Once there was a king who was loved by all the people in his kingdom. The was peace and the people lived well. Then one terrible day the dark skies and fury of war came to the kingdom, even to the capital city. The palace was destroyed and ransacked by enemies.
The king walked through the ruins of the palace. For the wood and stone of the palace he had no tears, but for the crown jewels and family heirlooms, passed down for many generations, for these there was no way to comfort the king.
The king gathered his wise men, but none any advice to offer. The jewels had been scattered to the farthest points of the kingdom and to many other lands, the most precious of them taken across the seas to the farthest reaches of the globe. Now the king had a daughter who was very dear to him, and in her wisdom she saw what needed to be done.
So the king and his daughter gathered and trained pigeons to return to the palace, to recognize the crown jewels and carry them back on their journey. Each day they would release the pigeons in the vast fields surrounding the palace, and some would discover the jewels and family heirlooms scattered about and return them to their home. The king was glad and smiled at his daughter.
Then the king’s daughter sent them further away, and again they returned, carrying a few more of the precious things that her father had lost. As far away as they were sent, they quickly returned.
Now the most valuable jewels, those in the most distant lands and most hidden places, those jewels had not yet been recovered. The pigeons did not venture far enough to find them—they were too eager to return home.
The king’s daughter knew what must be done, but she could not tell her father, for it was too hard, too dangerous, too awful. The king looked into her eyes and he knew. He destroyed his palace once again, levelling it to the ground, removing its every trace. When the pigeons attempted to return, they found nothing, no more than an empty pasture with scattered stones and smoldering wood. They were hungry for their food and sick for their home.
Until the most adventurous of the pigeons traveled far abroad and found other palaces, and in those palaces they found hidden the king’s most precious jewels, and gathered them and polished them and kept them in their wings. And at night they cried, for they knew this was not their home.
They patiently wait for the day the can return to their beloved home.
May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)
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