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10.20 The Mission
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Let me tell you a story of the two kings
Mighty King has a small head but big nostrils. He lives in a gold castle decorated with white bushes. His big nostrils can sniff dangers thousands of miles away from the gold castle.Draw closer, dear children, and let me tell you a story of the two kings. One is Mighty King, who still rules over the two oceans. The other was Little King, who once upon a time ruled over a big desert.
Mighty King has a small head but big nostrils. He lives in a gold castle decorated with white bushes. His big nostrils can sniff dangers thousands of miles away from the gold castle. Mighty King adores his one-eyed Vice King who can tell secrets of the world by looking into a crystal ball.
Mighty King hated Little King.
One night Mighty King could not sleep. He was tossing up and down in his bed, sniffing dangers around the world. Sniff, sniff, sniff. His big nostrils were itchy, which means a big danger was brewing somewhere in the world. Mighty King was worried. “What if I fall asleep and the big danger hits the gold castle?” he asked the one-eyed Vice King. “Not to worry Mighty King,” said the one-eyed Vice King. “Let me look into the crystal ball and see if the big danger is real.”
“O Mighty King!” screamed the one-eyed Vice King, “Little King is conspiring to take over the world. He is making a secret bomb to burn the gold castle. We must stop him.” Hearing this, Mighty King jumped out of his bed. He sniffed at the crystal ball with his big nostrils, and said, “Sure enough! I smell the secret bomb.”
Let us go and fight Little King.
“You go fight, Mighty King!” said the one-eyed Vice King. "I must hide in a burrow so that nobody knows where I am. That way, there will always be a king over the two oceans." Mighty King scratches his small head.
Mighty King sits on a magic carpet that sails through the clouds, his hand holding the Aladdin lamp, his big nostrils sniffing the lightning. After a long and hectic journey that gives him tummy twists, Mighty King reaches the desert kingdom lit with the crescent moonlight.
Standing on a dune hill, Mighty King shouts through the funnel of a handheld loudspeaker: “Come out Little King, where are you hiding? I am Mighty King. I rule the two oceans. I am good. You are evil. Don’t mess with us. I champion liberty. I have come to liberate the innocent dinosaurs and alligators you eat for meals. I have come to sniff and search out the secret bomb you are making to torch our gold castle.”
Little King opens the door of the sandcastle, and steps out. He is dressed in underwear. His uncut bushy beard hides his mouth. “Welcome to the mysteries of the desert, Mighty King,” says the talking beard. Little King surrenders his rifle to Mighty King.
"Mission accomplished!" exclaims Mighty King.
As Mighty King gets ready to fly back to the gold castle, the Aladdin lamp disappears and the magic carpet shreds into pieces. Mighty King is stuck in the desert. Desert mosquitoes bite his little head. Sand blows into his big nostrils. Mighty King can no longer sleep. And when by chance he dozes off, dinosaurs and alligators surface in his dreams and make funny faces at Mighty King.
“How are you doing, Mighty King?” asks the one-eyed Vice King.
Mighty King is surprised to see the one-eyed Vice King in the desert. “How did you get here?” asks Mighty King.
“All this time I have been digging a secret tunnel from the gold castle to the desert kingdom. O Mighty King, I must tell you something. I lied to you. Little King has no secret bomb. The crystal ball tells nothing. It is just a mirror. What you see in a crystal ball is what you see in a mirror,” says the one-eyed Vice King. Mighty King scratches his little head.
“But I have good news for you Mighty King. A submarine is taking us back to the gold castle. It will sail through the secret tunnel that is now filled with oil,” says the one-eyed Vice King, winking his eye.
©2006 Liaquat Ali Khan. Dr. Khan is a professor of law at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. This story is written for his two sons, Harun and Kashif.
Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on June 2, 2006.