Once upon a time there lived a simple man, whom which lived a simple life in a casual, carefree way. The simple man had received an invitation; he had been invited to the wedding. And so, the simple man embarked on an adventure.
He traveled light, with no more than a light sack over his shoulder. Wandering along the forest road, he reached a crossroads where the road split into 3 paths. He did not know which way to follow, so he stood there for a moment, slightly perplexed at his situation.
Looking at the first road, he noticed a sign which read:
“The Spiritual Road”
Now the simple man was never much interested in religion, nor dogma. Looking down the spiritual road, he saw some holy men bashing their heads against a wall. Some other pilgrims were lying down on nailed beds, while others were chanting and levitating. Another group were fasting and beating themselves with whips.
None of this seemed at all appealing nor fun to the simple man. He felt that his body was not made for the kind of suffering and mutilation endured by those on this road. He turned his gaze to the next road and its signpost read:
“The Hard Road”
The simple man nearly fell over as a towering horse trotted towards him. Regaining himself, a booming voice echoed, “What are you doing on my road, you peasant!”. Atop the horse sat an armored knight with his sword drawn and pointed towards the simple man. In his other hand was a banner with a bright red sigil. On his armor was painted a coat of arms in red.
The simple man replied, “Why do you wear such big, heavy armor and those emblems?”. The knight broke out laughing. He said “This is the hard road! I am ready to slay any dragon that crosses my path. I rescue fair maidens. I loot golden treasures and I conquer armies in the conquest of glorious battle!”.
The simple man looked about him anxiously. He would rather avoid dragons. He would run away from any armies he encountered. He also preferred to be seduced by fair maidens, instead of having to rescue them. “I could not even carry that armor. I’m afraid the hard road is not for me”, the simple man said. He apologized for bothering the knight, and turned to face the third road. Its sign read:
The Royal Road
The simple man looked at himself, noticing his plain clothes. “I’m a normal guy, not much royalty about me”, he thought to himself. He had never intended to wear a crown. “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” someone once said to him. He preferred a good night’s rest. The simple man just wanted to get to the wedding he had been invited to.
A bluebird swooped down and playfully fluttered about his head, then darted down the Royal Road. The simple man smiled, and took a few steps as to follow the blue bird down the path.
With a roar of thunder and wisps of blue smoke, a tall, old man appeared out of nowhere. Looking at the simple man with piercing eyes, the old man asked in a loud, stern voice, “Where doth thou go?”.
“I… I… saw a bluebird fly down this road, and decided to follow it. The other roads are not for me, they look hard”, said the simple man.
The old man said “I am the first guardian upon the royal road. Answer me correctly, and thee may pass. Where doth thou go?”.
“I am on my why to the wedding”.
“Why doth thou goeth to the wedding?” the old man inquired.
“I… I.. goeth to the wedding because I have been invited” said the simple man.
The old man seemed to relax somewhat and said “Then you mayeth continue upon the Royal Road”.
Feeling relieved, the simple man gave a nod to the old chap and went along his way. Traveling along the Royal road, he encountered friendly people and occasionally celebrated with them. Indeed, he was once or twice seduced by fair maidens. His way was simple and pleasant, yet he never would stay long. Without indulgence or procrastination, he kept to the goal of his journey; the Wedding.
One afternoon, while taking a nap under a large tree, a big blue genie appeared to the simple man. “I am the second guardian. Why doth thou goeth to the wedding?”.
“Well, I have been invited to the wedding” he replied.
“Then you may continue on your journey” said the second guardian and went away.
The simple man traveled until the road rejoined with the other two roads, leading a short way to a huge, beautiful golden gate. Upon the gate was engraved the words “The Wedding”. To the left of the gate he saw a sign, which read:
Thou hast arrived at the gates of the wedding.
However, to be admitted through these gates
a final test lies before you.
It is required that you be as light as a feather.
To the right of the gate was a scale. One the one side of the scale lay a feather. The other side was empty and had 3 steps leading up to it.
Curiously, the simple man had not noticed any other tests on his journey. He had simply been paying attention to his journey and getting to the wedding. Yet now, he was required to be “light as a feather”. He had even picked up a few pounds from the celebrations he had had along the way.
Then came along a small group of holy men from the spiritual road. They had starved themselves into almost nothing. Some of them were still bleeding from the nails on their beds. One by one, they stepped onto the scale, measuring light as a feather.
He heard the sound of a galloping horse, then saw the knight approaching from the hard road. The knight looked at the simple man, shouting “How did you get here? Were are your treasure? How did you slay the dragons? You don’t even have any battle scars!”.
He simply replied, “I took the Royal Road. I only met one dragon, whom was rather friendly. The armies I avoided, and with the maidens I had a good time. They didn’t need rescuing. I spent my gold along the way. I doubt we will be needing any at the wedding”.
Another knight approached them from the hard road. He had dried blood on his battered and scorched armor. He was heavily laden with treasure. Over one eye he wore an eye path, with the other he peered at the other knight. They started to tell tales of their conquests and battles, how they had slain dragons and rescued maidens. Some of there friends had even been eaten by dragons or defeated in battle.
The nights read the sign next to the gate. “I was expecting a great battle for the final test, not some feather and scale!” one said. Arrogantly, the knights stepped onto the scale and it dropped to the ground at their weight.
From nowhere came a voice which said: “Go back! Thou art filled to the brim with pride, arrogance. Thou art laden heavy with possessions and lust. Thou have failed the last test.”.
The knights dropped their heads in shame as they mounted their horses. They left to return to the hard road once again, hoping to make the grade next time.
The simple man reflected on what he had seen. Were he to fail the test, he could travel the Royal road again. It had been a good adventure. But he preferred to get to the wedding. A little blue bird came to land on his head, made a few chirps and flew to the top of the huge gate.
With that, the scales righted themselves. With humility, he stepped onto the scales; which did not even flinch. Indeed, he had been light as a feather!
And so the simple man passed through the gates into the banquet hall of the wedding.