Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.
Here’s the story so far. The story continues:
The Power of Nothing
(Containing exact instructions on how to get something out of nothing.)
Hundreds of years ago, Minister Vazir regaled another tale of science, scientists had three main fashions in Capital City. One: They all had to carry telescopes around their necks wherever they went. Two: their hair had to be white. Three: they refused to take a stand or make a decision regarding anything.
At the time, the most renowned scientist was called Squarefoot Squarehead Squarecheeks, or Scientist Squarefoot for short. The telescope around his head was the biggest, his hair was the whitest, and, more importantly, he took no decisions on anything in his life.
One time, the king asked for Scientist Squarefoot’s presence. Scientist Squarefoot did not decide to come and did not decide not to come. He simply did nothing.
A day later, guards appeared at his doorstep and carried him to the king. Scientist Squarefoot bowed before the king and explained the reason he had not come. After hearing Scientist Squarefoot’s explanation, the king’s cheeks burned in anger. Angry beyond reason, he threw the scientist into the castle prison for a week.
In prison, Scientist Squarefoot could not understand why he ended up in prison despite the fact that he had done nothing.
Then, in the middle of the night, Scientist Squarefoot understood that doing nothing was still doing something. Otherwise, he would never have ended up in jail. Something has been created out of doing nothing! This was a source of power!
This was a great scientific discovery.
Scientist Squarefoot devised a machine.
At its bottom were a hundred people doing nothing. At its top was a wheel that turned and created electricity. Scientist Squarefoot discovered that a hundred people doing nothing could supply enough power to light Capital City for an entire day!
At the same time, the second best scientist in Capital City made another discovery. His name was Roundfoot Roundhead Roundcheeks, or Scientist Roundfoot for short. Scientist Roundfoot had the second largest telescope around his neck and the second whitest hair of all scientists. Last but not least, even though he was good at doing nothing, he was even better at saying nothing.
One day, the wife of Scientist Roundfoot asked him if she was pretty. Scientist Roundfoot said nothing.
She asked him again. He said nothing again.
She asked him a third time. He said nothing a third time.
At that point, she threw a chair at his head.
Later that night, Scientist Roundfoot realized that saying nothing was still saying something. Something has been extracted out of saying nothing! Saying nothing was a source of power!
Within a week, he had created a massive machine.
At its bottom were a hundred people saying nothing. At its top was a large wheel that distributed water to Capital City. Scientist Roundfoot discovered that a hundred people saying nothing could supply enough power to bring water to Capital City for an entire day!
Meanwhile, another scientist in Capital City made another discovery. His name was Ovalfoot Ovalhead Ovalcheeks, or Scientist Ovalfoot for short. Scientist Ovalfoot was not the greatest of scientists. In fact, he was lazy. His greatest hope was to truly think of nothing.
For years, Scientist Ovalfoot tried to think of nothing. But every time he tried it, someone interrupted him.
Determined to finally achieve his lifelong ambition, Scientist Ovalfoot went to the desert, so that he could think of nothing without being disturbed. However, try as he might, something would still enter in his mind.
Then, in the middle of one night in the desert, Scientist Ovalfoot had a brilliant idea: thinking of nothing is still thinking of something! Something had come from thinking of nothing! This was a power source!
Within a week of returning to Capital City, he built a gigantic machine.
At its bottom were a hundred people thinking of nothing. At its top was a large wheel that created wind for all buildings in Capital City. Scientist Ovalfoot discovered that a hundred people thinking of nothing could power wind for Capital City for an entire day!
One day, Scientist Squarefoot Squarehead Squarecheeks and Scientist Roundfoot Roundhead Roundcheeks and Scientist Ovalfoot Ovalhead Ovalcheeks began a competition. Whose discovery was the strongest one? Which was doing more? Doing nothing? Saying nothing? Or thinking nothing?
And so, a hundred people doing nothing competed with a hundred people saying nothing, who competed with a hundred people thinking nothing.
The entire Capital City attended the event.
Families brought lunches and stared at the hundred people doing nothing, the hundred people saying nothing, and the hundred people thinking nothing. It was the most exciting event of the year!
Everyone saw clearly that thinking nothing was doing less than saying nothing, and that saying nothing was doing less than doing nothing. In fact, doing nothing proved to be the biggest ‘doing something’ besides actually doing something.
And so all machines in all the Land of All Legends began to run on the power of doing nothing. New jobs were posted, seeking people who were good at doing nothing. All over the land, young men and women received written recommendations from their parents, explaining how good they were at doing nothing.
This fad continued for twenty years. But eventually, everyone was paid for doing nothing, no one did anything, and the city was on the verge of collapse. The technology was abandoned, and Scientist Roundfoot was sent to jail for bringing society to the brink of destruction.
His last words at his trial were: “I shouldn’t have done it. I should have done nothing.”
From that point on, scientists made it a point to always do nothing. That is why we no longer have scientists today in the Land of All Legends.
This has been the story revealing how the power of nothing is a very powerful force of nature, said Minister Vazir.
King John the Cute nodded. “Interesting and instructive. I may use that some day.” he said. “Getting closer to what I seek… Tell me another secret of the land.”
(To be continued on Tuesday…)You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!