|The Third Attempt and the Dwarf
The sick king waited in vain for the return of the second son.
One day the youngest son asked permission to search
for the Water of Life.
The king said it was too dangerous. Besides,
if his two older brothers hadn't returned, how could he hope to succeed?
How could one as foolish as he expect to do what his betters had not?
But the youngest implored, and eventually the king gave his permission.
The gates of the castle swung open,
and out rode the youngest son, charging down the same road as his brothers.
Once again, the dwarf was there,
and he asked where this son was going in such a hurry.
The youngest brother stopped.
He looked at the dwarf, got down from his horse, and said,
"I'm seeking the Water of Life because my father is sick unto death."
"Do you know where to find it?" asked the dwarf?
No, I have no idea," said the youngest son.
"Since you've spoken well and have not been haughty like your false brothers,
I'll tell you where the Water of Life is and how to get there.
It springs from a fountain in the courtyard of an enchanted castle.
But you'll never make your way through the gates of the castle
unless I give you an iron rod and two loaves of bread.
If you strike the iron gates three times with the iron rod, they will open.
Inside await two lions with gaping jaws.
If you accurately cast a loaf to each of them, they will calm down
and not devour you.
Then you must hasten and fetch the Water of Life before the clock strikes twelve,
or the gates will close again and you will be imprisoned.
The youngest son thanked the dwarf, took the rod and loaves of bread,
and set out again.
Finally, the youngest son is released, but only after the other two sons
are totally stuck. This son goes down the road with a very different attitude.
He is not so sure of himself. He is open to the little things that might
come to him to show him the way.
The dwarf can be that little voice inside all of us. The two older brothers
are so confident in themselves that they give no heed to the little
voice alongside the road. The dwarf has the answer to where the Water is to be found.
Also, the youngest son is able to stop. He gets off his horse and says the truth..."I don't
know where the water of life is." He is honest and humble.
And the other quality we notice is that he listens. He has the ability to
be teachable...he can submit himself to life and be open to it.
I know for many years, I was like the two older sons. As I matured into my late forties
I began to find the third son in me. One way you could say it was that I changed
from a "commanding my life" mode to one of "following along" mode.
Grace shows up in so many wonderful little ways. She is along the side
of the roads in life that we walk along.
It is this third part of ourselves that needs to be released into life. The dwarf knows
the way and he gives the youngest son two items: the iron bar and the two loaves of
We will explore these two items more fully in the next two parts of our story.
The son is on his way now...taking a different path than his two older brothers.
Here are the qualities for finding water:
A sense of "not-knowing" what to do.
The ability to "stop" and get off our high horse.
Ability to listen and submit ourselves to the little voice alongside of the road.
Able to be "led"--"teachable"--"ability to hear."
we have the king at death's door in the outer world.
The two oldest sons are stuck and don't have the answers to life.
The youngest son is on his way towards the inner world.
This story takes us from the outer world (which is sick and dying)
to the inner world (to find the water and bring it back to the king.)
This story is about the journey from our outer self to our inner self.
First we have to recognize there is a problem.
Secondly, weeping in the courtyard takes place.
The old man is released with a clue about the water of life.
We must have enough ego to leave the castle.
The two older sons have to get stuck (any over-confidence and pride in ourselves)
The youngest son is released to find the way and meet the dwarf.
Now we are ready to descend down the road to the inner castle
where the fountain of water exists.
We will find out what is wrong...with this kingdom....
The inner world gives us answers to what is wrong in the outer world.
We will have to wait to see how the youngest son fares......
Links from this page:
The Rod of Iron