Once upon a time in a kingdom, there was born a beautiful princess. It is said that her eyes sparkled like the stars and her smile was as radiant as the sun…. Her father the king was truly proud of his daughter. She was truly the apple of his eye….
As the princess grew she became even more beautiful, even as her mother the Queen… The King was an envied man throughout the land. Many a king and prince from surrounding kingdoms had urged the king to promise the hand of his daughter… The king, though, had refused….
As the years passed, and the princess grew up and, like her mother the queen, grew into a gorgeous woman. As she reached womanhood, the king and queen both realized that it was time that she chose a groom…. So, the suiting began…. Suitors (princes mainly) from far and wide came to plead for the hand of the princess. The k8ing and queen officiated so that infatuation would not prevail over true love.
At last, there arrived a knight from a distant kingdom. The king and queen knew this was the one and they were told as much by the princess. But, there was not to be a ceremony right away….
The king announced a quest…
“If you truly wish the hand of my daughter, you must engage in a quest….”
“What am I to seek my king…? Nothing is too dangerous…”
“Your quest is for the Three Golden Oranges. They represent virtues, which will be needed to successfully please my daughter. Bring these to me and you will have the hand of the princess.”
“Where might I find these oranges… my liege….?”
“They can be found in the Valley of the Vultures…..”
As the king spoke, there went up a gasp from the court, for the stories and legends about the valley of the vultures were many and none of them were good….
The knight accepted the quest and left to seek the three golden oranges…
On the way, the knight encountered a midget…. The midget seemed cold and hungry. The knight resolved to share his rations. The midget told the knight a story….
“Ah yes… The valley of Vultures is not a pleasant place… There are traps galore and there is also a troll…. I have also heard of the three golden oranges…
“You seem to know the valley…”
“Yes I lived in the valley for a time until it was overrun with vultures preying on everything and there was no food. That is why the 3 golden oranges remain a mystery to most who pass here…”
Come with me my friend and you will be useful in my quest….
The next morning, the two left in search of the oranges… They soon approached the valley… As the approached the troll stopped them.
“halt….. What seek you….?!?!?!?!??”
The midget piped up
“Courage, understanding and wisdom….
The troll waked toward them…
“Sir knight, do you allow this little one to speak…'””
“This little one is my friend…. I know not what be the
“The problem is his stature…. His is barely noticeable…. Hahahahahah……….”
At this the midget released a hook and removed a whip from around his waist…. Within a blink of an eye, the troll was wrapped up and unable to move. At this the troll acknowledged the midget…..
“I had to make sure… Sir knight…. On you go….. and god’s speed…”
Soon the knight and the midget came to a crossing. The bridge was narrow and looked unsafe. The alternative was to be the snack of a river full of piranhas. The knight pulled the midget up on the horse….
” As goes one so go we all……. ” He said, and trotted toward the bridge. As they crossed, the bridge creaked and, you could see the anticipation in the piranha’s movements. The crossing was slow, but the piranha got no meal from them that day……
On they traveled… Soon they came to a giant ant colony…. The colony, obviously was home for millions of ants… The midget was quick to open a pouch and scoop a couple of hands full into the pouch…
“This is for later…” he said.
On they went.. Night fell and they were sleepy. The midget suggested that they not go to sleep, but, hide and watch…. The midget mixed sugar and water and spread it liberally around the campsite… Sure enough… visitors did arrive as they searched the larder and the storage they trampled through the sugar water the midget had made… The midge released the ants…. It wasn’t long before the visitors retreated….
On they traveled….. Through a desert where there lay waste the carcass of many an animal. The vultures were preying them upon….. Although it was an anxious moment, the vultures did not bother them as they passed…
At the end of the desert, they saw a cave… The cave entrance was covered with vines…. And tree branches…. It was obvious that no one had entered the cave for some time… They dismounted…
They pushed back the debris, and entered…. As they entered, the floor of the cave seemed unsteady…. They went farther and lit a lantern…. The floor was comprised of poles, all of which were about the space of the knight’s foot in diameter. They had to jump from one to another in order to cross….. Jumping from one to the other, they finally passed. On the other side was a stream….
On the other side of the stream was a garden…. Past the garden, you could see the three golden oranges…. They crossed the stream floating on logs that they found beside the stream….
Reaching the other side they approached the golden oranges…. As they approached, a spirit appeared…
“This is the guardian of the oranges….” Spoke the midget…. “She will not cede control to those of impure heart…”
The knight approached…
“I seek Courage, Strength and Wisdom….. I have come on a quest at the bidding of one who would give the hand of his daughter… Please spirit… Allow me access to the golden oranges….”
The spirit replied…
“You must first answer three questions…. To prove your worthiness…”
“First, if you see an injustice, what would you ask…..?”
“Courage.” replied the knight ” to correct the injustice”
“Second, if you experience an event in which you do not agree, both other prefer, what would you seek….??”
“I would ask strength to accept the inevitable…”
“Third, if you see these two and are confused as to your course of action, what would you seek…..?”
The knight replied…
“Wisdom that I may distinguish injustice from ill will….”
The spirit smiled…” Take the oranges and go…. God’s speed…”
The knight returned tot he castle and was given the princess’s hand in marriage. The oranges are kept as a reminder of the values of life….
As for the midget, the king was told of his bravery and goodness…. The king made the midget master at arms in recognition of his deeds. For it is not the size of the physical being but the size of the heart and the amount of good will that makes one a giant….