The parodical King. A story and a prayer for our time.


The return of the King the prodigal King an antidote to corruption and chaos.

Hi all Here in the R.of S.A. it is the winter of our discontent even as we approach summer.. I was thinking of stories about the return of the Sun King which we celebrate on the 25th December. The first thing that came to mind was the biblical story of the prodigal son.

The return of the King the prodigal King an antidote to corruption and chaos.

Wow the more I investigated that story the more it seems to fit, squandering wealth and birthright. I pray that this story is prophetic. That we all as wandering sons (be we male or female) can indeed return to the Father and redeem him in this world. I know that the last sentence will cause a shit storm of objections. Our ego’s expectations are that we are all waiting for the good parent to come and make it RIGHT, Right? 

However, as a storyteller, I would like to disabuse all of us of this idea.

In the three stories we know well, Iron John, Star Wars and Lord of the rings, Jack and the beanstalk. It is the son that redeems the Father. In this world that is the way of it. Below is a little story called the Prodigal King which was told to me by Eric Hurner. 

Once upon a time, there was a family whose father had a son. The family lived on a very successful farm that produced all sorts of produce for the nearby town. As the son grew older, he spent more and more time in the town partying than at home farming. Soon he had taken an apartment in town and left the farm to look after itself. Not long after this, the boy’s father died. 

After the death of his father the son simply instructed the steward of the farm to keep things going while he lived in town, he just needed more money as his expenses had grown. Over time there were lots of conversations with the steward. Things are tough out there complained the steward, revenue is down taxes are up, worker unrest, increased input costs. Does this sound familiar?

Eventually, the steward came to town with no money, just a wooden box. Handing the box to the son the steward explained that this was an instruction from his father. That when things got bad and the farm was bankrupt the steward should give the son this box. The son returned home with the steward as per the instructions on the lid of the box. On the lid it said. “This is a magic box and within it is the secret of creating unlimited wealth. The key to this box is in the Urn of my ashes on the mantelpiece in the kitchen, go outside and break the Urn, spread the ashes across the four corners of the farm and keep the key”//6

OK no problems. It takes a whole day to walk the four quarters of the farm. The next morning, he was keen to open the casket. Inside was a letter addressed to him. “Dear Son. If you are reading this then I have passed on and the farm is facing ruin. Inside this box is a magic powder, it was gifted to me by a great magician, it was the source of my wealth. Just follow the instructions and all will be well. Lots of love Dad”

On a separate piece of paper were the following instructions. Arise early in the morning; be out of the house before sunrise, the magic only works if you are in the East at sunrise. Be at the East corner of the farm by sunrise and drop a small pinch of powder there. Walk till midday to the Northside and drop a small pinch there. Now walk to the West corner of the farm and drop a small pinch there at sunset. Take a lantern with you to the South corner and drop a small pinch at midnight. Repeat this until all the magic powder is used up. 

The next morning, out before sunrise, walking toward the East the young man noticed that the cows were waiting to be milked but the herd’s men were still in bed. Walking across to their houses he roused them out of bed. “You know the cows need to be milked before sunrise so the milk can get to the town for their breakfast. Come on get going.” And so this was the way it was for many days, soon the dairy was working again, money was coming in.

As he walked to the North, he passed the herds of cattle and cows which were few, asking why that was the herdsman told him that they had to sell the prize bull to pay debts. On the way to the North, he met the farmer next door to whom the bull had been sold and arranged to hire the bulls’ services, and over time the herd increased and they were able to buy their own bull.//10

As he walked from the North to the West through the orchards, he noticed the trees were in a poor state and badly in need of pruning. He asked the workers there why this was and was told that the cart that was used to transport the fruit was unusable so what was the point of looking after the trees. He instructed that the trees be pruned, and the waterways cleared of weeds while he organised a contractor to transport the fruit. Over time the orchards grew profitable again as he visited every day.

Now it is after sunset as he walks to the south where the water reservoir sits. He notices that the walls are broken down and the water foul and stagnant, full of weeds. While waiting for midnight to drop the last pinch of magic powder for the day he sees bandits coming to steal from the farm He shouts at them and they get such a shock that somebody is about at that time they flee.  And so over time and many days the reservoir was repaired, and the bandits routed. 

Every day the Young man walked the four quarters, religiously dropping the magic powder until it was all gone. In the bottom of the box was another letter. “When all the magic powder is used up read this.” Go down to the river collect some fine sand dry it and then place it in the box. Continue to walk the four quarters for that is the Magic.

A story for a dark time, “The return of the King” for “us”, women and children the community, the country, for the world. 

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