On a recent family vacation, we each made up stories to pass the time and keep the driver, (me) awake. We made up many stories that day. This was one of my contributions to the game. It is an original story.
The Tale of Corn Po
Corn Po was a kale farmer on the wind-swept steppes of Mongolia. He wasn't a very good kale farmer. In fact, he was actually a very bad kale farmer. Corn Po had never been out of his village before. He wasn't a very bright lad. And, he smelled of kale.
One day, a young, adventurist couple set out to explore the wind-swept steppes of Mongolia. They hired a bi-plane, and flew off into the sky. At one point during their day, they flew over Corn Po's kale fields. The young lady, having just finished her Coca-cola, tossed the bottle cap out of the plane.
In those days, Coke bottle caps were built to last. After falling 20,000 feet, the bottle cap landed next to Corn Po with a wet ker-splunch.
He picked up the bottle cap, and, not knowing what it was, he set out to find out what it could be. Corn Po was sure it was a sign. A sign of great importance.
I did mention that Corn Po wasn't very bright, didn't I?
So, Corn Po showed the acolyte the bottle cap. The acolyte looked at the bottle cap, and then back at Corn Po. "Oh boy. Foolish boy," he said with a snicker. "You must seek out the wisest of all men." "But," Corn Po asked. "Where do I find the wisest of all men, who can tell me what this sign means?" The acolyte snickered at the bottle cap in Corn Po's hand and said, "Oh boy. Foolish boy. Only the Dalai Lama can help you. He can be found at the top of the tallest mountain in the world."
Corn Po was disheartened. Even though he was not very bright, he knew that the tallest mountain in the world was Mount Sagarmatha* and it stood, mighty and proud, in Nepal. So, without another word, Corn Po turned his face to the southwest, and began walking.
He walked for many days and nights. Soon, the days turned to weeks and then months, as he traveled over the whole of Mongolia, across the southwestern slopes of China, toward Nepal. Corn Po had many adventures along the way, but those are tales for another time.
Finally, he made his way to Nepal, and then, to Mount Sagarmatha.
At the base of the mountain was a little town, with a little pub and general store. Corn Po realized that he would need supplies to climb all the way to the top of the mountain. Corn Po was disheartened. He had no money, because he didn't sell any of his kale this season. He didn't sell any of his kale because he wasn't a very good kale farmer, and he had forgotten to harvest his kale after discovering the bottle cap. He didn't know what to do.
Then, just when he was at his wits' end, Corn Po's mysterious uncle, Jean-Luc Pierre emerged from the pub. Uncle Jean-luc paid for Corn Po's supplies.
After thanking his uncle, Corn Po began to climb. He climbed and climbed. Many nights he sat, hundled and freezing on the wind-swept cliffs of Mount Sagarmatha. Many days, the icy air froze his fingers stiff, but he would not be deterred. Corn Po continued to climb.
One morning, the sun rose bright and cold over the great temple at the top of Mount Sagarmatha. Corn Po felt a rush of excitement as he climbed the steps of the temple. When he reached the top, he knocked on the door.
An acolyte opened the door just a crack, so as not to let the cold air in. "Why have you come on such a journey?" the acolyte asked. "I have come to seek the advice of the wisest man on Earth." Corn Po said. He held up the bottle cap. "I know this is a sign from the heavens. I wish for the Dalai Lama to tell me what it means."
The acolyte looked at the bottle cap, and then at Corn Po. He could tell that Corn Po was not the brightest of lads. "Oh boy. Foolish boy," the acolyte said. "If you seek an audience with the Dalai Lama, you have come far for nothing."
Corn Po was confused, and it showed on his face. The acolyte snickered. "Not only is the Dalai Lama the wisest man on Earth," he said. "But, he is also the most famous. He is, at this moment, with Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Sammy Davis Jr. in Las Vegas. You must seek him there."
Corn Po was still confused. "But, it is just the turn of the century," he said. "Las Vegas isn't even built yet." "Oh boy. Foolish boy." the acolyte said, "It will be, by the time you get there."
With a final, mocking glance at the bottle cap in Corn Po's hand, the acolyte closed the door. Corn Po began the long, slow, cold journey down the mountain.
When he had climbed down from Mount Sagarmatha, Corn Po turned his face westward, and began walking. He walked across Nepal. He walked across India. He walked across deserts and lush tropics. Corn Po walked across Africa and into Spain. When he reached the Spanish coast, he booked passage on a ship bound for the Americas. Corn Po had many adventures along the way, but those are tales for another time.
When Corn Po reached the shores of North America, he began walking. The first person he met was an old woman. She was sitting in a lounge chair in front of a big hotel on Virginia Beach. She was tossing potato chips into the air. Each time she tossed one, the wind blew it back onto her enormous hat. The dozen or so seagulls fighting for the chips in her hat made a tremendous noise. They also made the old woman's hat rock back and forth on her head. It looked to Corn Po as if her head was the ocean, and her hat, with it's dozen or so seagulls in it, was a ship being tossed on an angry sea. Corn Po tried not to laugh.
Corn Po asked the woman where Las Vegas was. She laughed a high, unpleasant laugh. "Oh boy. Foolish boy," she cackled. "Las Vegas! That's on the other side of the country!" She tossed a chip into the air and it was blown back into her massive hat. The dozen or so seagulls fought for it, and the hat rocked back and forth some more.
Corn Po thanked the old woman, and lifted his chin toward the west. He began walking.
Corn Po walked all the way across the United States. He had many adventures along the way, but those are tales for another time.
Finally, Corn Po came to Las Vegas. He saw the marquee for the Sands hotel. It said, "Live, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin & Sammy Davis Jr." Corn Po was very excited. He walked up to the front doors of the Sands hotel. A very large man with a tattoo of a goose eating a pickle on his neck stopped him.
"Where do you think you're going?" the man asked. "I seek the Dalai Lama, the wisest man on earth." Corn Po said. He held up the bottle cap. "This is a sign from the heavens, and I wish to know what it means."
The man with the tattoo of the goose eating a pickle on his neck looked at Corn Po closely. He could tell that Corn Po was not the brightest of lads. "You can't go in there with that bottle cap, son." the man said. "The Dalai Lama is not here, and besides, you smell like kale."
Corn Po was disheartened. He didn't know what to do. He turned away from the front door of the Sands hotel.
Now, it just happened to be Christmas time in the United States. When Corn Po turned away from the Sands hotel, his eyes fell upon a billboard. On the sign was a giant depiction of Santa Claus. And Santa was holding a bottle of Coca-Cola. On the top of the bottle was a bottle cap! Corn Po turned the bottle cap in his hand over and over. They were the same!
Corn Po knew what he had to do. He turned his face northward, and set out for the North Pole. He had many adventures along the way, but those are tales for another time.
*Mount Sagarmatha is the Nepalese name for Mount Everest