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Chapter Forty-Two: Dinkplutter the Royal Advisor's Royal Advice.

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This is what Dinkplutter Bump said to the young and bewildered king of Mirrglbury, once he finally got around to actually saying it to the young and bewildered king of Mirrglbury:

"You need to go out and find yourself a wooly mammoth to fight and kill in glorious battle. Only then will your noble deeds and heroic life be told of and sung of down throughout the generations of history. This is my advice to you, and I do heartily and solemnly guarantee you that if you can but fulfill it, then all of your dreams of greatness and memorableness will at last be brought to come to fruition, but only if you follow this advice of mine, and to the letter. My blessing is with you, and may luck and fortune be upon you in your quest."

Then the royal chief advisor and giver of advice to the king Dinkplutter Bump bowed his aged head low, and rose, and bade his farewells to the king, again wishing him good fortune on his quest for fame and fortune in the annals of the histories and great kings of Mirrglbury, and left. Jorkulhaup Bortvelding watched him go in bewilderment and dismay.

Now, there are a couple of different things which can make a king good enough to be considered 'great'. One of them is the king's quality and skill at being a statesman, that is, what he does for his country structurally and politically. Mr. Duncan and his wife after him are good examples of that - they set up the municipal structure that was to be maintained in Mirrglbury, and which was in a great part responsible for the maintainment of Mirrglbury itself, with only a very little amount of change made to it, cumulatively, over the many years, and this (the fact that the legal systems that they developed and put into place lasted for ages and ages and made Mirrglbury's great economic and political success possible) is a good measure of and testament to their true greatness - that we (by which I include the people of Mirrglbury) are okay to be calling them (the Duncans) great kings in their own right, because they were, and we're justified, and I'm rambling, sorry. Or else a king could be called great because he led the country out of a horrible situation. An example of this would be Duncan, who overthrew King Tanya when Tanya was making the people of Mirrglbury miserable, and then he turned out to be a pretty okay statesman too, so you would be okay saying that Duncan was a great king too. Which he was. And then, of course, a king can be great because he made he nation great through conquest - the only king of Mirrglbury who would apply in this category would have to be the illustrious and often mentioned Bruce Wendell Frogman the Third, because he founded the nation in the first place. A king can also be great because he fostered cooperation between his own nation and its neighbour nations, which, alas, no one in Mirrglbury ever did, except maybe Duncan when he brought in citizens of the neighbouring nations to assist him in conducting his revolution, but not really, because fortunately for the people of Mirrglbury and the people of their neighbouring nations Lovely Valley and Nearest Seaprot had always gotten along perfectly well and were really not any of them of the sort for going to war with eachother, for conquest or otherwise, defense or boredom. They just didn't do that sort of thing. They were a peaceful lot of peoples, the peoples of Mirrglbury and Nearest Seaprot and Lovely Valley. So that category doesn't apply. And of course a king can be great because he just happens to be a great man whether he is the king or not - like, for instance, maybe he's particularly brave or kind and generous or intelligent and creative, and usually all three of them together at the same time. And I guess that I suppose that the Duncans would apply here, too - all three of them. So, as you can see, Mirrglbury was kind of sort of lacking in the "great kings" department. Even if you count King Tulip, and you would only count her because she invented the worship of the great ponies, which was kind of a big important thing because, thanks to all of her wonderful and possibly utterly insane influence, all of the future generations of the people of Mirrglbury - of which there were many - would grow up worshipping the great ponies themselves, and I suppose that if you're the founder of an enduring state religion of some kind, or any kind of popular religion that lasts for a really long time, well, then maybe it's okay to call you great. But it's kind of iffy. And, you know, greatness is really a very subjective (by which I mean really not objective at all) thing, and whether someone is considered to be great really depends on who it is that you ask, and on what their perspective on the issue or person or whatever happens to be, and on what your personal perspective on the situation also happens to be, and so on and so forth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It's kind of a complicated issue, as you can probably see by now. So now you understand why what's-his-head wanted to be great.

But this answer that Dinkplutter the royal advisor had just given him in answer to his question was not exactly the answer that dear old Jorkulhaup had expected, nor was it quite the answer that he was hoping for. Because, as you see, the wooly mammoth had, unfortunately for Jorkulhaup Bortvelding, gone utterly extinct some many hundreds, and possibly thousands, though probably not, of years before Jorkulhaup was even born in the first place, and so the finding of the wooly mammoth seemed at the moment to be impossible, and certainly, at any rate, to be harder to accomplish than the whole "killing it in glorious battle" bit. "I wonder if it's okay if I just find a dead one and stick my sword in it and call it good," wondered Bortvelding rather glumly, but no sooner had he said this to the empty room before him then the old advisor's voice came echoing towards him out of nowhere, and certainly not from within hearing range of such a quiet private remark of despair, "No! It has to be a live one! Quit complaining and do it! I'll take care of Mirrglbury in your stead while you're gone! Now get out and slay your fucking mammoth, kid! Time's a wasting!"

"What the hell," muttered Jorkulhaup to himself in annoyance and chagrin, and then he stood, grudgingly, at further nagging cries from the unseen royal advisor, who was really beginning to get on the young king's nerves, and trudged reluctantly down to the stable, where his royal sacred horse was waiting, looking around stupidly and munching on a wad of hay or alfalfa or something or whatever the hell it is that horses eat. Hay. Hay is for horses. Yeah, that's what it was. Anyhow, Jorkulhaup put a saddle and some armour of the sort that the horses in old movies about knights having jousting tournaments wear, you know, with the mask and the spikes on the mane and all, and then he strapped on a sword and some armour of his own onto himself (this armour being of the sort that the knights wear in those movies, not the horses, except of a less stiff and robotic nature and somewhat lighter, because the Mirrglburians were of a fairly practical nature, and at any rate they hardly ever fought anything, and even when they did fight anything it was bunnies or wolves or rabid jackalopes or some such not-very-dangerous creatures, and so there was not much need for armour in Mirrglbury anyways, and so really all his armour consisted of was a patented Bunny-B-Gon clawproof vest, an Anti-Antelope helmet with polarized UV-blocking visor, and thigh-high Possum-Puncture-Proof riding boots, which might be quite effective against small and adorable woodland animals a la Bambi, but would really not help him very much in the case that he would have to in the future defend himself from the titanic curved ivory tusks of a rampaging bull wooly mammoth, which was too bad, because that was exactly what he was seeking out for himself at the moment - but who ever thinks that far into the future? Right now all he wanted to do was to leave the town as soon as possible so that he might quickly get to some place where he couldn't hear that damned advisor shrieking his damned advice in his ear) and a bag of travel goods onto the saddle, and he hopped up onto the horse and, with a shout of "YAH!", spurred the horse into a gallop and rode off into the mountains to find his damned wooly mammoth and then hopefully to kill it.
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