Once upon a time there were two brothers who lived in a kingdom where they were both powerful and much admired. However, it was the older brother who had been blessed with greater riches and talents. The younger brother much admired the older brother for both his riches and talents and the older brother loved his younger brother.
The older brother had many beautiful possessions and he loved jewelry, particularly rings. Among his prized possessions was a beautiful golden ring that he enjoyed wearing. And for quite some time the ring loved being worn by the older brother.
Yet the older brother had so many beautiful possessions and so many plentiful distractions that he was often careless in his treatment of the ring. He would bang the ring around, not so much purposefully, but carelessly while he pursued other attractions and this caused the ring severe irritation.
Consequently, the ring which had some magical powers of its own would swell with indignation at the careless treatment and would rub and irritate the older brother’s finger whenever he wore it.
Over time, things did not change. The older brother continued to be careless with the ring and the ring continued to swell with indignation and cause irritation, so much so that eventually the older brother found that he could no longer comfortably wear the ring. He took the ring off and placed it in a dresser drawer.
The ring was not at all happy not to be worn. The ring wanted to be allowed to sparkle brightly as rings are designed to do. Still the ring knew that it had forced the situation and at least it was no longer being banged about or treated carelessly and so the ring was at peace.
The ring was not worn by anyone it loved and was sometimes sad and prayed to the God of Rings to be allowed to be worn again in love and treated with the dignity of golden rings. For his part, the older brother would occasionally gaze upon the ring with fond memories but he no longer tried to wear the ring. And the ring found other things that occupied its time.
One day after many years, the older brother who was down on his luck, having squandered most of his beautiful possessions came to live with the younger brother. The younger brother had lived a different lifestyle from that of the older brother, certainly not as high a profile as the older brother, but he had provided well for himself.
And as things go, one day the younger brother saw the ring among his older brother’s now meager possessions. The younger brother had always admired the golden ring and seeing it lying there abandoned, he picked it up and put it on.
The ring shone brightly and sparkled as it was happy to be worn again and believed that the God of Rings had heard its prayer.
The younger brother was also happy to wear a ring that he had long admired. Still he knew that his older brother was particularly protective of his few remaining possessions and so the younger brother hid his wearing of the ring.
And it was also true that the younger brother had other rings of his own to choose from. Yet there was something very special about this ring and the younger brother felt extra proud whenever he put it on.
Still the ring did not want to be loved in darkness and deceit, and asked the God of Rings to give it a voice to speak to the older brother. The ring’s wish was granted and it asked the older brother to be given to the younger brother.
At first the older brother steadfastly refused. He had lost so much and, even though he could no longer wear the ring, it was his possession that he wanted to keep. The ring cried and persisted to be set free. Finally, the older brother conceded telling the ring that he loved both the ring and his younger brother enough that if the two wanted to be together he would learn to live with it.
The ring was overjoyed to be free and shared the news with the younger brother. Secretly, however, the older brother never believed that the younger brother would dare to wear his ring. He was absolutely certain that the younger brother would have nothing to do with one of his prized possessions, regardless of its place in a dark dresser drawer.
In time the ring became aware that the older brother was refusing to believe in the younger brother’s wearing of the ring. It was also true that the golden ring had a mind of its own and wanted to be proudly displayed. The ring was of royal lineage and did not like to be treated as a stolen treasure.
The God of Rings allowed the ring to speak to the younger brother about these feelings. The younger brother decided that he would rather return the ring to the place where his older brother kept it. The younger brother was concerned about his reputation and the discord that might come about if it were revealed that he loved the ring.
The ring was not at all happy with this turn of events, but being a mere possession in the powerful world of the brothers, the ring’s magical powers were limited by comparison.
From time to time though the younger brother would return and remove the ring to wear it once again. The ring was always happy to be treated with love and tenderness by the younger brother because he was always kind and gentle and took care when he wore the ring. But the ring felt dishonored to be treated as something shameful to be hidden from view and not proudly displayed like other golden rings of similar royal lineage.
The ring also felt shame would come to the younger brother for his thievery and deceit and it felt that the older brother who had recently awakened from a long fog of his own making was also being dishonored by the subterfuge.
Once again the ring prayed to the God of Rings who feeling compassion for the golden ring, once again granted the ring the power to speak for a brief moment. The ring admonished the younger brother and asked him to tell the truth to his brother. He did not. The ring cried out the truth to the older brother.
The older brother went to his younger brother asking was this truth that the ring had spoken. The younger brother admitted to having secretly worn the ring. He apologized and said that he was wrong and would not wear the ring again.
The older brother was not at all appeased. He felt violated. He no longer wanted anything to do with the ring, nor was he appeased by the apologies of his brother who he felt had certainly betrayed him.
The older brother believed that the ring was like and possession, a thing to be owned. It was not allowed to have feelings at least not for his younger brother. In a brief moment of tenderness, the older brother explained to the mindless ring that he could accept anyone else in the world wearing his ring, except for his brother.
The younger brother also felt that the ring was a mere possession, a thing to be owned and then returned and ignored because the ring was not allowed to have feelings.
And both brother felt that the ring had been disloyal. The older brother felt this way because the ring had allowed itself to be worn by the younger brother. The younger brother felt this way because the ring failed to keep secret his deception while he worked on distancing himself from the ring.
For this disloyalty the ring was permanently banished from the kingdom of the brothers so as to never cause harm again.
But every story has a moral…
Who had the greatest love?
Was it the younger brother who stole a ring from a brother he claimed to love, but then once exposed, apologized for his deception and returned the ring, deciding to never wear the ring again?
Or was it the older brother who has a once-prized possession that he had mistreated and abandoned and no longer wore and would let anyone possess, except the younger brother whom he claimed to love?
Or was it the mindless ring who claimed to love two brothers albeit at different times but failed to realize that as a mere possession it was forbidden to have feelings or to choose whom it could love?
Click here for my answer to the riddle of The Ring
The password is: youreyesonly