The story of the two swords - by Kathy Kolb
Once, in a kingdom not so far away in a time that seems not so long ago, a mighty King ordered two swords to be made for him.
The blacksmith, excited to get this command from his King, readied his tools, heated the metal and began the lengthy process of making the swords.
As the blacksmith began forming the sword with his huge hammer, one of the swords spoke out, “Hey! Stop pounding on me with that hammer!” The blacksmith, shocked because a sword was speaking to him, threw the sword down on the table and said, “But the King has given me orders to make him fine swords! To make you both sharp and strong, I must hammer you many times - there is no other way to perfect your steel.”, “Then do not make me as he wants. Spare me the pain, I beg of you. Leave me be as I am.” The sword asked.
The blacksmith thought this through for awhile and saw that he could not make the sword into a quality it had no desire to be. So he gently polished the sword, shining it to a mirror finish and put it in its case, knowing it was neither strong nor sharp, but it looked good to the untrained eye.
The blacksmith spoke to the second sword as he prepared to heat it in his fiery forge, “I suppose you are going to complain too? You are made from the same metal as they other sword.” “No,” replied the second sword “I heard what you said to my brother. We are meant for the King. I believe what you say about strength only coming from the fire. Do what you must to make me perfect for the King.” And the blacksmith spent more time on the making of this sword than any other he had ever made, encouraged by the cooperation of the sword itself.
The day came when the swords, packed in identical cases, were delivered to the palace of the King. His servants brought the swords into his chamber, where the King opened the cases and examined the swords carefully, lifting each one in his hand and swinging them, checking for balance and strength. When finished he commanded of the first sword, “Take this sword to the Dining Hall and place it up on the wall as a decoration piece – it is of no use for battle, it is good only as a wall ornament.” And it was done as he commanded.
Then he grasp the second sword, the one that went through many more heatings and hammerings. A pleased look crossed his face as he lifted it high, “This is the finest sword I’ve ever held. It will be my prime battle sword, wielded in my right hand and will aid me in many battles to come."
And so it was.