The begining of the 15th chapter
Rhoda felt odd. If the reason for her being the demons’ queen is the ring, then her kingship is not secure at all. As a matter of fact, when she thought about it, it seemed very strange to her that, while she was sleeping at the mountain palace, Dee didn’t take the ring off her finger to rule all of the demons herself. Rhoda meant to ask Mee about it, but before she had enough time to do it, Mee said “He imprisoned us in the ring so that only a human could gain command of us with it, your majesty. No demon can use it, or even touch it. That means that we can’t even have the ability to control to the hands of whom it will fall.”
“I wonder how the ring came to my possession.” said Rhoda. “I have no memory of the time I got it.”
“You must have found it somewhere, your majesty.” said Mee, after she had spent some time contemplating it. “Before it came to your possession, it was in the stomach of a fish. Our royal family always kept one demon following the ring and checking where it had gone to. But after the fish had swallowed it, we didn’t go on following it, because we couldn’t.”
“And how did it come to be in this fish’s stomach?” asked Rhoda. She felt that if until now she only suspected that her life is a part of a fairytale, then now it is a certainty that she is a part of one.
“It rolled down one of the streams until it got to the sea, your majesty, and one of the fish had swallowed it, when the tide was high.”
“And how did it get to that stream?”
“A raven took it to its nest, your majesty, because ravens like shiny things. It stayed in that nest even after the raven was long dead. It stayed in that nest for decades, until a storm made the tree fall and the ring rolled into the stream.”
“And where from did the raven take the ring?” Rhoda knew that she sounded like one of those children songs in which there is a question that repeats itself again and again, and only the answers change as the song progresses, but she didn’t care. She wanted to know where has the ring that’s on her finger been before it got to her.
“The raven has taken it from a wheat field where it was thrown in a deserted corner, your majesty.” answered Mee.
“And before that, it wasn’t in the hands of any human being?” asked Rhoda wonderingly.
“The queen of Sheba was the last, and the only one, to have the ring, your majesty.” Answered Mee. “She didn’t trust her sons to use the ring wisely. No one of them was worthy, in her opinion, to rule the Sheba kingdom. She was what King Solomon would have called – a responsible queen” there was a certain amount of bitter mockery in Mee’s voice when she said ‘a responsible queen’ but she went on telling in her regular voice “He claimed that she will not make any wrongful use of the ring that controlled us. And since she died after King Solomon died, and she didn’t want to give the ring to anyone, she hid it in one of her large food storage warehouses, sometime before her death. From there a mouse dragged the ring to its hole. But on its way to its hole, it passed a wheat field, saw a wheat stalk that fell, left the ring for the stalk, and that is how the ring was left in the field.”
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