The King and Queen of Atlantis
Once there was a great kingdom called Atlantis which was ruled by a king by the name of Brancopardo who was married to the beautiful, Queen Brancaroza. Although they were the rulers of the great kingdom of Atlantis and lived in a gorgeous palace they were very sad. You see the king and the queen both yearned with all their hearts for children and they had none and the palace was a cold, bleak, place without them. King Brancopardo would lament, “Why is life so unkind? Babies are born to poor peasants who can scarcely feed them and hear am I a King with great riches who remains childless. It is not fair!”
And Queen Brancaroza would sigh, “If only I could have a baby of my own I would be so happy! Poor women have many babies who they can barely afford to clothe, but here am I a rich queen in a beautiful palace, childless!”
She would weep day and night for what she did not have. The king grew ever more unkind and his face became wizened and cruel whereas once it had been handsome, jolly and kind. Once he had been a good and just king who was loved by his people but as time grew without a child his soul became more and more wrinkled. The people became worried and prayed for him because they loved him and were his faithful subjects. They made offerings at all the shrines and holy places of Atlantis but the royal couple remained childless. As the barren years unfolded Queen Brancaroza grew ever more melancholy and King Brancopardo became angrier, crueler and more and more unreasonable. In his misery, he made the lives of his loyal subjects unbearable.
The Royal Palace had a glorious garden filled with many wondrous and beautiful flowers and trees where marvelous birds sang sweet songs of joy. In that blessed place, the King and Queen often found peace despite the curse of barrenness that had fallen upon them. One evening when the King and Queen were feeling especially downcast they went and walked upon the terrace in the garden to watch the evening fall gently, watching quietly as the stars slowly blinked into life.
One star began gently twinkling brighter and brighter than all the others and began moving nearer and nearer. They watched in awe as it appeared in front of them in dazzling glory. Queen Brancaroza placed her hands over her eyes but King Brancopardo bowed his head to his chest and they heard a gentle voice say,