The Garden Of Love – #WRITEPHOTO

The Garden Of Love – #WRITEPHOTO

Flowers adorned the garden everywhere. The garden was interspersed with a large number of stone structures which formed pathways at several points. John read the words inscribed on the board placed at the gateway of the garden. The words on the board explained how this beautiful garden of flowers and stones came into existence. Here is what the inscription on the board said.

There is a story behind how this garden was built. The Egyptian emperor Hal Ramases II had wanted to build a beautiful and bewitching pyramid. He wanted the pyramid to be one of the most beautiful and largest of all pyramids. Hal Ramases’ favourite queen was Halcynthia. She was as cold-hearted and cruel as she was bewitchingly beautiful. She was also a brilliant engineer and architect. The emperor appointed her to supervise and construct the pyramid.

It is believed that she was a cruel task master. For building the pyramid she employed twenty thousand men putting them to work for sixteen hours everyday. Men were separated from their families so that they could be totally dedicated to the building of the pyramid and would not be thinking of their wives and children.

Men found slack in their work were punished severely with whippings and were publicly flogged. The work on the pyramid continued non stop day and night. In two years, around one fourth of the pyramid was completed. But there was one worker who would not take Halcynthia’s cruelty quietly.

This man was Herwert. While he abhorred Halcynthia’s heartlessness he was also bewitched by her beauty. He could not understand how such a sweet looking woman could be so cruel at heart. He began suspecting that at the bottom of Halcynthia’s seemingly cruel nature there lay an ocean of kindness.

Herwert was also a very handsome man and was noticed by Halcynthia. Every time she visited the site of the pyramid they spoke to each other. Slowly Halcynthia noticed how Herwert was always helping those men who were not able to work quickly and the old and weak.

She began falling in love with Herwert. Soon she confessed her love for him in one of her visits to the site. That night Herwert quietly slipped into the palace and Herwert and Halcynthia made love. It was the most satisfying experience of Halcynthia’s life. She realized that this was because Herwert’s love came from the heart whereas the emperor was only interested in her body.

After a few days Halcynthia fell terminally ill. She sent a message to Herwert to come and meet her. She told him of her illness and said, ‘My dearest, before I pass on I want to do something for you so that I remain in your memory. Ask of me anything that I can do for you.’

With tears in his eyes Herwert said, ‘Parting from you breaks my heart. But if there is something you want to do for me then it is this. Get the emperor to dismantle the pyramid and relieve all those suffering men. Let go of them so that they can rejoin their families. Let them live a happy life again. And in place of the pyramid get the emperor to build a lovely garden with stones and flowers.’

Halcynthia’s eyes filled with tears and she told him she would do her best to get that done. A few days later just before she breathed her last Halcynthia confessed her love and promise to Herwert to the king. She beseeched the king to build a garden in place of the pyramid and to free the workers and let them rejoin their families.

The king was furious when he found out that another man had found a place in his queen’s heart but being unable to deny his queen her final wish he had a flower garden built where the pyramid was meant to be. He also freed all the workers and allowed them to rejoin their families. The stones in the garden were actually meant for the pyramid. After John finished reading the tale he was intrigued by the vicissitudes of human nature. A woman who was kind and cruel at the same time. An emperor who was angry but just at the same time and a besotted lover who bargains for the freedom of his fellow workers.

Author’s Note: This post is written in response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt #WRITEPHOTO

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