Wednesday, January 09, 2019

The Ring Of Truth



“This is the Ring of Truth.” He showed me the small metallic circle that I had tossed onto the playground in the morning, something that had been at the bottom of a bag of junk a parent had donated to our school before the holiday break.

He was earnest, perhaps even trying out some words to see if they meant what he thought they meant. I asked, “How does it work?”

“It’s my super power. It makes bad guys tell the truth.”

“How about good guys?”

“It makes good guys tell the truth too. It makes everybody tell the truth. Do you want to try it?”

I answered that I would, so he extended it out to me, “Hold it.” We remained there for a time, both of us grasping the ring. I asked, “Is it working?”

He replied, “What is the truth?”

I answered, “Everything that isn’t false.”

This answer didn’t satisfy either of us, so I asked him, “What is the truth?”

“Villains.”

“Villains are the truth?”

“Yes.”


Another child had stopped to listen in, “I want to try it.” Once they both had their hands on the Ring of Truth, they almost instantly started tugging it between them. I could tell by their expressions that it could easily escalate, so I put my hand on it too, joking, “Hey, I’m the one who knows the truth!” When they saw I was clowning, they got in the spirit, “No, I’m the one who knows the truth!” “No, I’m the one!” Our silly battle attracted the attention of yet another classmate who also took hold, likewise insisting that she was the one and only knower of truth. I said, “We all think we know the truth. Now we have to decide who gets to be President.” 

After a couple minutes the game broke up leaving me alone with the holder of the Ring of Truth. As we chatted, he mentioned that he was a superhero. I asked, “Is that the truth?” 

He gazed at me earnestly, “We should find out.” He extended the ring out to me, inviting me to hold it between us. I took it, asking, “Are you a real superhero?”

He paused as if in deep thought. He has been a superhero of some sort since September. “No, I’m a little boy pretending to be a superhero.”

It was a lovely moment as he considered the line between superhero and little boy; pretend and real; answering the question, “What is the truth?”

He then told me that his superhero name is The Torch of Truth before flying away


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