A queen once met a king, although she was a queen not in title, but of behaviour and he was only a king for his sitting upon a throne. The king received the queen in his throne room, pleased by her bowing to him in servitude .
“Come!” he commanded. “Come, sit upon the steps at my feet and eat with me.”
The queen graciously did his bidding and made herself comfortable upon the red plush at the foot of the throne. The serfs and servants looked on with dismay, glancing down at the plates of food each of them held and then back to the queen.
Hesitating, but motivated by a sharp scowl from the king, the first servant offered up his plate to the king. The monarch swept up a meaty fistful and poured them into his mouth. The plate was then offered to the queen.
The sugar coated flies peered back at her, through dead eyes.
“Do you not enjoy candies?” asked the king. “They have been made throughout my kingdom, solely for the king’s enjoyment!”
“But these are dead flies, your majesty!” the queen replied. “Sugar coated flies!”
“Whatever!” exclaimed the king, sweeping the servant away with a gesture, much to the little man’s relief.
The next servant in the queue shuffled forward slowly, hurried along with the grabbing motion of those greedy fingers.
“Mmm! Try these!” growled the king through a sloppy mouthful of food. “These are yummy!”
The queen looked down upon the sludge of mould and decomposing matter. She grimaced and shook her head sympathetically with the servant, who scurried away with fear.
“I’m sorry my lord… I know it may seem very rude,”, the queen said. “But I cannot eat rotting fruits and vegetables. I will upset my stomach!”
The king shook his head with disdain and beckoned the third servant forward. She obeyed, with a grimace of terror etched to her paralysed features.
“Oh, my favourite!” The king squealed and he ladled several mouthfuls down his gullet.
The queen visibly recoiled from the giant porcelain bowl as it was presented to her. The bubbling, brown substance steaming gently under its own internal reaction, rather than any actual cooking.
“No!’ She cried in disgust. “Just no!”
The king shook his head and took another ladleful, before shooing the servant away.
The queen looked up at the king and wanted to explain so much. She wanted to tell him of her adventures and experiences of life. Of the people, the places and the wonderful foods she had tried. She wanted him to know that all this sitting on his throne, waiting for others to present him with food, had caused him to become a fool.
A fool who was given food so disgusting, so old and so, well…. recycled, that it was not really food at all! She wanted so much to have him understand, his servants were saving the best for themselves, whilst feeding him rubbish.
However, she realised that nothing she could say, would make him see… for to discover what feasts were really beyond these walls, he would need to venture beyond these walls.
So, she took a fat, ripe cherry from her bag and offered it to the king. He looked at it, frowned and refused.
“Oh no!” he sniffed. “I couldn’t eat that… it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before!”