Long ago, there was a beautiful kingdom ruled by a benevolent king that ruled with great wisdom. But for all his great wisdom he couldn't teach his arrogant, spoiled, self-conscious son, as when he was reprimanded for arrogance he became depressed, to ease his depression he was showered with gifts, and when his wealth grew so did his arrogance, and such the cycle continued.
On the prince's birthday the king in his vast knowledge came up with the solution, a challenge for the prince, if he succeeded he would become the king of his father's land, if not he would be forced to stay a prince until deemed worthy. His task was to journey across the desert to a giant mountain, and there he must learn the wisdom of the stones at the peak. In his arrogance, the prince agreed without thinking of the harsh journey he was about to embark upon. He left the place draped in silk robes and a satchel of gold against his hip, and with that he set out into the world he was convinced would one day be his.
For all his pompous bravado, the young prince began to tire, his pampered body unused to any means of physical activity, and in only an hour's time he flung himself on a grassy hill to catch his racing breathe. The only other on the hill was a little sheep that was hungrily munching on the green grass, the prince called out to the sheep, "you there little sheep, I am your prince and your future king, bring me some food and drink as I thirst and hunger."
The little sheep looked up at the sweaty child with detached interest and replied, "why should I, mighty one," she said before taking another healthy jaw full of grass before continuing, "my world exists of only grass and my Shepard, it has no room for royalty and shiny metal, and it certainly has no place for a prince such as yourself.
To be mocked by a sheep was one thing, but to be considered lower then a mere Shepard, that made the depression flood into him. "How dare you say that to your future king, with the tiniest whisper I could have you slaughtered and on my dinner table."
The sheep just laughed at the prince's attitude, "my dear prince, I am now a small sheep, I get shaved every year to feed my master, but when I'm older it won't matter, I will end up on someone's plate for dinner. Why does it matter if it its now or in a few years, you will still be the same if you don't change your ways."
The young prince was about to go on but in a moment of strange clarity he sat down and asked, "Why is this Shepard so important to you?"
The sheep looked at him for a minute in wonder before continuing, "my Shepard takes care of me, he feeds me, keeps me warm in the rain, in a life that exists of only grass and him, he is important because he is who he is, nothing else. To another he may have many names and faces, but to me, he is only my Shepard, and by doing his job he has earned his place in my world." The sheep said this with much more wisdom then a young sheep would be expected to have and the young prince could only stare awestruck.
The young prince sat down right next to the sheep and petted her for a moment, "it must be nice to have someone like you to respect them. But what about someone like me, I am just prince, one with little worth, I supposed that I will never have your respect little sheep, will I?" the depression began to swirl in his gut making him sick.
The little sheep looked at him with pity, "that's not true," she said when he looked at her. "Today I have no feelings towards you, to me you are just another empty person in a world full of them. But you are still alive, that means you have value like I do, and you have a long life ahead of you, your worth is measured by how you see yourself in the span of your life, make yourself something that you value from here on, and then it doesn't matter if you have the respect of a little sheep or the king of the sky," she finished with a smile.
And as she walked off, she called back to the prince, "for the record, you may not of yet earned my respect, but you are an interesting young man, perhaps you have a place someday in my world after all.
For a moment the prince sat on the hill alone contemplating what had just past, and for a moment feeling better about himself than he had in a long time. He knew he had value and could change, and for a moment this brought him some joy.
But then he shook his head furiously to clear his thoughts, "of course I have worth, I am the boy who will be king, the one all servants in my kingdom will bow to in a matter of day, what is one little sheep. Man's value out weight's a sheep's, for a sheep's value is measured in it's fur, and man's with worth his gold." And as he looked at his satchel full of gold, "I have more worth then any man in my borders."
The young prince went on believing that he was still perfect as he was before, but he still couldn't shake the underlined feeling of contentment bubbling in his stomach.