The ladder

The thought about the encounter from the following day kept the young glass craftsman awake. Three months before his birthday the king called at his palace one of the most skilled craftsmen from his kingdom and asked him to prepare for him an amazing gift. As no one of them rose to the level of his expectations, they were thrown into jail one by one. The young man went sad to the palace.

If neither the carpenter, nor the goldsmith or the sculptor or painter could satisfy the king, how could a 25 years old young man to escape jail? He was the best glass craftsman but the greed of the king exceeded any imagination. Before the king didn`t have such claims but the richer and more powerful he had become the more he had changed.

So badly that he had given the order that all the churches be closed. He didn`t want the people to worship anyone else but him.

The king was waiting in the throne room surrounded by his ministers.

The craftsman approached him while praying in his mind for a miracle to take place.

`Very soon my birthday will come, the king said like thunder. I am eagerly waiting for your gift. Do you know what comes after if I don`t like it, don`t you?

The glass craftsman bowed his head without saying a word.

Coming home he fell down on a chair.

`I prayed to God to change the thoughts of the king. I have been praying for months for this. Nothing happened. I will go to jail!

His old father went near him.

`Have trust, God knows what is best.`

`What could I give him? The king won`t be content no matter what I give him?`

You will pray and fast for three days and in the third day the first thought which comes into your mind when you wake up  that one do it.`

The fourth day when he woke up the first thing which came into his mind was a ladder.

`A ladder? He said jumping out of his bed. How to give to the king a ladder, be it made from glass?`

He ran to his father.

`A ladder?` he said the old man frowning. Then a ladder let it be!

But father…

`Don`t lose your faith!`

The young man left grumbling and started his work. After many failed attempts, the ladder of the king was ready. It was long enough to reach a tree top. He decorated it as nicely as he could. However he was not in peace. What would the king do with a ladder?

With the heart of a flea, he left with his gift to the palace helped by his father. It was the day when all the people waited to go to the king with their gifts. Although crowded the yard of the palace was silent like a grave.

They all looked terrified at a wooden pedestal.

The king ordered that all the people who will bring him a gift he doesn`t like to be beaten with 30 rod blows on his back in front of the others, one of the soldiers whispered to the glass craftsmen. For sure I will come here. But I don`t think you will escape only with this.

`We`ll see` the father answered instead of his son who had a white face.

The glass craftsmen was the first to be called in the throne room. The king looked surprised at the long gift wrapped carefully.

`What is it there ? What is this ? A …ladder? You made me a ladder for my birthday?` I have never heard of such a thing!`

The craftsmen breathed deeply. He felt like fainting. The ladder was propped up against the wall and for a while the king went around it.

`It looks nice. But what can I do with it? He hot annoyed. Help me climb it.

The king threw his mantle and stood before the ladder and grabbed it with both his hands but when he put his foot on it the glass bar melted his sole stepping on it like through melted honey.

Trying hard to climb the ladder the face of the king reddened more and more but everytime he touched it with his foot the glass melted.

`You made fun of me, the king roared.

`But I tried it` the craftsman said stuttering.

`Go to jail !` the king went on roaring. Don`t give him any food for a whole week!

The glass craftsman looked terrified at his father.

`Father, help me!`

`Have trust ! he told his son while this one passed by him accompanied by soldiers.

From the tower where he was thrown the glass craftsman looked with tears in his eyes at the crowd which was passing before the glass ladder brought in the yard and propped on a tree so that the people may see and be afraid of the king`s rage.

But the people were any way scared even without seeing the ladder. Before the wooden pedestal there was a long row with those who were to be beaten.

After the last subordinated left his gift the king went out in the yard. It was dark and among the towers of the palace a big and orange moon had risen. ON the stone pavement the steps of the king were heard, closer and closer to the wooden pedestal. All of a sudden the silence was broken by the voice of a child.

`Mother this is the ladder I needed to pick up the moon. I spoke with my guardian angel and asked him and he told me that if I find a ladder…Mother let`s pick up the moon!`

`A very small girl appeared from the crowd and went running towards the ladder with her mother running after her.

The girl put her foot on the first step of the ladder then on the next one. Step by step she climber going closer to the moon. The king looked amazed how the glass ladder lengthened while the little girl was climbing it.

`I made it!` her voice was heard like a whisper.

The little girl went down as fast as she went up. She was keeping in her hand a small shining globe.

`Oh, the people cried amazed crowding around her.

`Go away wretched people. Let me pass, the king roared, pushing the people from his way.

With his eyes out of the sockets he was looking at the ladder and at the globe from the little girl`s hand.

`Why couldn`t I climb it and this poor girl could? Send her to jail!

The father of the glass craftsman stood before the girl and looked the king in the eye. He said firmly:

`God showed you that nothing can be done without Him! You rejected Him from your life! When you put God on any step the glass hardens.`

Raged the king slapped the old man pushing him down.

`Give me the globe! He said grabbing the globe from the little girl`s hand. It is mine! The ladder is mine! The moon is mine!`

Until morning the king ran around the yard with the globe in his hand crying as hard as he could:

`The moon is mine! The ladder is mine! Everything is mine!`

That was the last day of the king`s reign.

Veronica Iani


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