Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 10 - A Weapons Mythology.
page 62


      His Lordship's voice still echoed through the room as the guards took hold of him.
      "No, not so hasty, Milord; I have served you well," the lad cried and struggled against the guards. "I have done better than create gold. I have created steel, a metal tougher than any metal known. If you forge swords out of this steel you can conquer every kingdom near and far. Then, gold would be like sand in Milord's hands, and Milord will have power over the nations."
      These words must have sounded like music in the ears of his Lordship, for the king stepped down from his royal throne and caused the guards to release the lad, while he personally lifted him up and praised, and rewarded him.
      While he yet spoke, the court armorer stepped forth and confirmed that the plan was a good one.
      "Every fighting man in my kingdom shall have a sword made of steel," the king proclaimed in a royal degree.

      I put the story sheet down. "That's where I would bring in the ending," I said to Heather. "It needs to be introduced here. Maybe it should have been introduced sooner, but here would be the last chance for a radical turnaround to be possible. So, here is how I think the story should end. Here is where the Treaty of Westphalia should be signed. In historic terms it should have been signed at the end of the 16th Century, to avoid the fifty year madness of killing and destruction that became the Thirty Years War. The madness that erupted became an escapade of horror that no one had found the wisdom to stop for half a century. Endlessly the wars continued that quickly became an orgy of rape, looting, and murder by poorly paid, undisciplined armies that frequently disintegrated into roving gangs of criminals of the worst sort. This nightmare of wanton destruction and violence became the most horrible 'military' episode in western history prior to the 20th Century. Ten million people perished in the final rampage of that period, the Thirty Years War, before a foundation for peace was finally established."
      With this said, I picked the story sheet up again, and continued as though I was reading the story as it might have been written with its proper ending. "It should logically end like this," I said:

      While the last words of the royal degree still echoed through the chamber, a child's voice rang out, shouting, "NO!" The voice was that of the king's own daughter. "Don't interfere in the affairs of the kingdom, my child," the king said in a firm, but not entirely angry manner.
      "But my father, you don't understand!" the king's daughter protested against the king. "This is my world that you are toying with. I don't want my world to be consumed in a rage that is focused on killing one another, or be turned into an instrument that exists for no other purpose than ruling over one another."
      "And what world would that be where no one would have the means for self-defense?" the king asked the child in front of the entire noble assembly.
      The child spoke up louder now. She stood up upon a chair to be seen by everyone and told the king about the butterflies she had observed, which feed in the meadows of Gourdland but come to roost in the forests of the royal realm of Greenfield. The child, then counseled the king that he should not send spies to Gourdland anymore, but messengers, messengers that should tell the ruler of Gourdland that his people have free access to the sea across our land, that they would be welcome to have some of our timber to build their homes with, in exchange for the products of their land, whereby everyone would be richer.
      The king being somewhat of an honorable man, he considered for a moment what the child said. He, himself, had seen the butterflies by the river. What the child said seemed true.
      Quickly, he conferred with the royal advisors who were known throughout the land for their wisdom. The advisors told the king that the suggestion was unusual, but they agreed with the simple logic of the child. They told the king also that the child has a greater claim to rule in this matter than the king had himself, since the king is old while the child has an innate responsibility to itself to build a world in which it can live for a very long time, since it was destined to inherit this world.

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada