a silly fable about dark times
Once upon a time there was a wise woman in the woods who claimed she knew how to raise any child to become a prince or princess. No muss. No fuss. Just give her your baby and come back in a few years and viola! You could have a royal child. The local villagers loved this idea and eagerly turned their children over to the wise woman. All of the children. They even promised away their unborn ones. Even the ones yet to be conceived. Contracts signed and hearts overflowing with promise, the parents went away and left their kids in the hands of the generous wise woman.
Trouble started brewing when the proud parents returned to check up on their Little Lord Fauntleroys, but found their kids had grown up to become swineherds and millers and barmaids instead. Not a prince or princess among them.
“What is this?” the parents asked. “Where are our royal children?”
“I never said I would make your children royal,” the wise woman said. “I said I had the means to make them royal. But if they wanna become real royals they gotta earn it.”
The wise woman pointed out that their contracts didn’t stipulate instant royalty, just that she would raise them as best she could to achieve possible royalty. She would raise them in a manner befitting her budget and resources. Sure, some of them might have real royal potential, but she wasn’t just going to hand it over willy-nilly. The kids were going to have to earn that prince hood, buddy.
When they asked for their children back, the wise woman showed them the contract once more and explained that the kids were hers now. The parents could visit, but the kids could never go home again. Unless, of course, they would like to reimburse her for raising their screaming brats for so many years.
“Nuts to that!” the villagers cried, and tried to shove her into an oven.
They set her hut on fire, with her inside, which in turn caught the woods ablaze and eventually burned down the entire village. The villagers had nothing but ashes left when it was over. But the dead wise woman still had their children, thanks to an airtight contract.
The moral of the story is simple. Instead of putting all of your princes in one basket, have a whole bunch of babies and send them out to wise women all over the world. Hell, keep a few at home and raise them yourself. The chances that one will reach that royal status will be far greater if you spread out your seed a little bit.
That and you can never trust a wise woman armed with legalese.
Read and understand before you sign on the dotted line.