Tuesday, 31 August 2010

One Of My Favourite Stories

I can't remember for the life of me where I first heard this, or where it's supposed to be from, but I think it's worth repeating. I've repeated it to friends to try and buck their spirits up - hopefully it's worked!


There was this King, who had a massive palace. He wanted a mural to put in his special thinking room, so he called in the three most reputable artist-designers in the Kingdom, and told them what he wanted. His brief was: "it needs to be something that makes me happy when I'm sad, but when I'm happy, it will remind me that happiness won't last forever and therefore I should cherish it while it lasts."

So, the three artists go off, and then come back just before the midday deadline, a week later.

The first artist pulls forth his easel and stands in front of the King, who tells him to take the cloth off the canvas so that he can see the artists' design. So, the artist pulls the cloth back, and there's a picture of two dogs, one standing looking left, and the other standing looking right.

The King looks at this, a bit puzzled, and says "what's this?"

The first artist says "Well, you see.... umm.... THIS dog is looking left, which signifies happiness, and THIS dog is looking right, which signifies..."

"GET OUT!" shouts the King. "THIS is what I paid you for? NEVER come back here, you useless artist. NEXT!"

The second artist comes forward with his easel, and pulls the cloth off his canvas with a little flourish, and reveals a painting of five rings (not unlike the olympic logo).

The King looks puzzled, and then frowns at artist number two, who starts shaking a bit, and then haltingly says to the King "uuummmm..... well, your majesty.... these rings represent the different facets of happiness, as represented by their different colours.... you see.... the green one represents...."

"GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!" screams the King, face red, jabbing his finger towards the door, looking a bit like Tasmanian Devil. The second artist scurries away, leaving his easel. The King gets off his throne and kicks the easel over for good measure.

The third artist steps forward, looking nonchalant. The King's eyes start squinting. The third artist walks forward, bringing his easel, and whips off the cloth covering his design.

The King looks at it for a moment, frowns, then looks again, then a smile breaks onto his face and he leaps forward and smothers the third artist in a bear hug, saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you! That is PERFECT!"

And on the third artist's canvas, there is no painting, no real design to speak of, just four words, in remarkably neat text.

The words are: "THIS TOO SHALL PASS."

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