Monday, October 6, 2008

The Parable of the Chocolate Chips

In a small kingdom called Rayad, lived a king who had one child, a daughter, named Cerine.

One day the King said, "My daughter, it's time for you to leave the palace and choose for yourself. When you choose wisely you will one day have a kingdom of your own."

Before the princess left, the king gave her much counsel. When he was finished, he gave her one final warning. "You may notice that in Rayad, we don't eat chocolate cake. Do you know why?"

"Because chocolate tastes bad?"

"No, actually, Chocolate cake is delicious, but eating it is dangerous to us. If any Rayadites ever eat chocolate cake their spirits become weakened, and eventually they become trapped by Zynock.

"Trapped how Father?" she asked, "And who is Zynock?"

Before you were born, a wicked sorcerer named Zynock promised the people of Rayad, if they would follow him they could have all of the chocolate cake they wanted. Many people followed Zynock into the woods. That was Zynock's trick to make them his captives. Zynock is jealous of the peace we have in the kingdom, and wants to destroy Rayad and the people who live here. So I banished him and his followers."
"But, father won't you let them come home?"

"Only if they choose to come back. Always remember Zynock is a liar. The things he promises don't bring happiness. If you stay away from chocolate cake, you will be safe."

"Father, I promise, I won't eat chocolate cake. Why would I want to do something that would make me unhappy?"

The king pulled out a perfect little star that glowed with an inner light. "This star will help you remember the promises you made. If you need me, throw it in the air and I will come for you."

The princess tucked the star in her pocket and left the palace.
Zynock watched the princess envying her happiness and many friends. He had to think of a plan. "Hobdob," he croaked to his servant," I've got it. All we have to do is get the princess to eat chocolate cake. I know just how to do it." Hobdob didn't move. He had once been very happy, now he was a weak shadow living on nothing but chocolate cake and he felt sick all the time.

"Hobdob," Zynock said, "If we can get the princess to eat chocolate cake, all of the children will follow her into the woods. We must be very shrewed about this. These Rayadites won't eat chocolate cake immediately, we must first create a taste and longing for chocolate."

The next morning ten shiny bakery trucks drove to Rayad.

"What is that heavenly smell?"

"Chocolate chip cookies," said the bakers, "You've never tasted anything as good as these cookies."

That day the bakers didn't sell a single cookie.

The next day they were back. This time, the younger Rayadites dared each other to try a cookie. "There is nothing wrong with cookies. Its not chocolate cake."

Watching her friends, the princess became curious. She wondered what chocolate tasted like, and if it really mattered if she tried it as long as it wasn't chocolate cake.

As the bakers drove off the princess saw a small box of cookies fall off of the truck. The princess made sure no one was watching and she picked up one cookie. "It couldn't hurt to take just one little bite."

The next Morning, the trucks returned, this time there was a picture of the princess eating a chocolate chip cookie.

The Rayadites clustered around the trucks. "Its not chocolate cake and look how much our princess likes it!"

Zynock was plotting. "Now that they like cookies, Hobdob, we'll double the amount of chocolate chips in each one. They won't even know the difference."

Soon the people were eating more and more cookies and things were pretty much as normal.

"Stay away from those cookies with chocolate chips," some of the older Rayadites pleaded.

"Their just old. They don't want us to have any fun," mumbled the Young Rayadites.

The princess heard the warning, she knew it was right, but the people eating cookies were more popular than the ones who weren't.

One day the princess was invited to a party. "What are you doing at the party?

"Just watching movies on Lu's new big screen."

"What kind of movies?" "Good ones, scary ones, people eating chocolate cake and stuff. They don't make movies these days without a little bit of this."

The princess went to the party, and was barely in the door, when she was handed a cookie. It looked almost completely chocolate.

"Don't worry so much. There are bigger things to worry about than cookies."

She ditched the cookie in a flower pot and walker outside. She mossed her father and wanted to go home.

"They'll never listen," the princess looked around and saw Hobdob. "Pretty soon chocolate will be everywhere."
"How do they know?" asked the princess.

"Zynock is at the party. Your friends will be eating as much chocolate cake as they want. They'll follow him into the woods and they'll be gone."

"But, how can we stop them?"

"They won't listen to me," sighed Hobdob. "They might listen to you, but it's probably too late."

They princess pulled out the star, She threw the star in the air then walked back to the party. Inside Cerine noticed everyone was eating chocolate cake, someone put a plate in her hands.

At that moment the princess heard a voice behind her. "Cerine," her father said softly. "Is this what you want?"

The room became silent as everyone waited for her response. Shaking her head Cerine whispered, "No, no, no, This is not what I want." She turned to her friends, "Come home with me, Please."

"Why would we want to come home with you? We're having fun here."

Cerine took her father's hand and whispered, "Take me home, Daddy. Please take me home." As she turned to leave three of her friends ran to her. "Take us with you, Cerine. We don't want to be here."

Outside the king spoke to his daughter. "Cerine, I am happy you chose my kingdom. That was a brave and difficult choice you made."

"Thank you father for coming to get me. May I ask for one more thing?"

"And what might that be?"

Cerine walked over to the curb. She helped Hobdob to his feet. "I'd like to bring one more friend with me."
The group silently walked home. "Oh my goodness" Cerine broke the silence. "This light was on when I was running to the party." As they neared the shop, they saw the most amazing chocolate confections ever. Everything but chocolate cake.

The princess looked toward the glowing palace. It looked so warm and comforting that the princess wanted to run to it.

CREDIT: This story was taken from "The Parable of the Chocolate Chips" written by Sharon Larsen. The full story is published by Deseret Book.

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