Sunday's Short Story by The Shanaghy
It's the thought that counts
The Count that thinks.
He knew that the country was not in the forefront of the world's thoughts. The usual reaction was..."where?".. when he mentioned his homeland.....Veralia.
To be honest the borders were not vast, in fact not so much as a spit apart as some said.
But being the Count of Veralia he stood tall and motioned with his finger to the dot on the map which he called his homeland. It was in between the two big powers left and right. And closed in at top and bottom by two lesser ones though just as pugnacious in their dealings with him.
He knew that they all wanted to swallow up his beautiful land and add it to their already vast empires.
His homeland was a place of hills and valleys, rivers and streams and gentle slow living villages and towns, where the centuries of care had meant that generations of families stayed put and built up the kindly infrastructure which his father and family before him had maintained.
So it was no wonder those powerful ones lusted after those few acres of earth, for that is what powerful people do. Always wanting what they can't have. Always wanting more.
Many fables and proverbs have been retold in front of the fires of winter, by families with their children huddled on knees , telling about the weak and the strong, the large and small, the fast and slow. Stories of the lion and the mouse, fox and crow. Why even the hare and the tortoise.
So the Count knew that it was not always the biggest, noisiest, strongest who succeeded in battle. No, it was the thought that counts.
And he must be aware of the dangers and keep thinking.
Count Honore, for that was his name, was no slouch when it came to brains. An academic training and lessons in military strategy, together with the wisdom passed down through the stories of the common people, gave him a head start in his fight. For fight it was.
He considered the tortoise who kept plodding on to win the race and put a motto above his desk. "Never give up".
He remembered the mouse who befriended the lion and removed the thorn from the lion's paw and up went another motto..."Be kind to strangers".
And he never forgot the advice given by his old nanny...."Do ye next thynge". and up went another on the wall.
They never did get his land.
It was as if Veralia was invisible. Perhaps they were all too busy in their powerful meetings. Talking to their powerful friends...kept close to make sure they knew what each other was doing, as none of them trusted the other. Perhaps they thought it was something to see to once they had the next round of important international talks under the belt. Once they had decided the future of millions of folk, who didn't really give a hoot anyway!
Whatever the reason, the Count who thought, knew that it's the the thought that counts.
And it's the type of thought in particular....and he was that type of Count.