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The Genie and the Prince (standard:fairy tales, 274 words)
Author: kendall thomas Added: Dec 29 2006Views/Reads: 3581/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Genie makes a troubling offer.

Once upon a time a genie appeared before a prince and offered him a ruby
of exquisite size and beauty. 

“If you keep the ruby,” the genie said, “you will have wealth and fame
and power beyond your wildest dreams, but if you choose to throw it 
away where it can never be retrieved you will end the suffering of all 
mankind forever.” 

The prince thought long and hard on the matter, wandering the halls of
his great castle fretting day and night trying to decide what to do. 

He was sorely tempted to keep the ruby and dreamed of the kingdoms he
could conquer with the armies he would raise.  He would be so great and 
famous that his name would live throughout the ages. 

Then he thought of the haggard little children begging daily on the
streets for just a tiny morsel of food and of the old men and women 
homeless, diseased, shivering with cold in the winter, and he knew that 
it had always been so and that it would always be so, and his heart was 
moved, for it was now within his power to end their suffering. 

But still vanity and greed tugged at him, and he could not decide what
to do. Daily he prayed in the castle chapel, hour after hour, But 
received no answer in the flickering candle light. 

So, finally, he rose early one morning, And, mounted on his great white
steed, he rode for many miles until he came to the edge of a giant 
cliff where he threw the glittering ruby into the sea --- 

and the world came to an end.


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