Dancing at Work

Monday, October 4, 2010

One of AOL's teasers linked to videos of people caught by security cameras while they were dancing. The first man was at work, and he appeared to be enjoying himself immensely. Since dancing can be a great stress reliever and people who are stressed out are less productive, I approve of dancing at work.

For reasons that will become clear later, the clips reminded me of a fairy tale I heard as a child. Here is a blog-length version.

* * *

Once upon a time, a king lived in a castle with his wife and three daughters. After his wife died without bearing him a son, he decided to choose someone to succeed him. He told his three daughters that he would give his kingdom to the one who loved him most. Then he asked each to describe how much she loved him.

"I love you like diamonds," said the eldest.

"That's pretty good," thought the king.

"I love you like pearls," said the second.

Now the king had a dilemma, because how do you choose between diamonds and pearls? But maybe he wouldn't have to.

He turned to his youngest, and favorite, daughter. "How much do you love me?"

She threw her arms around his neck and said, "I love you like meat loves salt."

"WHAT?" he roared as he flung her away from him. "How dare you. Leave my kingdom right now and never return."

She tried to explain, but he wouldn't let her. Knights dragged her away and left her outside a hut in a neighboring kingdom.

Fortunately, the family who lived there took her in. After a while, she met and married the prince of that kingdom. When his father died, the girl, who was now a wife and mother, became queen. She had everything she wanted, except . . .

Except her father's love.

Then one day her father came to visit the neighboring kingdom. He didn't know his daughter was queen, and she wouldn't let her husband tell him.

The queen threw a feast for her father and his companions but begged off from attending, claiming that she was dealing with a great sorrow.

At the meal, a heavily veiled servant put a bowl of soup in front of the older king. Taking a bite, he nearly spit it out. "This is terrible," he thought. But he ate it so he wouldn't offend his host and hostess.

Then the main course arrived, and the same servant gave him a platter of meat cooked until it had only a hint of red left in it. Since that was just the way he liked it, he dug in eagerly. And gagged.

"Is something wrong?" his host asked.

"I'm sorry," said the guest, "but something seems to be missing from my meal."

"Yes," said the younger man. "My cook received instructions to serve your food without salt."

At first the older king looked puzzled. Then his face turned pale.

"What's wrong now?" asked the host.

Tears ran down the visiting king's cheeks. "I sent my youngest daughter into exile because I thought she didn't love me. Now I realize she loved me most of all." He moaned. "But it's too late. I don't even know where she is to tell her how sorry I am."

The serving woman threw off her veils. "Here I am, Father."

They hugged for a long time before father released daughter. "I wish I could make it up to you, but I already divided my kingdom in two and gave it to your sisters. I have nothing left to give."

"I already have a kingdom. I am queen of this land, with a husband and children I love dearly. I have everything I want except . . ."

"Except?"

"Your love."

The old man's tears started flowing again. "That I can give you."

* * *

This fairy tale reminds me that it isn't only the big or expensive things that add flavor to our lives. It can be something as simple as dancing at work.

So keep on dancing.

2 comments:

Linda Glaz said...

Dancing, like singing, brings out the heart of a person. When little kids dance without encouragement, you know something special is coming from their hearts. Great post!

Carrie said...

I always loved that story. :)

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