THE MOUNTAIN KING

The first of an occasional series of children’s stories by Storysmith…

StorysmithOur picture shows Storysmith – that’s him in the cloak. His entire aim in life is to create original short stories for kids. And if you’re going to have an entire aim, it probably couldn’t get much better than that. He begins…

A good king had an argument with a bad king who owned a country right next door. “Keep out of my country or else…” The good king shouted.

The bad king stormed away, not waiting to hear the rest of the sentence which was in fact, “Keep out of my country or else come in for a cup of tea.”

The bad king returned to his own country and vowed to get vengeance on his sworn enemy.

“I shall …I shall…” he said to his court and anyone else who would listen. “I shall…”

Everybody stopped listening because they knew he probably wouldn’t.

The very next day the bad king was staring out of his palace window at the dewy dawn when his perfectly manicured lawn began to shake, crumble and erupt. Carefully tended rose beds flew into the morning air, and dreamy arbours collapsed. As the bad king watched the snowy tip of a mountain appeared, rapidly followed by the rest of the mountain.

“Goodness me,” cried the bad king, “This will prove to my sworn enemy that my land is far more fabulous than his! My very own mountain!”

As excitement gripped him, he came to a momentous decision. “I shall climb my mountain, put a flag on top of it and… and…” He paused. “And put my tongue out at him from the lofty heights!”

Servants were summoned, mountaineering shops were called, and the bad king assembled all the equipment he needed to climb the lofty peak.

All the people in the land assembled to watch their king set out on his journey. With a mighty wave and a cry of long live something or other (they couldn’t hear properly) he was off.

He scaled sheer rock faces, slept huddled against the wind in rough crevices, and gingerly balanced on worrying precipices. He struggled against all odds and sure enough, three days later, on the point of exhaustion, he was within reach of the pinnacle.

Just at that moment the good king appeared at the summit, and drove a flag into the thick snow.

“What?” cried the bad king, “How dare you! This is my mountain. How did you get up here so fast?”

“Simple” said the good king with a winning smile on his face, “I used the staircase on the other side.”