Once upon a time, there was a King who was never satisfied.
He ruled the kingdom of MorMorMoria. Of course, its real name wasn’t MorMorMoria. Many years ago, it had been called The Kingdom on the Moor. However, the king was so very greedy, and always wanted “more, more, more” that everyone had begun calling it the Kingdom of MorMorMoria. As we have already said, that wasn’t the real name. The King had heard a court jester calling it MorMorMoria, and not getting the joke (for the trick of being a court jester is to make the king laugh without him understanding what you are really saying, while your audience does), decided it should be called
And so it was, although each year the King added another Mor for good measure.
One day, the King ordered his latest Grand Eloquent Superdee-Duper Councillor (she was new, because the King had not liked the last Grand Eloquent Superdee-Duper Councillor’s eyebrows) to fetch his Royal Librarian.
“Where is that librarian? I never see him!”
“He is in the fourth library on the the fifty-seventh floor, your Grandi-Magnficant-Highest of the Highnesses.”
“In a library? No wonder I never see him. Fetch him at once!”
The GESDC ran out of the room at once and returned in seventeen seconds.
The King yelled, “What took you so long?”
“I’m sorry, your Highest of the Highnesses!”
“Grandi-Magnficant-Highest of the Highnesses!”
“Yes, your Grandi-Magnificant-Shining Beacon of Highestness!”
“Now you’ve made it too long. You there! Are you my Royal Librarian?”
“Yes, your highness.” At this, the GESDC snuck out of the room. It’s very unpleasant not to be able to please someone.
“How many libraries do I have?”
“Four-hundred and fifty-one, your highness.”
“How many…what do you call them…books do I have?”
“One million, three-hundred and twenty-four thousand, six hundred and twelve.”
“That isn’t enough! I must get more enjoyment out of them!”
“Perhaps if your majesty read a few of them…”
“I don’t want to read them, I just want to own them! How many more books are there in MorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMorMoria?”
He was so upset he added another Mor right on the spot.
“None, your highness.”
“Yes, your highness. You own them all.”
“I WANT MORE! You must have those Arthurs write more at once.”
“There are no more authors, your highness. Since they could not sell their books in this kingdom any more, for you took them all without paying, they have all left.”
“WHAT?! You must go out into the land of Dissatisfactia and find me something new to read!”
While the Royal Librarian was not sure if the King was serious or not (he was not so good at reading people as he was at reading books), he was not only Royal but loyal as well.
So, the Loyal Librarian gathered a few favorite books and set off to explore the other Kingdoms in the land of Dissatisfactia to find something new for the King to read.
The first land he came to was Amazonia, a land of powerful warriors.
“Excuse me, do you have anything new to read?”
“We do! Behold!”
It was a magic book! The Loyal Librarian watched as book after book appeared out of the air!
“That is something new! You must come back with me to show it to the King!”
The King of MorMorMoria was complaining about how long the microwave was taking to cook something when the Loyal Librarian returned with the Amazon and the Magic Book.
“Your majesty, I have returned with something new to read!”
“You asked me to find something for you, your highness.”
“Oh, yes. What have you brought me?”
“It is a magic book, your highness! Books appear on it through the air!”
“That is something new! You have done well.”
“Thank you, your majesty.”
“I want two!”
Fortunately, the Amazon had brought a second magic book, even larger than the first, and the King was pleased.
All might have gone well in the Kingdom of MorMorMoria, except for one thing.
The King asked the Amazon to fetch his favorite book through the air. Now, the King was not much of a reader, as you may have guessed. His favorite book was one with many colorful pictures.
Unfortunately, the magic book could not show the colors in the colorful pictures.
“NO COLOR! TAKE THIS FOUL USELESS THING AWAY!” bellowed the King.
Since it was less than thirty days, the Amazon took it back.
“Royal Librarian! Find me a magic book with color!”
The Royal Librarian wasted no time in beginning his new quest.
He headed to a venerable kingdom, one that was well-known for books. It was a land ruled by a farmer and twin princesses…a land of barns and nobles.
“Excuse me,” said the Loyal Librarian, “do you have a magic book?”
“We do,” said the twin princesses.
“That’s wonderful! You must come with me to show the King!”
The farmer said, “The princesses will go with you, because there are two of them, and our magic book has two screens. I shall stay here and watch over our Kingdom.”
And so he did.
On the way back to MorMorMoria, the twin princesses told the Loyal Librarian of the wonders of their magic book.
When they entered the throne room, the King was demanding that there be at least three more hours in a day, and that the sun be made less bright.
“Your majesty, I have brought a magic book in color!”
You may have noticed that the Loyal Librarian did not use the grandiloquent titles for the King that the Grand Eloquent Superdee-Duper Councillor did. The truth was that the King found it very difficult to pay any attention to someone with that much education. As a result, he only caught every fourth or fifth word the Librarian said.
“LET US SEE IT AT ONCE!” roared the King.
The King examined the magic book. It was indeed in color, but just a small portion of it. However, the King only ever read a small portion of a book…in fact, he had great fun flipping through the colorful covers with just one finger. That was the most reading the King had ever done.
The Librarian was overjoyed!
“That is not all…with our magic book, you can loan your books to others,” said the twin princesses.
“Why would I want to do a thing like that?!”
“So you can show them how many more books you have than they do?” quavered the princesses, quite taken aback by the King’s vehemence.
“Oh, that would be fun! But what if they don’t give them back? Wars are such an eternal bother.”
“The books automatically disappear in fourteen days.”
“Whether they have finished them or not? That is splendid! I shall loan my cousin my favorite book right now!”
The princesses helped him, and the colorful story disappeared from the King’s magic book.
“WHERE DID IT GO?!?!”
“Oh, you can not have it at the same time as your cousin.”
“GET OUT! GET OUT AT ONCE! AND TAKE THIS ABOMINATION WITH YOU!”
And so it went. For nearly thirty years, the Loyal Librarian went from kingdom to kingdom in the land of Dissatisfactia. From each, he brought back a new and better magic book, and with each, the king would find fault. After awhile, the Loyal Librarian would return to kingdoms from whence he had gotten magic books before, to find marvelous improvements, wonders the world had never seen! Books that talked, books that sang, books that moved, books that knew just what you wanted to read, books that wrote themselves.
But still the King was not satisfied.
Finally, the Loyal Librarian, who had not been young when he first visited Amazonia, could go on no more. He sat with his back against a tree. With hands as gnarled as the roots of that mighty forest guardian, he painfully pulled a tattered old book from his pack. It was torn and smudged, and one could barely make out the title of the book:
“The Kingdom on the Moor: a Hystory”
Though his eyes could barely focus on the page, he read himself to sleep…never to return to the castle again.
The King complained bitterly that he never got his perfect magic book, and in a fit of anger, burned all of the books in MorMorMoria.
That would have pained the Loyal Librarian, but he was not ever to hear about it. He slept…and he was satisfied.
And the moral of the story is: enjoy what you have, for there is no treasure greater than contentment.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.