While Henry Hamilton-Smythe minor (8) was playing croquet with Cynthia Jane De Blaise-William (9), sweet smiling Cynthia raised her mallet high and gracefully removed Henry's head. Two weeks later, in Henry's nursery, she discovered his treasured musical box.Poor Henry, trapped in his half-world as, head removed by his playmate, his spirit experiences the whole of his life in the span of "Old King Cole". His appeal to Cynthia:
Eagerly she opened it and as "Old King Cole" began to play, a small spirit-figure appeared. Henry had returned - but not for long. For as he stood in the room his body began aging rapidly, leaving a child's mind inside. A lifetime's desires surged through him.
Unfortunately the attempt to persuade Cynthia Jane to fulfill his romantic desire led his nurse to the nursery to investigate the noise. Instinctively, she hurled the musical box at the bearded child, destroying both.
And the nurse will tell you lies
Of a Kingdom beyond the skies
But I'm lost within this half-world
It hardly seems to matter now.
brings back the advice of Siduri; the second-best course of action of Paul. "Let us eat, drink and be merry. For tomorrow we die."
But Henry's got no idea whether there's a Kingdom beyond the skies. He is still chained to the circles of this world. He grasps for pleasure - and a dreadful pleasure at that - in the time he has left. And we still have the choice - are we to see pleasure as a pointer beyond itself - to the source of all joy - or to be all there is?