The Prince's Journey

There was a prince. He left his splendorous castle to explore his realm. On the way to a far off land he was intrigued by a by-way and entered a road he had not noticed before. He lost his way. While wondering how to get home, and where he was, a tree limb fell on his head and knocked him out. When he regained consciousness he did not know where he was; and further, he had lost his memory of who he was and where he came from.

This prince now was hungry and cold, but did not know how to get food or where to stay. He wandered long days and nights; getting more lost on this journey. Finally, exhausted and hungry, with clothes in tatters, he came to a village. The inhabitants took him in, fed him, and gave him a place to stay. After a while he regained his strength and was told he was in the land of Nod. He could stay there, but would have to work. He agreed, as he could not remember he came from a far off land and had come in search of his kingdom and its many places, including Nod.

Over time he settled in to his routine and felt this was a satisfactory life, even though he did not remember who he was or how he came to be there. He did remember something, very dimly, but could not make it out. No matter, it did not seem important. He stayed and worked for many years in this land. While there he heard stories of a wondrous palace inhabited by a beautiful queen, and great king, and his fair and fine son, who it was said, would soon inherit the throne. All spoke highly of these, their rulers, even though they had not met them, not had they visited the land of the king.

After the prince heard these stories, more and more they dwelt in his thoughts, until he could think of nothing else. As he did so, he felt, more and more, a kinship and liking toward the prince. Finally, he yearned to meet him, and even more, be as him - for these tales had awakened his remembrance of home and inklings of himself - even though he did not know it at the time.

Years passed and the prince, now a fine member of the community and hard worker, could think and speak of nothing else than meeting the prince and going to the kingdom; also to meet and know the king and queen. Little did he know that he was now the king. Over these years he thought of nothing else. All his actions were toward someday being able to make the journey to the kingdom's home. Finally he gathered all his belongings, sold what he did not need, and set off in search of this, for he had heard all the tales and felt he knew the way - even though he had been warned that others before him had tried, but never came back.

The kingdom was very large and the journey very long. But the prince, now beginning to remember the way, began to retrace his steps, feeling more and more that this was the way. He only lived for this. And, as he did, and had no distractions, he began to remember more and more of his way; and further, that he might be related to the king and prince in some way. He journeyed on, and as he did, it became more clear that he was related and that he was travelling home. He continued his quest and followed the signs, dimly perceived at first, but now seen strongly, until he arrived at the palace. By then he knew he was coming home, but was not quite sure of his place here or why he had left. When he came to the gates they opened for him and trumpets sounded. All the people rushed out to greet the new king; for even though the prince had aged, he still was recognized.

When this happened, the meaning of his leaving and who he was returned. He still felt as though he was not the same one as in the tales, but knew, deeply, that he was. It took some more time before he assumed all his duties and learned again how to rule, but as he did, he felt more and more comfortable until finally he could say, because he knew himself and his kingdom, that he truly was home and was indeed both that prince who had left, and king after return.

With love in his heart for all that had been done for him by his subjects in the land of Nod, who had helped him, he ruled fairly and honestly, helping them, always providing for their needs.

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