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The Legend of Themis-by-the-Sea and the Sacred Covenant: A Cautionary Tale for Current Times

December 12th, 2020 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, are there consequences to breaking the rules you are supposed to honour?

Once upon a time in a land not so very far away, King Hamartia the Benevolent ruled over the kingdom of Themis-by-the-Sea – a place of great beauty and peace, free of war, famine or poverty.

King Hamartia’s greatest desire was for a son or daughter to be an heir to the throne. But the King and his wife had been unable to have children. King Hamartia prayed every night for the simple blessing of a child.

One night an angel appeared to King Hamartia in a dream with a declaration: Hamartia, establish a covenant of trust with your subjects and your prayers will be answered.

King Hamartia acted on the declaration the very next morning. He let it be known throughout the kingdom that every man and woman had the right to choose their own path in life and make their own judgements of conscience so long as such were within the confines and spirit of The Ten Commandments.

The king’s obedience was rewarded as his wife soon thereafter bore a son. They named this son Barrington after the king’s personal physician and confidante.

Prince Barrington was cherished by all and embodied the spirit of the sacred covenant. Themis-by-the-Sea was blessed and became a land where all lived in harmony. Each woman and man lived their life according to the gifts with which they were born and supported one another unconditionally in times of need.

But there is no time or place without its trials. A thousand leagues north of Themis-by-the-Sea a dragon lived in a lair in a rock wall. The dragon slumbered for years at a time. Every ten years, it would awaken and launch an attack on Themis-by-the-Sea.

King Hamartia had constructed a 30 foot high stone wall across the northern boundary of the kingdom and established a Watch Tower 500 leagues north. When word came from the Watch Tower that the time had arrived for the dragon to awaken, the subjects of the kingdom would gather at the wall to defend their land. The dragon was always driven back to its lair.

However, as time passed, the officers of the Watch Post observed that the dragon did not slumber continuously as had been believed. It would awaken at times, leave its lair and roam the countryside in that region. The officers send word to King Hamartia with the news.

King Hamartia was distressed at the report. He called together his counsel of advisers to discuss the matter. The advisers, while united in conviction that protective measures needed to be undertaken, were at odds in their view of how far-reaching these measures should be.

After reflecting for many days on the matter, King Hamartia the Benevolent made his decision. He issued a decree that every man and woman in the kingdom must set aside their homes and their trades for a week each month to stand guard on the wall. Prince Barrington, now a young man, was troubled by the decree and spoke to his father.

“Father, I fear that your decree violates our sacred covenant with the people.”

“My son,” the king responded. “The greater good must prevail.”

Prince Barrington observed discord spreading amongst the kingdom as the decree circulated through the land. The harmony brought about by the sacred covenant began to fracture.

After many sleepless nights struggling for guidance, the prince had a vision. When he awoke, he secured a suit of armour from the caste storeroom, slipped away under the cover of darkness, took his personal horse and rode north. He slipped past the Watch Tower unnoticed.

Prince Barrington arrived at the dragon’s lair at dawn. The dragon emerged and a great battle ensued. Barrington and the dragon fought unceasingly throughout the day in a seesaw battle. As sunset approached, Barrington was weak and wounded with little strength left.

But, as the sun descended below the horizon, his opportunity came. The dragon paused a moment exposing its underbelly. Barrington stepped forward and thrust his sword into the heart of the beast. The dragon fell dead at his feet. Exhausted and near death, he mounted his horse and made his way back to the Watch Tower.

Meanwhile, protests had arisen in the kingdom over the king’s decree. King Hamartia acknowledged the discontent, but would not repeal his decree. Then officers from the Watch Tower arrived at Themis-by-the-Sea with Prince Barrington and sent word to the king. King Hamartia raced to Barrington’s bedside.

“My son, what have you done?”

“Father, for the good of the kingdom and the harmony of our subjects, I risked my life and slayed the dragon.”

News spread quickly throughout the kingdom that Barrington had slayed the dragon. Gradually but steadily, sentiment turned against the king. He had acted with the best of intentions. But the weakening of the sacred covenant was his undoing.

When Prince Barrington had recovered from his injuries, King Harmatia abdicated the throne and Barrington took his place. Harmony and peace returned to Themis-by-the-Sea.

The new ruler became known as King Barrington the Great, Dragon Slayer and champion of the sacred covenant.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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