There was standing room only in the Great Hall and the cacophony of noise emanating from the arguing going on inside was enough to make a deaf person block his ears. The controversy had been going on for years with half the community believing one thing and the other half of the community believing just the opposite.
The two sides had never waivered in their positions regardless of the evidence presented to support each one’s point. But all of that took place during the reign of Corsnuk. Some say that it was because he really didn’t care while others argued that it was because he was old and weak and just couldn’t cope with making the strong decisions. Whatever the reason, Corsnuk was now dead and Palgris was now the Chieftain of all the clans.
Palgris was considered by all to be honest, fair and committed to the whole community, not just a few. Palgris was also the youngest Troll to have ever been elected to the leadership. He had wisdom beyond his years and everyone liked him. Even his enemies, if they could be called as such, liked him and trusted his judgment. Palgris favored no one in particular because he staunchly believed that the only way the Troll community could survive was to become one….to be fully united, lest the demise and eventual extinction of the Trolls would be inevitable.
Palgris entered the room and walked to the middle of the stage where he took his place in the Chieftain’s chair. Goltek slammed the gavel down with a mighty force and called the conference to order. Amazingly, the attendees in the room and those standing outside the building ceased their conversations. The din was replaced with eager silence as they waited for Palgris to address them.
Before Palgris stood up, one of his aides brought a basin of water, a bar of soap and a towel. Palgris took the soap and dipped his hands into the water and scrubbed them. As soon as Palgris was finished drying his hands, the aide left the stage. Palgris rose and moved to the lectern where he took a moment to peruse the crowd gathered. He felt proud that so many had come to hear what he had to say. He was also moved that so many trusted, believed and counted on him to lead the way to a new era.
He squared his shoulders. “Good evening and welcome. I thank you all for taking the time to come here tonight. Some of the things I will talk about will undoubtedly shake you to your core and many will disagree with me. But I am totally confident that once I finish explaining to you the reasons for my position, you will have a change of heart and support me for I have one and only one intention…..that is, to save our community and to unite us all once and for all.”
The room erupted with a loud applause. Palgris let it go on for a moment before raising his hand to silence them once again. When he spoke again, his voice was like velvet, smooth and soft and rich.
“We all know that our children are the most precious gifts we have and that we must find the way to protect them so they may grow and become strong able adults. We cannot do this with the way things are…..we have all seen the results of the carelessness and laziness that has plagued us for these past numbers of years. We can no longer be complacent and ashamed of who we are and what we stand for. Many of you have argued that we should take up arms and I say “No”. I strongly advise against it because to do so would only make us like the humans who claim us to be uncivilized and unable to live in a societal world with civility and wisdom.”
“And how do you propose to overcome that?” someone yelled out from the back of the room.
Palgris paused before answering to let the silence have its effects. He looked at all the faces staring at him with eager curiosity, knowing that the wrong word would cause disruption that would end the night and the chance to succeed.
“It is my contention that we must educate our children in the human ways. We…..”
The room filled with boos and hisses cutting off his words. He waited for them to calm before continuing on. “I am telling you that if we are to survive in this world, we must educate the young so that they can go into the world as our emissaries and ambassadors. They must know the world they will be forced to live in and it is better that they are prepared. Otherwise, they will face annihilation at the hands of those bigots who live within the human society.”
Just then a paper airplane flew from the crowd and landed at his feet. He casually picked it up and held it up for all to see. “Just as this plane has taken flight and come to the end of its journey, are we as the Troll Society of the world to do the same? Are we to continuously flee from one area to another? To take flight until we can no longer find a place and thus end our journey and become extinct like so many of the creatures of this world that have done so for millenniums before us?”
Palgris took a sip of water and continued. “We have been a proud race of beings in spite of having been labeled as the scum of the Earth. With the exception of these past years, we have always been a harmonious race living without bigotry or prejudice. We have embraced everyone on an equal basis and loved each other with complete sincerity of heart. We possess no need for greed, or lust nor need to be disloyal, dishonest, or untrustworthy because we all know that there is not one of us, including myself, who is better than the other. We are Trolls each and every one of us and I beg you now as your Chieftain to make the most brilliant decision of your life and to give your children the greatest gift of all: the pure knowledge to succeed and survive and to show the world our superiority of love for all.”
There was no reaction from anyone at first but then, after a moment, one by one everyone stood up and clapped. There were many hoots and whistles and then the room exploded with shouts of “Palgris! Palgris!”
As Palgris stood looking out at his people, hearing them shouting his name and listening to their unity and support for his idea, a tear trickled down his cheek for he knew deep in his heart his children would have a new chance, a new life.
Chelle Munroe ©
July 6, 2014