The Queen and The Jester
There was a queen possessing a big royal suite, amongst them - a jester.
He himself had offered his services and since then has been delighting her
again and again with diverting stories, his jokes and using felicitous irony in
describing life on this court. He was a real jester! - Just as the queen has
ever been wishing. And this has to be said: Although she liked all her friends,
ministers and subordinates: a jester always has been missing, just until this
one had appeared.
The queen never asked, where he had come from, because she wouldn't tell
also, where she came from. She hadn't been queen in this kingdom at all time;
she was asked to be, after the former ruler had passed away without descendant.
- About her past yet, there was a secret. Nobody knew about it, but as she was
that excellent in governance, nobody cared.
With secrets - and that not only in fairy tales like this - the case is
as follows: They have to be revealed. Because a secret, nobody knows about is
no secret at all. It is a smoldering burden poisoning everything around it.
The jester, who observed many things to find subjects for his stories
and points of contact for his jokes, was a master of necessity to discover
secrets - and that only can, who has a secret himself. He knew about that
danger and as he had sworn to serve the queen with all his abilities, and sworn
himself, too, that he would do more than his usual service would demand, he
searched how he could be helpful in this point.
His own secret was this: He had a heart - this jester.
Thus the queen took to him and he took to the queen. He came to her
unsolicited whenever she needed him - and sometime beyond that - the jester.
And she came to him whenever she could liberate herself from official functions
and whished the company of her jester. In the sound of his words and in the reverberation
of his jokes the bonds of her strict reglemented life eased.
"My dear jester." she said then. "Without you my life would be sad."
"So I am the salt in the soup of your life, my queen?" the jester asked.
"You found an adequate expression like always." she laughed. "What could
be the fat pieces of meat and the delicate vegetable without the salt in the soup?
What could be power and richness without you, my jester?"
These words warmed the heart of the jester. He didn't make aware himself
that for him was essence, what for her only was ingredient. Therefore he felt
hurt, when she took him aside one afternoon and insistently requested:
This evening you must withdraw a bit. We will have guests, I like very much.
Tomorrow you may tell me about the ridiculousness you observed in them. But in
front of them rein yourself in."
"What should be left from a jester reining himself in?" he asked.
"You will entertain everyone and hurt none." the queen ordered
The jester did his best to please her, although he felt at no service neither
to the attendees nor himself with groaners. Nevertheless the cheerful laughter
of the guests proofed his mastership as well as the satisfied and amused look
of the queen. But he himself was amused that less, that on the next day he
asked the queen to allow him to separate in future on evenings like this. It
would be to hard for him to contravene himself.
The queen pretended if she took that for one of his humorous ideas.
"You were that unhappy with our guests?" she asked. "Has not your
restraint given you the ability to watch them very close? - Tell me what you
discovered! Now we are completely in private. Slacken the reins of your wit. I
was enjoying all night the expectation to listen to your thoughts about them."
The jester in his sorrow had had no thoughts at all, but now, invited
like that, he remembered pictures and words in his mind, which he had
involuntarily absorbed. His thoughts, his emotions, his tongue began to move
and soon the queen laughed aloud by delight. Too loud a bit. This the jester
"How well you know him!" she cried again and again. "How accurate you
detected all this: His excessive severity, his longing to see a problem in
everything which has to be solved by him just by him in the very moment. His
exhibited caution which makes one forget in the first moment how unerringly he
snaps up any situation."
She spoke only about the one guest, although there had been six of them.
This the jester recognized, too.
"It seems you do not need my explanation, my queen." he finally said. "Did you want to hear the confirmation of your own opinion about someone you
obviously must have known for a long time?"
The queen instantaneously became earnest.
"Yes, I knew him." she then agreed annoyed. "Many years ago I knew him very well. He hasn't changed. - What you could tell me after just one evening,
I unfortunately was recognizing slowly not before many winters and summers had
This was the instant the jester had waited for. The jewel-case of the
secret was opened. Here the queen was nothing but true for the first time and
for this more precious to him than ever before.
"You will not
have missed recognizing the deep sincerity in his behavior then." he jotted
carelessly to learn how she would react.
are protecting him?" she cried with sudden lack of self-control. "I warn you!
One word further in this direction and I'll get you whipped."
forgive your jester!" he said with an engaging smile and a little bow. "You
will not have to expect sincerity of this kind from me."
"I do hope
so!" - She waged her finger on him, but then found back to her most charming
style. "We want to remain friends, do we?" And she did something she had never
done before: She placed her hand on the arm of the jester and looked at him
that cheerful, that he felt entirely dizzy.
"He stayed." she murmured. "This evening you may treat him at your whim. Just as you like.
You understand? - I'll leave him to you completely."
stepped back and looked at the queen estimating.
"The hands of
your soldiers certainly are much more qualified for an act of revenge than
those of your jester."
Who would be so cruel and pedantic? - I wish him neither dead no hurt. But no:
Let him recognize himself, you got the talent for that. All I wish is that he
comprehends what he does. Do not be indulgent."
said to himself, that under these circumstances it might not be felt less cruel
if he corresponded to the will of the queen. He told himself, too, that she
might wish less, the guest may comprehend what he would do, but that he may
comprehend what she, the queen, would feel. Wouldn't that also expose her and could
that be also her wish? And finally: Would this be the point were he could be on
evening had come, he had arranged his thoughts. He did not feel entirely at
ease, because beside the interest of the attendees his own would have to be
kept in sight. And even therefore, not because of being craven, he appeared
instead of telling the queen directly that he would refuse to undertake the
hesitated, because the guest's calm open-mindedness rarely gave him a working
point. But when this had begun to spread his opinion about the high
responsibility of a governor down to the smallest detail, the jester
interrupted him by saying: "You would suggest with all this ingenuity, that
every one else of us may behave irresponsible?"
felt bemazed. He resisted the assumption, shook it of and went on, this time
looking insistently on the queen, who seemed to be absorbed by his speech.
"But when you
shift the responsibility on the queen only," the jester, too, remained at the
helm. "you never will find out, how many opportunities are given to your own
The guest interrupted,
turned towards him and said after some seconds sincerely thinking: "It's in
your way, watching minutiae in the words or the appearance of your vis-à-vis.
This view reveals the one or other thing to ridiculousness. It is amusing but
should not prevent us to treat thoughts which we have recognized as being
precious with the utmost care." Then he added empathically: "The abandonment of
a governess contents great responsibility for the whole remit under her
control. The responsibility of lower ranks is not at all affected by that."
see," the jester laughed friendly. "There you get to the point. Better: two
points. And so, resolved into two details, even a jester is able to understand
your thoughts to all intents and purposes."
question is, Sir, how to abandon the discourse you opened."
discourse, Mylord? I agree completely. In each of the two points. And I presume,
as the opinion is that common, you will not find a single opponent to it at this
disposed of his topic of conversation by this, the man was to be seen looking
at his plate annoyed. The guest were relieved to escape the lengthiness. The
queen, however, look round satisfied and donated a smile to the jester.
"Oh, do not
smile, my queen." the jester cried and called the attention of the guest
straightforward to this instance. "Responsibility is a severe topic indeed. We
do not want to reveal it to ridiculousness. - As we know now, you are in charge
for it twice."
heard anything about that." Her voice had become prudish and faltert.
too, gazed back and forth between queen and jester. But finally he was
unsophisticated enough to recognize a calling in the jester's look.
majesty," he said. "That exactly was, what I tried to convey to you. A
governess is not only responsible for the concerns of her subjects. Besides
that she is responsible for her own life, as much as anyone else. As a
governess she rules and makes decisions for those, she cares for, from a high
position. As a human being she is more tries for creating a balance between
herself and others."
"How common." the queen responded bored. "No, that is no difference for me. I am queen at any
hour by day or night. As a governess I make the decisions for me and others in
the same way. A high - notabene intellectual - position in both cases is
indispensable. Balance is there, where deference is paid to my will."
The topic was
changed. The guest became reserved, the jester lively. Perhaps by chance they
left the dinner shortly after each other. But the servant, which was my source
of information, absolutely insists, he had seen them both shaking hands outside
in the hall. The guest had thanked the jester.
morning the queen hastened to the jester: "You did so well, my dear." she cried
in a elation which sounded like sobbing. "He's run of, this terrible man. Has departed
even last night. Now we are in entirely in private again. Cheer me up, dear
jester. I rested ill."
looked at the queen, how he had never looked at her before. This gaze directed
her attention to his robe, which looked simple on this morning. As simple as
the robe of any subject.
"I can never
cheer you up again, my queen." he said regardful. "And I beg you to let me go."
"You want to
leave me?" she cried appalled. "But what should I do without you? Life is dull
and steady without your jokes. - What do you mean with: You can never cheer me
make fun without keeping the balance." the jester explained. "And I can no
longer pay deference to your will."
not?" the queen angrily stamped with her foot.
yesterday I looked into the heart of a man and because I have a heart myself."
stared at him puzzled. The jester bowed and left.
after him for a while, than she sat down on the near kerb and disappointedly
spoke to herself: "Oh my god, he was no jester at all. He was just common. As
common as the other one."
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Barbara I..
Published on e-Stories.org on 03.04.2006.