Challenge #02944-H021: Maintain the Flow

Power doesn’t measure a man, nor doesn’t corrupt a man, power reveals. When someone achieved the power they’ve always wanted their true intentions are always revealed. -- Anon Guest

"Hold as much water as you can," instructed Da. "You can try to hold it tightly, but the more muscle you use to hang onto it, the less you have. As time goes by, it will drip away no matter what you do. So too is the power of a crown. It has to be supported. Not just by your hands." Here, Da let go of his own handfuls to cup his hands under Andi's. "But also the hands of the people around you. Surround yourself with people who have the same goals. They may see different ways to do it, but they will always have the same destination. Then... you can use your power to do all sorts of things."

The water went into a decorative ornament by the fountain pond, which set off a series of counterweights and whirlygigs, much to the amusement of Andi, who laughed to see it. He clapped his hands and splashed them both with moisture. Da laughed, too, catching him up and blessing a prickly kiss on Andi's cheek. "Power always works best when it is used lightly, and in the right directions," Da said.

Andi was ten when 'King' stopped meaning a Da like any other Da, who came into the nursery to read or play or teach important lessons with brightly-coloured toys. Lessons like the handful of water would stick. There were others. Some delivered in pithy little sayings that weren't, he would learn later, actual sayings of very many people. Things like, "There's a difference between seeking power and having to accept it," or, "The mark of a good King is having the people wonder why they need him," or, "Neither an oathbreaker nor a peculator be."

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