Now you may not know, and so I had best tell you, that Galumphers are small mumbling creatures, very puffed up and given to saying "Galumph-galumph!" in their self important little voices. They are seldom seen outside of their Galumpher Kingdom, but this suits them just fine, because Galumphers like nothing more than being left alone to get on with enjoying their favourite thing in the whole world, which is clothes.
Oh yes, Galumphers love their clothes, my dears. They adore their little Galumpher hats and shirts and waistcoats and trousers. The most talented Galumphers like to make these clothes and to be seen about their little Galumpher towns wearing them. The other Galumphers get together in the town squares and delight in talking about them, in saying "Galumph-galumph!" and praising the cut of a shirt, or laughing "Galumph-galumph!" at the shiny buttons on a waistcoat. Oh yes, Galumphers were happy little people with their hats and shirts and waistcoats and trousers.
But then one day, a particularly clever little Galumpher decided that he wanted more than hats and shirts and waistcoats and trousers, and so he went to see the Galumpher King.
Oh, my dears, the Galumpher King is the jolliest little fellow that you ever did see! He has the whitest hair, and the happiest smile, and he loves all of the other Galumphers, even the cruel ones that just laugh "Galumph-galumph!" at everything. So when the clever Galumpher came to see him, the Galumpher King listened carefully to what he had to say. And what the clever Galumpher had to say was this:
"Galumph-galumph! Oh, wise and powerful Galumpher King, your people love their little hats and shirts and waistcoats and trousers. How wonderful it would be if they also had shoes to make and talk about. Can we have shoes, oh please, oh please may we have them, galumph-galumph?"
Now the jolly Galumpher King enjoyed nothing more than giving his people what they wanted, and so he posted notices all across the Galumpher Kingdom asking the Galumpher people whether they should have shoes or not.
"Galumph-galumph!" said some of his people. "Why, yes, we would love shoes. Shoes would be new and good, and we could make them and talk about them all day long!"
But others said "Galumph-galumph! No, no! Shoes are bad. Galumphers do not wear shoes. If we are allowed to have shoes, then naughty Galumphers will make ugly shoes and use them to kick people with, and so we should not have shoes."
Now, my dears, what was the jolly Galumpher King to do? Well, I am glad to say that he was wise enough to know that even the wisest King cannot choose for his people. And so he asked all of the Galumphers to let him know whether they wanted shoes, to say "Galumph-galumph! Yes!" or "Galumph-galumph! No!"
Oh, how the Galumphers do love to talk about things and say that they are good or they are bad! All of the little Galumphers said yes or they said no or they said that they did not mind, and the Galumpher King counted the yesses and the nos, and he found that twice as many Galumphers said yes as said no. And so he made a proclamation. "Galumph-galumph! From this day forward, all Galumphers that want to may wear shoes, and all Galumphers may talk about shoes. Enjoy, my people!"
And what do you think happened then, my dears? Well, if you think that the clever Galumpher that had asked if he could wear shoes went ahead and made a most beautiful pair of shoes, then you would be right. But I am afraid to say that more happened than that.
What happened was this. Some of the Galumphers that had said "Galumph-galumph! No!" to the shoes decided that they would show the Galumpher King and the other Galumphers exactly how naughty Galumphers might kick people with shoes. And so they hatched a plan in their silly Galumpher heads, and their plan went just so: they put on funny little Galumpher masks, and made the biggest, heaviest boots that they could imagine, and they ran around kicking the other Galumphers with their new boots and shouting "Galumph-galumph! We said yes to shoes! Galumph-galumph! See our shoes! Galumph-galumph! See how we kick you with our shoes!"
Oh, those wicked, wicked Galumphers, telling fibs like that! But I am sorry to say that they got even worse, my dears. Because when the nasty Galumphers were tired of kicking, they ran and hid and took off their masks and their boots, then ran back to the public squares in their bare Galumpher feet, crying "Galumph-galumph! Oh, we told you so! We said no, but you would not listen! Galumph-galumph! We must get rid of all shoes, or more people will be kicked by the wicked Galumphers that said yes to shoes!"
And many of the other Galumphers that had said "Galumph-galumph! No!" to shoes agreed with the cruel wicked ones, and shouted out that shoes must go, and that the Galumpher King was silly and wrong to have allowed them.
And oh, my dears, it could have gone very badly for the Galumphers who wanted shoes. But something you must understand about Galumphers is that at heart they are really quite clever, kind, patient little creatures. And so while the silly ones ran around shouting "Galumph-galumph! Yes!" and kicking with their boots, the Galumphers who really had said yes just watched and waited and had a good little Galumpher think about things. And that, my dears, is a very clever and a very proper thing to do, that you should always remember yourselves.
Well, I am happy to tell you that after the naughty Galumphers got tired of shouting and kicking, the nice Galumphers who wanted to make pretty shoes and talk about them got their chance to do just that that, and the ugly old boots were finally put away for good.
And the kind, wise Galumpher King gathered his people around, and he said this to them.
"Galumph-galumph! Oh, my beloved Galumphers, my kind and cruel and clever people, hear me. Those who want to wear shoes should wear shoes, and those who do not want to wear shoes should not wear shoes. And you should praise shoes or laugh at shoes just as you always praised and laughed at hats and shirts and waistcoats and trousers, of course you should. See how I do not wear shoes, and yet I can still praise the beauty of other Galumpher's shoes! But, oh, galumph-galumph! my silly ones, to kick people with shoes just to show that shoes can be used to kick people, that is the silliest thing of all! Galumph-galumph! There is no ugliness and no beauty, no evil and no good but what we Galumphers make for ourselves in our little Galumpher Kingdom. Make those things that are most beautiful and good, my wonderful people, and fill my heart with joy."
Well, the funny little Galumphers all laughed "Galumph-galumph!" and they did go on to make those things that are most beautiful and good. And in time, the Galumphers once again lived very happily together in their little Kingdom with their little Galumpher hats and shirts and waistcoats and trousers and their wonderful little Galumpher shoes. And I am happy to tell you that when he saw the beauty and the goodness of their works, the kindly Galumpher King's heart filled almost to bursting with the joy and the love of it, my dears, and he lived happily ever after.
© Rogerborg 2003. You may read this tale or your own version to your own little Galumphers under the Creative Commons by-nc-sa license.