William Crump – king of England
William Crump climbed the nearby hill. Though it was quiet and still, with nobody around as far as the eye could see, he chose to shout at the top of his voice as he placed the golden crown upon his head.
“I, William Crump, don the regal crown and in doing so assume control of all these lands, and of all those within them. Kneel and pay homage to your king and you will find me tolerant and merciful.”
Nobody knelt, indeed there was nobody to kneel, but never-the-less William Crump seemed satisfied by the reaction. He sat down on the grass and took a Bovril sandwich out of his rucksack.
William Crump was not the real king of England. He was a sales rep for a kitchen supplies company, and in his spare time he loved combing the countryside around his house with his metal detector, in search of great treasures.
Twenty-seven years he had been searching, and at last he had struck gold. And not just a gold coin, but a crown, a regal crown made of solid gold. He would be famous. Of course, he wouldn’t be rich. The laws of treasure trove meant that he must hand over the crown to the crown.
But not immediately, he decided. He took the GPS coordinates of where the crown was found, so that the spot could be properly explored by archaeologies, then he put the crown in his rucksack, climbed to the highest point within sight, where he proclaimed himself king, a title he chose to keep for two weeks, along with the crown, until he was legally required to hand it over. But still, two weeks as king. What fun he could have, he thought, as he sat on the hill, sandwich in hand, crown on head.
Though in our mortal world this kingly ceremony had passed unseen and unheard, in another realm he had caused consternation. For by donning the crown and proclaiming himself king, he had woken gods long-forgotten, gods who were bound to answer to the line of a long-forgotten kingdom.
“What is it?” snapped Boess, king of all gods and demi-gods, as his wife Karen, goddess of numerous womanly things such as sewing and soup-making, woke him from his thousand year nap.
“There is a new king crowned,” she said.
“A new king? But the line was broken.”
“There is a new line.”
“Are you sure. I have received no call.”
“As yet the new King has not called upon the gods to embrace his reign.”
“Then how do we know there is a new King?”
“Wiggley saw him when he was organising the weather.”
“Wiggley! You trust the word of that fool. Bring him here.”
No sooner had Boess spoken than the lesser god arrived, grovelling at the king of gods’ feet.
“What is this talk of new kings?” Boess asked.
“It is true my lord. I heard it with my own ears, a man, wearing the crown of the old line, announcing himself the king of all lands.”
“Yet I did not hear him.”
“He made no call on the gods.”
“Strange, how can a man be king without the gods blessing?”
“I know not my lord.”
“Well find out. Go, seek out this man, ask him what desires he has from the gods.”
“But I must work, my lord. I have the weather to attend to.”
“Oh don’t give me that. That’s just atmospheric pressure and meteorological conditions, not the work of a god.”
And so Wiggley, God of Sunshine, as he liked to be called, or God of Fog and Drizzle, as he actually tended to get called, returned to Earth and sought out the new king, who he found, still sitting on the hill, munching Bovril sandwiches.
Unsure how to greet the new king, Wiggley decided to play it safe, and as he approached the king he knelt to his knees. “Oh worshipful king, I offer myself unto you, a loyal subject to he who bears the crown."
At first William Crump was surprised by the behaviour of this total stranger, but he quickly understood. He had been heard proclaiming himself king, and was, quite rightly, being mocked. He decided to join in with the joke.
“Rise, my subject,” he said, standing himself. “I am not the sort of king that requires fawning and worshipping.”
“What sort of king are you?” Wiggley asked as he crawled back on his feet, always a good question to ask a king.
“A just one I hope. One that would leave his subjects to carry on with their walks without getting their knees dirty.”
“But what would you of the gods?”
“What would I of the gods?” William repeated, confused by Wiggley’s choice of words.
“Do you seek the gods blessing? What do you require of them?”
William laughed. This man was really quite a comic, he thought to himself. “I seek no blessing from the gods,” he said, in his loud, proclamational voice, “for I am king by right of this crown and the gods can like it or lump it.”
“Like it or lump it,” Wiggley repeated. This is the message he would have to bear back.
“As for what I require from them,” Crump continued, “I require them to behave themselves, else I shall put them on my knee and give them a jolly good spanking.”
Terrified by these words, Wiggley turned and fled, returning to the realm of the gods to report on this fearsome new king.
The gods and goddesses shared Wiggley’s terror, a king that would put the gods on his knee and spank them. 'He must be a great king' many said, 'we must do as this king says, not offend' others added. All were of the same mind, except for Boess, who paced the halls of the gods, muttering his anger.
“How dare he? How dare this fledgling king say he will manhandle the gods. What right has he? What power has he? He made a false move when he threatened to put me on his knee. We shall soon see who will win in a battle of god versus king.