Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bird's Nest Soup

It was in the time known as the Years of Vak Asflak As. The Pharaoh Gayadonn had gathered together in his palace and post office his most trusted advisers to talk of the future. “We shall build a mighty stadium the like of which the world has never seen, not even in China!” he proclaimed. There was silence in the room, all of the Pharaoh's advisers knew there was no money to pay for such grand works, but how to tell this to their ruler. Finally one of them broke the silence. “My Pharaoh, such a monument to your glory should not just be paid for by the grateful citizens of Madrid, many others across the nation should surely contribute also.” Gayadonn was convinced, and asked “Who shall deliver to me these funds?” “You must speak with Sol Bes, high priest of the national treasury” was the reply. “Bring him to me!” demanded Gayadonn. “Er, I think you must go to him, my Pharaoh” was the reply.

So Gayadonn dressed in his finest robes and set off to the Temple of Money. Sol Bes received him and listened patiently as Gayadonn explained his exciting plans for the city. Eventually, and when Gayadonn had finished talking, Sol Bes spoke in his characteristic monotone. “Gayadonn, can you not see that the people have no work and there is famine across the land? No longer do the great machines roar day and night, the high cranes stand silent and every day brings more signs of hardship and trouble.” “Yes, I know”, said Gayadonn impatiently, “but my projects shall bring work for all who want it.” “You have not spent wisely”, declared Sol Bes, “your tunnels fill with water every time it rains and still no trees grow by the river. Must the whole country pay for your extravagance?” Sol Bes fingered the key to the treasury that hung from his neck. “The people must eat Gayadonn, they cannot live with circus alone.” Gayadonn tried to reason with the old man, promising him that he would receive an even finer position when Gayadonn became supreme ruler. “I am old and weary” replied Sol Bes, “soon I will return to my village and tend my garden. Then you must deal with Seba Styan, who once tried to depose you. I can do no more.

Gayadonn returned empty handed to his palace and locked himself inside his private chambers. His advisers were not worried, this was not the first time their ruler had behaved this way. Only a few months before he had declared that maybe he didn't want to be a Pharaoh anymore. Three days later Gayadonn emerged and called his advisers together for another meeting. “What news do you have?” he asked wearily. One of those assembled spoke. “My Pharaoh, we have received reports there are still residents of the city who do not have chariot meters outside of their homes." Gayadonn's expression brightened as he pondered this news. Perhaps all was not lost. “Are they many?”, he asked.


Keefieboy said...

Jejeje. Apropos of nothing much, the architects of the Bird's Nest also designed CaixaForum in Madrid. It's a sign!

Graeme said...

They won't be short of money then, maybe they can help the Pharaoh?