Wizards, Witch Doctors & Gurus

Wizards, Witch Doctors and Gurus
(A Fairy Tale?)
by Cindy Wade

Once upon a time in a far away land there lived a young princess named Eva. Princess Eva was a kind and thoughtful princess. She had received the best education possible from her loving parents. They took her to far away places where she learned the customs of the people who lived there. They took her to all the villages in their kingdom so that she could learn about the people and their needs.

Her parents read her stories of history and of the follies of humankind. They provided her with the best tutors in mathematics, music and science. They attended theatre performances with her. There she saw the actors, dancers and musicians aspiring to great heights in their beloved art.

It was a happy time for Princess Eva. She had a close and harmonious relationship with her parents. Eventually she grew into a beautiful young woman ready to make the world a better place for all who lived in it.

One day Princess Eva met a young and handsome prince named Otis. Prince Otis was visiting from a neighboring kingdom. He had traveled with his parents to Princess Eva's kingdom to celebrate her eighteenth birthday.

In the kingdom of Prince Otis the young prince did not receive an education from his parents. Instead, he went away to a small village where throngs of wizards, witch doctors and gurus taught him what they wanted him to know. He could not leave this village whenever he wanted. His parents could only visit him on holidays. Prince Otis remained at this learning village until his 18th birthday and then returned home to his royal family.

When Princess Eva saw Prince Otis she immediately fell in love with him. He also fell in love with her. One year later they married. Soon after their marriage Prince Otis became King Otis when his father died. Princess Eva became Queen Eva.

King Otis and Queen Eva lived very happily in their kingdom. It was a beautiful kingdom with rolling green meadows and lush forests teaming with wildlife. It had crystal blue lakes and rivers, too. Queen Eva's laughter and singing filled the castle halls. The enchanting music she played on her flute was heard for miles. Her paintings and drawings that hung in the castle gallery were admired by everyone. All who came 'round to hear her recite her words enjoyed her writings. She traveled throughout the kingdom to meet the people and to tend their needs.

After several initial visits through her new kingdom Queen Eva noticed something different from her parent's kingdom. The people seemed extremely quiet and withdrawn in her presence. They were respectful to her and very much enjoyed listening to her readings and her music, but the difference in this kingdom was there were no children! No chubby little faces peering up at her as she walked among the people. No innocent giggles and laughter of merriment could be heard. Not a single child in sight.

If you recall, this is the kingdom where the children go away to live with the wizards, witch doctors and gurus until their eighteenth birthday. Only then are they returned to live with their parents. Queen Eva found this custom rather odd and unnatural.

Sometime later, to her most absolute delight, Queen Eva discovered she was with child. Within the year she gave birth to a daughter whom she named Princess Catherine. Queen Eva was the happiest woman on earth, now that she had a child of her own to nurture and raise up. She looked forward to the days when she and her child could go for walks in the forest where they could learn together about the wildlife. Queen Eva began deciding which books she would read to her little princess and could not wait to teach her how to play the flute.

Then the unthinkable happened. Three days after Princess Catherine was born one of the gurus came and took the baby away. He took her to the same village where all the other children had gone. It was the custom. It was the rule. Queen Eva did not realize this rule also applied to her. This made Queen Eva very, very sad.

Queen Eva remained very sad until two years later when she gave birth to another child. This time the baby was a boy and she named him Prince Randolph. Again, the gurus came and took the child away. Again, Queen Eva became very, very sad. This time she became so sad that her heart broke in two and she remained in her room for many years. Never again did she leave the castle to visit the people or stroll through the flower covered meadows. Never again did she feel the warmth of the sun on her face. This made King Otis very unhappy to see his beautiful wife this way, but he knew not what to do about it.

Years went by. Princess Catherine and Prince Randolph grew up in the village of wizards, witch doctors and gurus. Their instructors wanted them to be like all the other children so they were never given any special attention or privileges. It was required of them to help instruct the younger children so that all would become equal in intelligence and achievement.

As the years passed there was one wizard, however, who did not agree openly with this custom of raising children away from their parents. He was a kindly old wizard, much wiser than the rest, but in need of employment, so he never argued his beliefs with his superiors. This kindly old wizard was once a poor traveler in the kingdom of Queen Eva's parents. He had watched from a distance as Queen Eva was taught so well the ways of the world by her parents. He liked this way of teaching but never had the opportunity to try it until Princess Catherine and Prince Randolph were placed in his care.

The kindly old wizard secretly tutored young Princess Catherine and Prince Randolph so that someday, upon their return home, they could take their place among the royalty. He revealed to them their true identity but made them promise never to speak of this knowledge to others. He told them of the strange custom of taking the children to be taught and raised by the wizards, witch doctors and gurus, for that is why they were there. Princess Catherine vowed to have this custom banished if she were ever to become queen.

One day, for no apparent reason, the wizards, witch doctors and gurus changed one of their rules. Instead of a child being returned to their parents on his or her eighteenth birthday, they would now go home at age sixteen. This meant both Princess Catherine and Prince Randolph would return home at the same time because now they were both of these ages.

When they did return home they found their father, King Otis, so distraught over his wife's terrible sadness, had died. Princess Catherine was now the queen. She immediately declared the custom of sending the children of the kingdom away to be taught by the wizards, witch doctors and gurus a foolish one. She banished this custom forever. The children of the kingdom would from here on out remain with their parents who joyously took responsibility for their education. The wizards, witch doctors and gurus could remain but parents now had the freedom to choose whether or not their children would attend their lessons. No one did.

Queen Catherine provided the people in her kingdom with everything they needed. They wanted books for their children to read. She gave them libraries, stacked to the ceiling with volumes and volumes of books. They wanted to go to the other side of the big rivers and lakes to have picnics and to play with their children. She had bridges and boats built to get them there. They wanted to travel to other kingdoms to learn the customs of the people. She gave them horses and carriages to take them there.

Never again was a child taken from its mother. Fathers freely nurtured their daughters and sons. The people of the kingdom could help each other raise their children. They could share their knowledge and their solutions to everyday problems.

All of this made the people very happy. For the first time in years the laughter of children was heard throughout the kingdom. Mothers nursed their infants and read them stories. Fathers played games with their children and taught them songs.

For a time the grass in the meadow grew into weeds. The livestock roamed freely throughout the countryside and the fish in the lakes increased in schools of overwhelming numbers. In time, the parents began teaching the ways of the world to their children. Soon the children learned from their parents and elders how to mow the meadows. They learned how to heard the cattle and sheep. They learned how to catch the fish to feed the people.

The weavers taught the children how to shear the sheep and spin the wool. The fishermen taught the children how to build boats and catch the fish. The blacksmith taught the children how to use a forge and anvil to make useful tools.

Queen Catherine, herself, eventually married and had four children of her own. She and her family live happily together in their kingdom. Every day her children are at her side as she nurtures their minds and their bodies. They follow her to the weavers, the fishermen, and the smithy to also learn from them. They take long walks in the sunshine across the bridges and they row for hours in the boats on the lake. Their grandmother, Queen Eva, is at their side too. She reads to them and teaches them to play the flute.

Queen Catherine's children have a favorite tutor. He is their uncle, Prince Randolph. Now happily married with three children of his own, Prince Randolph spends his hours teaching the children of the kingdom how to make paper from wood and how to make quill pens from feathers. He is the writer of stories and books. He is very wise. He knows the value of sharing the written word with others. He is the teller of stories and of history.

Now, somewhere in a far away land, many families live happily ever after.

The End

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