King in the Woods

The rumor spread quickly. There was a king in the woods. Some young lad had returned to the village the night before, and had said he had chatted with a king somewhere in the small woods next to the village. A king! The villagers had never seen a king, and they were excited by the prospect of having their own king living in their very woods!

In fact, the next day 131 of the villagers, nearly half of the village, equipped themselves with cameras and flashlights and king-detectors of all sorts and rushed off to the woods, each with the hope they would find the king first. What could be more gratifying than being the first to find the king?

The 131 spent all day tramping through the woods this way and that in search of their king.However, when sunset brought the day to a close, not a single one of them had the king in tow. And this seemed a bit odd, for the stand of woods was not much larger than the village itself. Undeterred, they search the next day…all day…and the next day…and the next…all without ever uncovering the king, nor any royal articles that might have indicated there actually was a king.

Now, you might think they would give up and assume the young lad who claimed to have chatted with a king to be fibbing a bit. No, not these villagers. These villagers had faith. And they had strong faith. And strong faith is the best sort. For the stronger your faith, the more possibility there is that you will find the king.

It was a mere three weeks after the initial king rumor that the 131 faithful seekers actually moved into the woods. For what better way of meeting the king than to spend time in his woods alongside 130 other king-believers? They, of course, kept looking for the king, but actually finding the king was not really that important since they all could feel his presence beside them there in the beauty of the woods.

Meanwhile, some of those still living in the village began to openly question the existence of the alleged king. “Where is the evidence?” they exclaimed. The 131 faithful king-believers quickly responded “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!” One village girls spoke up. “You all have spent several weeks searching the small woods with cameras and flashlights and king-detectors of all sorts for a king. Yet, not a single one of you has not uncovered evidence of this king. Is this not evidence of an absent king?” The 131 faithful all began shouting “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!” In some places, the more you say something, the more it is true.

Four months later, some of the 131 faithful began claiming that they could hear the voice of the king at night. Five months later some of them were telling stories of their conversations with the king. How could anyone deny the existence of a king that spoke personally with them? And their hearts were warmed whenever they heard the kings voice. It was noted that the kings voice was more audible when they beat drums and sang and chatted loudly, so they beat drums and sang and chatted loudly and rejoiced when the king’s voice came to them with evermore clarity. The king’s voice soon began to decree all sorts of rules and regulations for their life in the woods, and they rejoiced in this…except when they disagreed about what the king’s was actually saying…which was often. Soon the woods became rather fragmented with small schisms of the 131 faithful throwing rocks at each other in defense of a king each side was certain they had correctly heard.

After a year, some of the faithful began to emerged from the woods to confront the evil unbelieving villagers. One of them with a nice haircut stood on a stump and said “You unbelievers of cold hearts have rejected the king since you want to enjoy the evils of village life and don’t want to submit yourselves to the decrees of a king. You know there is a king, and you are rejecting him out of rebellion. The king has told me you will eventually be forever tortured for your unbelief. Receive my words, submit to the king, moved into the woods and the loving king will forgive you.” The king-denying villagers looked at each other and blinked blankly.

(Please write your own ending to this story in the comments below.)

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