure, a ball of masks hovering over the water, children on whom no demands were made and who were left to do as they pleased all day. . . The dream ended the way it always ended. Prince Aron saw himself mounted on a horse, the reins firmly in his hands. When Aron asked the dream god: “When will I finally learn to ride?” Phantasos fled the scene without even a hint of an answer. He left behind neither a memory nor the usual headaches.
The next morning, Aron was bursting with enthusiasm. He ran to the castle garden to bring the lilies the news.
“An angel appeared to me,” he called out from afar.
“How nice.” The flowers' heads swayed in the wind. “And what's so special about that to get you all worked up for?” they asked.
“Because angels are invisible. . .”
“One sees more with closed eyes,” whispered the lilies.
“. . .and because I'm told to give my longing a name,” Aron finished his sentence.
“This is too complicated for us. Ask the wind. He blows around all over, maybe he can tell you the meaning of your angel's words. Suddenly the wind blew stronger and the flowers held on to their leaves so their heads wouldn't hit the ground.
“I've heard everything,” the wind puffed himself up as he happened to be lurking around the lilies' stems. “The longing of your soul is that for which you long most fervently; it's what you dream about, what gives you wings.”
“What I long for?” the little prince pondered. “If I only knew.”
The wind whirled up the leaves and howled: “Every dreamer knows his dream, every fisherman loves fishing, every shepherd loves his herd. Why don't you, of all people, have any clue what it is that gives you the most joy in life?”
Aron felt ashamed. He racked his brain and rummaged through his thoughts as through his pants pockets. But all he encountered there was a gaping void. There was absolutely nothing to give him a clue about what he was longing for. Aron was certain about only one thing: He was the ruler of Nubia and the protector of his realm. Now that his parents were lost without a trace, fate had assigned him his place. He had to take their place whether he wanted to or not. He was the crown prince. But he didn't want the crown. Aron suffered under its weight even though it consisted merely of golden laurels (1) (2) (3) (4) . The prince asked himself seriously whether he wanted to be a monarch. Each day seemed like a great burden, like something heavy, as if it was not only the palace with its entire court that was sitting on the crown, but the masses of sunlanders as well. Prince Aron moaned as he hefted the heavy load of the crown through the halls and chambers. That's why he didn't like the crown. It was too mighty for him and it suppressed his fantasy. He, therefore, wore the crown only when he absolutely had to. He needed to be free in order to focus on all the unanswered questions he carried around with him: Why did my parents forsake me? Did they stop loving me? Did they stop loving the sunland? Why am I plagued by this profound sadness? Why am I unable to keep peace with the officials? What will become of me if I don't take on my assignment? His new life without his parents seemed unbearable. That was the only thing he was sure of.
“How come you are so clever?” Prince Aron suddenly asked the wind. The air head felt flattered: “Well you know, it's because I love my freedom, because I move about, because I'm curious (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) and everything interests me.”
“And because he's always eavesdropping on our conversations,” the lilies (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) chimed in. “That can't possibly be true!” the wind puffed himself up again. He was quick-tempered and was just then ready to blow his top. “What do you know about life? You, who are always standing around in the same spot uttering wisecracks. In his anger he grasped their stems and gave the lilies a good shaking until the prince saw himself forced to intervene. The flowers dusted themselves off and gave the wind a haughty look.
“That can't possibly be true!” the wind puffed himself up again. He was quic
“Just because you can scream louder, doesn't mean by a long shot that you are smarter,” the lilies mustered all their courage. “As powerful as you might be, we won't let ourselves by uprooted without a fight. When we stand together no wind can overwhelm us.”
Courageous and with a good deal of defiance, the flowers linked hands. They wouldn't be so easily intimidated: “Do your roots reach deep into the earth? Are you perhaps as earthbound as we are? Well, there you have it. You are an air head, who noses around everywhere and spreads around whatever you can pick up somewhere else.”
Why don't you get lost, you know-it-alls, the wind was about to say. But when he opened his mouth something very different came out, besides the lilies wouldn't have been able to get lost at any rate: “Careful, you'd better guard your tongue, you broken down humdrums. Do you think you have a monopoly on knowledge? Remember one thing, it is the one who wanders far and wide who also hears a lot.”
“Come back down here, oh worldly wise one,” the prince, fearing a calamity, begged him. Such a storm can easily turn into a hurricane. After all, he didn't want the wind to do the lilies any harm and they would end up with bent stems and would wilt away.
In such an explosive mood, the wind could be quite unpredictable. So rather than adding fuel to the fire, the prince took a more diplomatic approach. Thus spoke the prince: “You're the greatest. You showed it to us and we recognize that you surpass us in greatness and knowledge. You're widely traveled and your experience is unsurpassed.” These words calmed the wind and he deflated the air spirits. The lilies sighed with relief and rewarded their prince with a hand kiss. The lilies knew that it was better not to provoke the wind since his lack of self-control often clouded his reason.
“But the lilies are just as smart even if their body is fragile and delicate. Everybody has his place,” the prince expressed his appreciation to the flowers and elevated them to the same level as the wind. The lilies smiled gratefully. They felt superior to the wind anyway. Not even his grandiosity and free-soaring spirit could change this fact, for the lilies had something the wind lacked: rootedness.
The prince had mitigated the dispute, but that for which his heart longed most had still not been revealed to him. He said good-bye to the wind and the lilies with the words: “I need time to think.” Then he added: “Try getting along.”
The breeze abated to take a rest, of course at the feet of the lilies. He didn't want to incur any risk that something might escape his inborn curiosity. The wind lifted his head once more and suggested to the lilies: “Well then, let's get along and together let's support the prince. What do you say?” The lilies nodded vigorously with their blooming chalices, making the flower elves inside swing back and forth.
“The prince is so terribly lonely. This is the best idea you've ever had.”
The wind was just about to get huffy again with the lilies when he remember that he wasn't in the mood, after all he had just descended from on high. So he kept his peace for a change and cuddled up harmlessly against the lilies' stems. But not for long. The flower elves didn't trust their ear when the wind declared in all earnest—and this was really against his nature: “I wish I was as peaceful as you are and didn't have to pick fights with everybody.”
Before the surprised lilies were able to say anything, the wind spirits began to shake themselves with great vigor as if this sentence had sickened them: “How boring! And you,” he said, remaining true to his nature and beginning to needle them again, “it wouldn't hurt you to show a little bit of pugnaciousness at times.”
“As usual!” the lilies said, turning up their little noses. After that the roughneck finally held his peace.
“What do I long for most, what might it be that my heart desires so very much,” pondered the prince on his way back from the castle garden to the palace. His good thoughts either left him in the lurch or they overwhelmed him with suggestions about what it might be he longed for.
“It just doesn't come to me,” Aron told himself. Just then he remembered the puffy wind and how he had to beg him to come down again. And he saw himself having to strain his neck so he could look up to the mighty wind. “That's it!” The scales seemed to fall from his eyes. At last, the prince had the feeling that he knew what his heart desired most—something he wished with all his heart and would change his life. It was the size of the wind that really impressed him, a size he wished so much for himself. Never having to look up to others. He was the ruler, if that's what he had to be, then he wanted at least look down on his people. “That must be fabulous,” he presumed. “Size lends power. I need this power to stand up to Ozelot's dark thoughts.” That's it exactly, the prince elated, thinking that he had solved all his problems in a single bound. He was happy that the dispute between the wind and the lilies had brought him a step closer to the longing of his soul.