The City of Dreams

Takouhi Minassian August 22, 2018
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Blooming lights illuminated the small town in the valley of the river Arno. The pine trees smelled fresh, and the small bulbs (lamps) perched on them lit and faded. Christmas was approaching!

It was cold and snowy, and the air crisp, clean, and every word spoken seemed to swallow and sink into the unknown. Mary struggled to hear the conversation with her friends, who gladly gestured with their hands, but the sound was lacking. Then Mary made a huge snowball and tossed it straight to Zara and Shushan, who jumped, turned to Mary and pulled her towards themselves.
– What are you talking about so passionate? -Mary asked.
– Mary – Zara shouted – Look at the tall tree, look there is a beautiful sleigh, looks like a Royal Carriage, do you want us to ride on Santa’s sled?
– Yes – Mary said, putting both her hands like a funnel in front of her mouth, and continued- That’s my greatest wish.

The wind did not stop but, on the contrary, it grew stronger, and the snow grew fast. The three girlfriends approached Santa Claus, and Zara said:
– Santa, our great dream is to take your sled and roll down this hill and get to the river.
Father Christmas stroked his long white beard, looked at all the three girls, smiled and said:
– Two golden royal coins…
– What? What? -The girlfriends shouted aloud.
– Two golden royal coins worth your dream to ride on my sled, but since you’re here without your parents and cannot pay, I’ll give you another chance – the old man paused for a moment. – Think of a tale of our city, and if it’s worth, I’ll take you with the sled.

Zara and Shushan shouted together:
– Mary, Mary, you’re our magic narrator, please, come up with a fairy tale that’s more interesting and dear than two golden royal coins.
A slight smile adorned Mary’s little face; she narrowed her eyes, took a deep breath, rubbed her hands and said:
– Two golden royal coins, I will tell you about our city, which I sometimes dream of is a Kingdom. The Kingdom of the young King – King Arthur. But first, let’s sit in the sled while I’m narrating – Mary turned to the white-bearded man.

The merry company sat down on the sled, and Santa Claus cleared his blurry glasses and waited impatiently for Mary to start her story.
– “The city of dreams,” Mary began timidly. Once upon a time, there was a small Kingdom, a Kingdom, situated on the banks of the river Arno. The King of the Kingdom was an old man, a widower, and had two sons – Arthur and Suren.

Mary looked timidly in Santa Claus’s eyes, who gently urged her:
– Keep going, dear.
Mary took a sip of cold air and continued:
– One day the King decided to test the abilities of his sons, their dexterity, patience, and wisdom, and said, “Dear sons, you are already grown up, and I have to decide which of you is worthy, capable and wise to govern our Kingdom. The older son was picky and immediately reminded his father: “But my King, the law requires the first-born son to inherit the throne; otherwise a bad omen may pass over the Kingdom.” Dear son, this is true, but I want to see who is better able to manage than you. Do not worry yourself, Suren. “Dear King,” said little Arthur, “I am ready to listen to your request.”
Mary stopped, looked at Shushan in her eyes, thought for a moment and continued: “My sons, you have one night to think, draw, paint and show me what is the first thing you will build if you each become a King for to make the Kingdom more beautiful, and the life of the residents (subjects) better. The two princes retreated to their rooms and the next morning they knocked at the King’s door. “My King,” said Suren, “here are my drawings” and gave three huge drawings with beautifully drawn castles, churches, and stables. The King looked with delight and said, “This is wonderful, son, but why more castles and stables, when our Kingdom is small and the castle we live in is enough. The Church, which is by the river, holds all our inhabitants, and the stables are even more than the horses in our land. “Arthur, the younger son, approached the King and gave his highness a modestly small drawing. The King looked at him and asked, “What is it, son, you do not know how to paint, tell us to hear your views.” “My King,” said Arthur, “this is our beautiful river Arno, and what I have tried to draw over the river is a bridge. If we gather all of our builders, plasterers, we can build a bridge to connect both sides of the river. So, all residents will be able to enjoy food, there will be a busy trade, and our city will become a City of Dreams, “Arthur concluded. Mary stopped, looked at everyone sitting in the sled, and they were sitting in a petrified waiting, and Mary continued: “The wise King slowly came to his throne, approached his sons, and said,” I am very old, but a delighted King, father of such sons. Suren’s wonderful gift to draw and paint and the great idea of Arthur – I believe you both together will turn the Kingdom into a City of Dreams. To you, Arthur, I give you the king’s crown, and to you, Suren, the keys to this castle. The crown and the castle are inseparable, as you, my sons, wish you to be. I wish you to catch up and surpass my 100 years! ”

There was a silence, the sled rolled away and accelerated to the downhill and reached the river. Santa Claus stroked Mary over her shoulder, glanced at the snow-covered bridge over Arno and said:
– This is my most beautiful Christmas, Christmas in the City of Dreams.
– Mary, Mary- shouted the girls -we are riding, this is really City of Dreams!

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