My oldest daughter was 5 years old and had just learned about mayors. In her 5 year old mind, the mayor of our town was basically the boss of the world. For a few days she couldn’t stop talking about the topic. She would tell me I should be mayor and explain all the things she would do if she were mayor. With her kind heart, the gist of her platform was that she would solve everyone’s problems and make sure they had big houses, plenty of money and a lot of food to eat.
In a manner not at all suitable for a 5 year, I tried to explain how the mayor really didn’t have the power to do those things. I said they would have to create a bunch of money to pay for everything but that would just make the money lose value because more money doesn’t mean there would be more things to go around. Of course, she didn’t get it and I didn’t dwell on it because I wasn’t trying change her charitable nature. But, I didn’t give up on the opportunity to educate her.
At that point in time, telling spontaneous stories was part of our bedtime routine. So, one of the nights during my daughter’s fascination with the topic of mayors, I improvised a story to try and illustrate that the mayor can’t just give things away. But since it was a bedtime story, it wasn’t about our town and our mayor but rather an idyllic Kingdom and its King.
I don’t remember exactly how the originally story went, but the basic premise of the final tale was already there on the very first telling:
- In a idyllic fairly tale Kingdom, the King died with no heir to the throne.
- They held an election to choose a new King.
- Two men held speeches.
- One promised to give everyone things and make their lives better
- The other said that was crazy and would keep ruling the way the King before had.
- The one who promised everything won.
- And then the Kingdom fell apart.
The story made an impact and was requested on following nights. It also triggered a lot of nice questions from my daughter like “where does our money come from” and “why does anybody use it if it’s just paper?”. It morphed and changed over time until it slowly worked its way out of the bedtime story rotation.
It wasn’t until over a year later that I put the story down on paper for the first time. One night I was laying in bed and the first few stanzas came into my head which rhymed and flowed perfectly. I thought they were pretty good, so I got up and wrote them down and then continued on until about half the story was already laid down with a voice and rhyming pattern I was really happy with. Over about the next month (March/April 2021) I worked on it whenever I had time and inspiration until the story was complete.
At that point, I was happy with it, so I decided I needed to get it published. But I had no idea how.