“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain;Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
Most people know the first verse of Good King Wenceslas, or at least the first few lines. The second verse is not as popular, but after Otecko finished his story, its become very familiar to me. Once all the children had went to bed, he gathered the adults to tell us a story.
“Until now I’ve been hesitant to share the whole story with you, but now, the time is right. One reason is, part is legend, and part is fact. Much like the song Good King Wenceslas.”
“I was hesitant because I knew his motives, but I did not yet know Rastilav’s motivations. His viewpoint very much affected how to proceed, and what to focus on. Now that I know, I can give you the tart, with a little less powdered sugar.”
He winked at us and grinned. “Of course, to make it entertaining, perhaps a light dusting.” With a wink and a nod, all of us, were kids again listening intently. Covered in Christmas blankets, sipping cocoa cappuccinos my Wife had just whipped up, and grinning from ear to ear.
He sang in a hearty voice verse two of the song, and then continued. “That verse became a road map to the four jewel’s protectors, much like the duke, called king, became a symbol. ‘A good league, under the mountain, right against the forest fence, by the fountain.’ “
“Only a band of good men, or souls with no ill intent, can be trusted to guard the treasure. For they will guard it, under the eyes of mountains of those who would use their symbolic strength to crush others. That is why the treasure is hidden.”
“This is what every protector is told. ‘The forest fence tells us to do whatever is necessary to keep it out of evil hands. Last of all, the fountain tells us where to hide it. In a place of activity, calm but vibrant.’ ” I looked at Otecko with a question all over my face.
“I understand the others, but the last one, I don’t understand.” He laughed. “That’s because it’s not supposed to, it is a test. One which must be passed before a protector is truly trusted.”
“They are given half the riddle, or you could say the map. You might say, once it is proven they will not dig up the treasure for themselves, they are given the coordinates of where to dig. Also, in case someone like Rastilav learns the riddle from a weak protector, it is useless without knowing the rest.”