Is it the king?

Despite the fact that so few countries have kings anymore – the idea of Kings is still so powerful. Every child understands what a king is and why you might want to be one. Sometimes even why you might NOT want to be one.
Kings are now (mostly) archetypal figures rather than actual rulers. This is probably a good thing. Kings as playing cards or checkers or chess pieces or puppets or stuffed toys or cartoon characters or literary figures or fairy tale villains or fairy tale heroes or rewards for fairy tale heroes or rewards for mythical heroes.
Probably we play with kings as children because almost all children are potential tyrants. We play at being king to see what it’s like to be at the top of the heap, to indulge all of our wildest desires or most arbitrary rule-making.
“I’m the king. I say everyone gets candy at 2:03 every day.”
But pretty much every group of subjects will eventually push back, no matter how docile or obedient. It’s never as fun as it seems at first. I picture a child given a new toy figure and this as his first question, “Is it the King?”

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