the wisdom in innocence 

King Sigmus sat at an oaken desk tucked away inside of a tower alcove, preparing a piece of parchment.  His finely crafted instruments were spread before him and he held a long, thin-stemmed pipe.  The dull and diffuse sunlight, so rare at this time of year, filtered in and gave him all the light he needed.  Iona was there with him, and she sat in a chair by the window and watched as the King smoked his pipe and blew out thick, spinning smoke-rings until they would float away and disappear.  The King was smiling as the young and pretty servant spoke.  Finally, the King took the pipe out of his mouth and said. 

"No, no, no, you sweet, innocent girl, that is not how it is . . ."   

"But it is," she insisted.  "This is what I have heard.  Every Easter during Lent, the chickens are so sad over the death of the savior that their eggs are trans . . .trans . . ." 


"Yes, Sigmus, exactly.  Their eggs are transformed into hard eggs because of the suffering of the Lord. Oh, Sigmus, the Lord loves all the creatures of the earth, and He even knows how many hairs are on the head of a sparrow." 

The King could not hide the joy on his face and he said, "Come here Iona and let me kiss you, for your beautiful innocence brings me such happiness." 

Iona stood up with a smile and playfully leaned over the King’s desk.  Sigmus took her head in his hands and kissed her forehead. 

"Oh, Iona," he said.  "That is not the reason that we have hard eggs after Easter.  It is simply that Christians were forbidden to eat eggs during the Lenten season.  They boiled the eggs to preserve them, Iona.  That is all.  And the eggs were colored to distinguish them from fresh eggs.  This is true." 

"Oh, Sigmus," she responded.  "You are so wise. But tell me, then, if the Lord knows how many hairs are on the head of each and every sparrow, and if all sparrows are alike, then how is it that the Lord can distinguish them from one another? We are all different, and only we are given the gift of being different, or we should all be like the sparrow.”

“The Lord knows everything,” Sigmus replied.

“And does the Lord also know what is in my heart?” Iona asked with a slightly timid smile.

The King looked affectionately at her and said, “ The Lord is inside of your heart, Iona, and so the Lord knows love. There is much wisdom in innocence," the King continued.  "The Lord loves our innocence for it brings us closer to Him.  Do not ever change Iona, for I love your sweet innocence, and your innocence brings joy into this world."

Satisfied with his answer, the King blew out a large smoke-ring and sent it floating away. It slowly wafted past her head and disappeared through the open window. Iona smiled and said.

“And do those smoke-rings come from inside your heart, Sigmus?”

“Those are my thoughts,” he replied with a grin. “Just smoke, Iona. Just so much smoke.”