The Pyramid of the Bush King


During the years after the wildfire, when I was first experimenting with possibilities for Yeshua’s Cat, I was living in New Mexico, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where the most common views were of low hills covered with Piñon-Juniper woodlands and sagebrush. Inspired by one such hill with an unusually clear pyramidal shape, I wrote an odd little preface for Yeshua’s Cat (that I never used) called “The Pyramid of the Bush King.” I came across it recently among some old files, and thought my readers might enjoy it. Just treat it as a fable, or perhaps a fairy tale . . .

Pinon-Juniper .

. CatBarSingSm.

Not so very long ago, nor so very far away, in a land much like other lands, a people lived in the shelter of a great mound. Those whose mothers and fathers had dwelt long beneath its shadow spoke of it as the Pyramid of the Bush King, an ancient monument erected to honor the memory of a glorious king. For uncounted generations their forebears had venerated this king as their ancestral guide. But as lifetimes flowed by, the details of the great monarch’s reign grew blurred, and a select group of elders took over the recitation of his deeds.


The Earth turned, and the world changed around the people of the Pyramid. Outsiders came and went, chattering excitedly about amazing new discoveries about their king, but the folk of the pyramid resolutely closed their ears and held to their old ways.


Then explorers digging down through crumbling ruins near the mound unearthed an older story, one both greater and smaller than the familiar tale. This story spoke of a mountain never raised by human hands. Rather than a temple to the great king, the hill was as old as Creation itself, worn down by the cycling seasons to its now-familiar pyramidal shape. The stunted bushes that had leant their name to the vanished king had once spread their branches above the heads of men—small trees, but graceful, fruit-bearing, generous in shade, their rustling leaves bending down to touch the fertile earth.

BadlandsFace2Last, and strange beyond the power of words to tell, the explorers discovered that the mighty king had been no king at all. He had never claimed royal estate, never laid down laws, nor even worn a golden crown. He had laughed and loved, taught and died—and some said lived again—a man beloved of many, yet never a ruler. His glowing words (long treasured through the ages) had somehow lost their fire in the elders’ keeping. And, sadly, as the people of the pyramid had crouched protectively over increasingly vague memories of their king, the trees had shriveled, the green mound had turned to dust, and the world had forgotten his wisdom.

“Listen,” the explorers cried to the mountain people, “we have news of your king! Good news! His words still burn with living fire!” But the old familiar story closed in like a fog on the people’s minds. It lay like pre-dawn mist on autumn fields, whispering of winter light and a sun too weak to pierce their clouded thoughts. So their story of the Bush King endured, unchanging, unending, its tired light casting grey shadows across their bleak lives.


Yet the story is still born anew—and forever old—to any who will look beyond the tattered veils of sadness toward the light. As long as the grasses grow and the rivers run, the king’s light will beckon us home. The Gospel According to Yeshua’s Cat is one voice reaching for the coming of that light.