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The knee, the flag and the king: a tragic fairytale

Once upon a time there was a jester who longed to be a star. But Colin Kaepernick was sad because although he once did a good job entertaining, Colin was going downhill, just like Jack and Jill - and he, too, lost his crown. Colin didn't like this, and so one day, as the kingdom's anthem played, he decided to take a knee. "I'm doing this for the people in our kingdom who are not being treated well by the paddy wagon-toting county mounties," he stated. "It is not attention I seek, but justice!"

One can imagine how upset the townspeople were. "Nobody kneels at our anthem!" they declared, for the people loved their kingdom and its heroes. But he continued. And while every now and then a few like-minded townspeople showed their support for Colin by doing the same thing, most thought of him as the sorry fool.

Then, one day, as the King made a royal visit to one of his many villages, he did so knowing the villagers would want to know why, under his new decree, they would no longer have enough gold to be able to visit the doctor. He also knew their kingdom had been under serious threat of war by a sworn enemy led by a ruler the King called "Rocket Man". There were many troubles in the land, and the King would face many questions.

"My wife and child are sick, and if your new law of the land passes, the doctor will not see them unless my pile of gold is larger," one villager told him.

The King, who loved to be loved, knew this would not be popular with the people. He also knew the new decree was an atrocious idea, but oh, how he hated being wrong. And hadn't he promised the people that under his rule, there would never be sickness again?

"We have word that our sworn enemy is building more weapons to attack us," said another villager to the King. The hard questions were coming, and the King had no easy answers. He knew he had to think of a way to distract them. That's when he thought of Colin. He thought of the few people who mimicked Colin and all the people who hated what they were doing. He needn't have an answer for this; he only had to remind the people of what a fool Colin was. Then, as villagers looked up to him for wisdom on how to ease their suffering, the King bellered, "Those who take a knee during our kingdom's anthem shall be deemed a son of a &*%$# and ordered off the field!"

Mothers covered their children's ears at the unpleasantries of the King's language, as the villagers began to fight. Some thought the King was right, others thought he had gone too far. Daggers and rocks flew through the air, as the people forgot all about their own struggles. Across the kingdom, villagers continued to battle - neighbors fought neighbors, friends and family would be lost. And as the townspeople pointed angrily at each other, distracted by their emotions and played like fiddles, the King slipped away, wiping his brow with a smile on his face.

"Back the castle!" he told his servants. "My job here is done."

Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes and Perham, both in Minnesota.

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