How Laughter Came To a Town Without It

September 25, 2012
How Laughter Came To A Town Without It

There was once a town in the Kingdom of England during the early Middle Ages that was way too serious. They were one of the richer kingdoms in the area, but that was because all they did was work. From sun up to sun down people would work and work, during the work day they discussed only topics pertaining to the task at hand and never, ever made jokes. They just weren’t a part of life in the kingdom. Even the king who had heard of jesters in other far off kingdoms didn’t see the need. He didn’t see the benefits and felt it was a waste of time. People’s lives and worth were based on performance and therefore were very stressful. Many people suffered from heart attacks and high blood pressure and people seemed to die younger then in bordering kingdoms.

There was one young boy who didn’t fit this mold. He was the son of two peasants who worked hard for their small plot of land just like everyone else in the kingdom. But this life didn’t fit for this boy. His parents called him lazy and were very worried about the future of there family, but this wasn’t the case. He wasn’t lazy he just thought it was ridiculous that there was nothing else in life but work; he needed something more. He needed something to take him away from his world and get his mind of his work. Then one day he found something that would change him, and the kingdom forever. A book. It was the only book really made at the time, the bible. But it wasn’t just words but pictures too with an alphabet at the beginning. At nights, the boy would take a candle to bed and teach him-self to read and write. He did believe in god of course, everyone did, but the bible didn’t provide the type of entertainment he needed to free his mind. He needed some way of creating his own stories, he wanted to write about people he could never be, and places he would never go. He had a plan but it could get him killed.

His plan was simple; steal a pen and paper from the only place with these tools, the church. He didn’t want to steal from a holy place, such as the church, and if he got caught he could be imprisoned indefinitely; but he needed to write. One night after everyone had returned from work he snuck out of his house and to the church. He snuck in the back entrance and his heart was racing, the pope who slept there over night was asleep in his room right next to the supply room where the paper and pens were kept. He tiptoed in and grabbed a few pieces of paper and a pen and sprinted out. For weeks he was paranoid about getting caught but no one even noticed.

Now he could write! He wrote of places of legend, and places nonexistent. He based characters off people around him and people he wished were. Well into his adulthood he stole paper and wrote stories, and after a long days work he was able to relax and unwind by writing. He was the oldest man ever to live in the kingdom, and he had written thousands of pages of literature. Though he wanted to share his works with others, he couldn’t because he was certain he would be put in jail for it. The only reasonable thing he could think to do was to bury his stories. He new a little about decay, and fashioned a large stone case for them. The works of art survived for hundreds of years until an English king in the 16th century found them when building a new church for the town of London. The king loved the stories and awarded them to a man, which he had edit them as well as modernize the characters so that they related to issues around the time period at present. This man convinced others that it was his work alone and he is now one of the most famous writers of all time. This writer took credit for these works, and they are now known under different titles than they originally were meant to have. You may know some of them as Romeo & Juliet or a Midsummer Nights Dream.

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