The Park of Kings (Kuprin)

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The Park of Kings
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Former rulers living in a park struggled with their obsolete beliefs and loneliness until a young girl convinced one of them to leave and join her family, finding new purpose in life.

In the twenty-sixth century, the world had changed drastically. The human race had blended, wars had ceased, and the earth had become a luxuriant garden. However, this contented prosperity eventually led to a great insurrection, and humanity returned to war and destruction.

During this time, the rulers of the earth had given up their power and joined the masses. However, some descendants of royalty refused to let go of their status and continued to consider themselves rulers. One of the former rulers reminisces about the past, trying to hold onto the belief that they still have power and influence over their people.

My people and my army. … Oh, if you only knew how my father was loved by his subjects. … And they are still. …

The government built a large, comfortable house for them in a public park, where they lived off voluntary contributions from the people. Their lives were empty, filled with intrigue, gossip, and spying.

One day, an old, widowed King of Trapesund was sitting in the park when a young girl approached him. She offered him a sugar Easter egg and asked if he would be her grandfather.

King of Trapesund — old, widowed, childless former ruler; majestic appearance; lonely, stubborn, and proud.
The Girl — young, kind-hearted, blue-eyed; offers friendship and a new life to the King of Trapesund.

Grandpa, why are you always so sad? Has anybody hurt you? Grandpa, let me give you this sugar Easter egg.

The king, touched by the girl's kindness, agreed to leave his royal life behind and join her family. As they left the park, the old man promised to make beautiful boxes out of colored paper for them, and the girl happily embraced him.

The Girl's Father — tall, sunburnt man with calm, deep-gray eyes; invites the King of Trapesund to join their family.

The King of Trapesund, after accepting the girl's offer to join her family, renounces his royal title and embraces a new life outside the Park of Kings.