In every town he visited, a violent protest broke out in the streets where Gaylen, the boy in The Search for Delicious, polled the people on their most delicious food. Everyone knew what the most delicious food was, but no one could agree, yet everyone agreed to disagree. Husbands, asked to be truthful, were forced to give up ship, and confess, that no, he really didn’t love his wife’s meat loaf as much as she had wished, but rather, his Aunt Ninny’s country fried chicken stole his heart instead. People shouted in the streets, vehemently stating that the official declaration of the most delicious food could be nothing else than apples, or walnuts, or Stilton, as father fought against son, and wife against neighbor.
Then, the water dried up. An evil one, seeking to gain the kingship over the country, built a dam against the river, and kept the water from flowing down to the villages.
“People! Your crops are withering. Your animals are gasping. And your children – don’t you care for your children? Your children are weeping for water. People! Your People are dying!”
Suddenly, apples, walnuts, cheese, chicken and even black raspberries lost their allure. When the dam finally broke, and the water was set free, it was the water that became delicious. No one could argue. Everyone agreed. Unanimously, water became the most delicious food. Everything else was just a fringe benefit. My kids are water connoisseurs… saying they like the well water from the lake much more than this city-filtered water here. And when they’re really hot and thirsty… it’s water they want… with lots of ice.
As I read these words to my boys tonight, each one eager to finally get to the end of the book to find out if their own guesses were right, there was a look of revelation on their faces as they realized they too had overlooked the most obvious, yet prized resource.
Sometimes, you have to loose everything to discover what really means the most to you. Here’s to all of you still searching.