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The Children of Melot
Around the corner of the rare bird aviary and just beyond the conservatory you
can still see the ornate playground the King of Melot built for his children.
Its entrance is framed by a miniature Arc de Triumphe and in sunny weather the
King's many children once spent their days in the playground idling their hours
away under the watchful eye of their nurse. They lived in isolation and none of
them knew anything of the ways of the world -- the playground was their
universe. Famines afflicted the subjects of the King. Wars came and went, and
great natural tragedies frequently plagued the countryside -- but still the
children played on.
They rode their carrousel until they tired of it, then they walked the tiny
bridges that spanned a painted landscape. Tiring of that, they see-sawed, swung
and sang to the wind chimes. Sometimes they listened to stories told by the
bards of the castle of Melot. In rainy weather they played indoors. The King's
musicians would perform for them, or the King himself might tell them of his
glorious exploits in the history of the Royal House of Melot.
On a particularly bright and sunny day, the eldest son of the King stood atop
the playground slide and looked over the parapet and down to the fields below.
There, he could see men, women and children working in the fields. He asked his
nurse who these people were. "They are slaves," she replied. "Ignoble people,
slaves of your father's realm. They toil in the fields of Melot so we may eat."
" I cannot see their playgrounds, have they no time for play?" He asked.
The nurse had no answer to the question of the eldest son, neither did the
King's wise men or the King himself. But everyone agreed that was the way it
always had been and would always be in Melot.
One morning, to everyone's surprise, the slaves of Melot moved away. No one in
the castle - neither the King, nor his wisest of wise men could explain their
disappearance. But suddenly, to the astonishment of everyone in the castle,
there was nothing to eat. There was no one to clean and no one to groom the
horses, no one to play music and no one to remember the stories of the bygone
days of Melot.
The Royal family languished with no one to serve them. No food appeared at the
Palace gate, the cooks could no longer be found and the Royal barber was gone.
The King and his many wives and children slowly starved in the grand and
beautiful Castle of Melot.
The overgrown ruins of the castle can still be seen on the hill overlooking the
desolate fields of Melot. Around the corner from the rare bird aviary and just
beyond the conservatory you can still see the ornate playground the King of
Melot kept for the children.
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