The Jester Has Lost His Jingle Editor's note: Banished from the castle, a jester and his sidekick, Pharley, go in search of laughter, only to find it resides within each of us.

Story Time

August 16, 1998|By David Saltzman

The Jester has lost his jingle!"

the King yelled in dismay.

"His bells no longer tingle!

That's all I have to say!"

Then without a thought and on a whim,

the King decided to banish him.

"Banish me, Sire? Don't send me away!

Why is your high Highness so down this fine day?"

But the King gave no answer. He said nothing more,

merely pointed his finger toward the front door.

The Jester walked out slowly, and a tear fell from his face,

for he'd never left the kingdom, never wandered from this place.

And once outside, the Jester cried,

"Oh Pharley, I fear

what they say is quite true.

I am no longer funny.

My career is quite through."

"That's nonsense!" claimed Pharley.

"You're still funny, I say.

You were funny last week.

You're still funny today!

It seems a nasty rumor,

but laughter must be dead.

The world has lost its sense of humor,"

Pharley sadly said.

So off they went, our fearless two,

to bring back laughter, back to you.

They looked in vain for flowers.

They heard no songs of birds.

But saw lots of angry faces

and heard lots of bitter words.

"Everyone here is so moody.

Everyone here is so mean.

I must confess this city

is the saddest place I've ever seen.

Maybe someone here can tell me.

Maybe someone here might know.

How come people aren't laughing?

How come spirits are so low?"

"There must be someone somewhere with a smile upon thei face.

There must be someone cheerful in this cold and lonely place.

Say, look at that tall building ... perhaps we'll find the answer there.

It's up to us to make a difference. It's up to us to care."

"What of her?" asked Pharley.

"That little girl in bed?

The one who looks so fragile

with the bandage on her head?"

"Hello, little girl," the Jester said.

"My! How do you do?

I wonder if you can tell me,

how come laughter's not with you?"

The little girl looked up and her eyes were opened wide.

She turned slowly to the Jester, and she quietly replied.

"Here I lie, I have a tumor ...

And you ask me where's my sense of humor?

I've been very sick.

I'm so tired of trying.

I don't feel like laughing.

I just feel like crying."

"Sometimes I feel like crying too,"

the Jester whispered in her ear.

"But instead of letting teardrops fall,

I make them disappear.

Whenever I feel like crying,

I smile hard instead!

I turn my sadness upside down

and stand it on its head!"

So he sang his funny song

and he walked his funny walk

and he danced his funny dance

and he talked his funny talk.

And from the room, there came a

giggle, which echoed down the halls.

And soon there came another,

which bounced up and down the walls.

The giggle became a snicker,

which grew into a guffaw,

which soon became a chuckle that transformed into a HA!

The Jester was beside himself.

He grinned a great big grin.

He hugged and thanked the little girl,

and kissed her on the chin.

Soon laughter leaped right out the window,

growing louder as it flew.

Can't you hear it coming?

It's about to swallow you.

It spread to every corner.

It filled up every space.

Smiles popped up everywhere!

Can't you feel one on your face?

The Jester & Pharley are registered trademarks of The Jester Co., Inc. Excerpts from THE JESTER HAS LOST HIS JINGLE Story and Pictures by David Saltzman & 1995 by The Jester Co., Inc. reprinted with permission. All Rights Reserved.

Pub Date: 8/16/98

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