A Meal Fit Only for a King: A Child’s Tale

Fiction & Short Stories /

Father, may I share something with you? It is something quite foolish, I am sure, but something I fail to understand…perhaps because I am only a child…

One of the boys whose father serves the king his daily meals spoke to us the other day of life behind the guarded castle walls. We all sat at his feet in the heart of the forest waiting to be enchanted by glorious tales that we knew would never be ours to have. And yet what I heard saddened me more than anything else I’ve heard or seen before. He told us of the king sitting in a dining room large enough to hold an entire village, with mirrors so numerous and grand, lined all along the walls, stretching from the cold marble floors to the cloud-painted ceilings, reflecting shimmering crystal chandeliers and glistening gold statues of cherubs and ancestors. But the boy said the king sat alone eating his favorite meal in the company of these lifeless reflections, a meal that consisted of the most surprising choices for a king: wine older than you, Father, wine that sits in dark damp cellars for years, ordered not to be touched until the time is right; blackened fish roe, served in endless slimy heaps on top of platters, never once given the chance to grow and swim in the warm waters of our beautiful sea, devoured before their time; and cheese forgotten to time, so green and blue with mold and with a stench so pungent that even the king has to turn his royal nose upon it being served…

And here we are, Father, you and I, sitting under the very clouds that inspire the king’s ceilings on the sandy shore of our sea whose reflections are all brought to life by the golden rays of an August sun, eating fresh bread still-warm with mother’s song and dipped in olive oil whose scent alone fills my bulging belly as I dream. And they call us poor, Father, as if it were a curse. This is the something I do not understand. I would never want to be king, Father, the weight of those guarded castle walls would kill me, if the cheese did not succeed in doing so first!



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8 thoughts on “A Meal Fit Only for a King: A Child’s Tale

  1. I grew up dirt poor. And when I became a young adult I asked my father, “father why are we so poor, and always struggling?” My father , a wonderful, intelligent, Mexican man answered me, “mija(daughter), we are rich.” Confused I asked, “How do you figure that father?” He replied, “We have a house that keeps us out of nature’s elements, we have several automobiles in our driveway and even if they all nees repairing we own them. We have food albeit a small supply, but it’s just enough, we aren’t starving. Mija there’s many people in this world right now, that wish they had, what we have.” I’ve never forgotten that. My dad passed on 7/12/16 after 16 years of dialysis due to kidney failure. He’s gone but not forgotten. I love your story. It’s special. Thanks for sharing it.

      1. Well you’re welcome. I’m a fan of your short stories. You have a gift. And this story reminded me of my dad that day when he told me and explained to me how we were rich. Anyway, I already said that. Lol. Have a great day. 😁

    1. No existe nada de mas dulce de un padre o una madre que te dicen “mija.” Reading your comment put a smile on me.

      1. Thank you Beatrice. I’m glad it did. Quiesiera escuchar a mi papi llamar me “mija” una ves mas.

        1. You started it young man, with this touching story. 🤓I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve shared your story on my blog and Facebook account.

          1. I don’t mind at all. In fact, I appreciate you sharing the story. My goal is to write something that’s worth reading, maybe even more than one time.

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