Tale 110: Keeping a Secret (Misty)
"Once upon a time there lived a woman who had one little boy--we'll call him Matthew." Misty begins. "At first sight, you wouldn't think that he was any different from millions of other little boys; but then you noticed that by his side hung the sheath of a sword. and as Matthew gold older, so did the sheath."
"Was it bigger than him by the time he came of age?" Ash smiles, grinning as he remembers the overly large weapons in RPGs.
"The sword which belonged to the sheath Matthew had found sticking out of the ground in the garden, and every day he pulled it out to see if it would go into the sheath." Misty replies. "But though it was plainly growing as well, it was a matter of time before the two would fit."
"So when did they fit?" Brock is piqued.
Finally, the day came when it slipped in quite easily." Misty continues. "Matthew could hardly believe his eyes, so he tried it a few times, and each time it slipped in more easily than before. But pleased though Matthew was, he determined not to tell anyone about it, especially his mother, who never could keep anything from her neighbors."
"Talk about a blabber-mouth..." Melody smiles.
"In spite of his vows and promises, he could not hide completely that something had happened." Misty cautions. "So when he went in to breakfast that morning, his mother asked him if something was wrong. Matthew replied that he had a wonderful dream, but couldn't tell anyone. The woman begged, pleaded, and cried for Matthew to tell her; but it was no use, neither words nor blows would get the secret out of him."
"You mean..." Ash swallows hard.
"Poor Matthew was beaten over a secret?" Brock is equally concerned.
Misty sadly nods yes to silently answer the boys' questions. "Matthew ran into the garden all battered and beaten, knelt beside his little sword, and cried. The moment he stretched out his hand, it slid quietly into the sheath."
Happini sniffles as Brock brushes away a tear forming in her eye. "I know, you don't like seeing anyone crying..."
"Matthew cried for a long time, and his sobs were heard by the king, who happened to be passing that way." Misty continues. "He ordered one of his servants to see who was crying. When the servant returned, he told the king what had happened. The king ordered Matthew brought to him, as it pained him to see one of his subjects crying."
"Pi pini pi!" Happini smiles.
"Your kind of king, huh?" Brock coos.
"The king adopted Matthew as his own son, and promised him the princess' hand in marriage as soon as he came of age." Misty continues. "Before he left for the castle, Matthew retrieved his sword from the garden."
She pauses for a beat, then continues. "On the way, Matthew told the king everything that had happened, and reiterated he would not tell his dream to anyone, not even the king. "Try as the court might, Matthew said nothing, until he was banished from the palace until he told someone."
"Pika pika!" Pikachu is appalled.
"But the servants felt sorry for Matthew, and allowed him to stay with them." Misty assures the Pokemon. "He stayed with them until he turned sixteen. Meanwhile, the two elder princesses had been married. The youngest one--we'll call her Teresa--was old enough to be married too, but she was very particular, and turned up her nose at all the suitors who had sought her hand."
"Pika?" Pikachu asks.
"One day she was sitting in the palace bored, and decided to see what the servants were doing." Misty continues. "She ran across the gardens to the servants' quarters, where she recognized Matthew as the little boy she had once played with. She asked him about his secret, but Matthew wouldn't tell. When the king heard what had happened, he ordered Matthew killed."
Everyone gasps. "But minutes before Matthew was led to the gallows, a king of a neighboring country asked for Matthew to be spared." Misty assures the group "So Matthew was set free under the assumption he would tell someone in the neighboring country. When he got there, the princess of that land--we'll call her Cordelia--pleaded for Matthew to tell her, but time and time again Matthew refused. When the king heard what had happened, he ordered Matthew imprisoned inside a tall tower. But Princess Cordelia had a small tunnel just big enough for a basket of food, water, and a book or two to fit hidden inside--this way, she would send Matthew three square meals and three new books from the library every day, so Matthew always had plenty of food and water and something to do."
"Azu..." Azurill smiles.
"One day a messenger from the northern desert came bearing a letter and three trees for the king." Misty continues. "The messenger told the king that if he could not put the trees in order from tallest to shortest, his master would go to war against him."
Brock bursts out laughing at this. "That's a stupid reason to go to war!" Ash agrees as he too laughs.
Misty is unfazed--stupid or not, this was how the story went. "The king was scared when he heard this, and though he looked at the trees very closely, there appeared to be no difference between them. Even Princess Cordelia knew something was up. She assured her father she would find an answer, and sent her request to Matthew along with her customary meal and books. When she came to deliver Matthew's breakfast and new books the next day, she told her father Matthew's reply--the shortest would sink to the bottom of a jar of water, the middle would neither sink nor float, and the largest would float. The desert king was amazed, and decided to call off the war preparations. Matthew was set free, and served as the king's most trusted advisor; When the king died from a terrible disease a year later, Matthew succeeded him."
She concludes "Matthew and Princess Cordelia were married not long after he became king, but after the wedding festivities ended, Matthew asked to see his mother. Leave was granted, and he returned to his homeland. His mother hardly recognized him in all his finery."
"So what was Matthew's big secret?" Brock is curious.
Misty smiles. "Matthew had dreamed that he had become king of a far off land, and had she not beaten him, and he had told anyone, his dream would not have come true."
"Oh"s go up as Misty takes a bow....