The Hero Who Couldn’t Say No

The Hero Who Couldn’t Say No
by
Deborah O’Carroll

Once upon a time there was this . . . well, we’ll just call him a hero, even though he wasn’t exactly one, but was merely the Main Character of a story (specifically, this one).

This Hero had a strange thing about him, which was that he could not shake his head or say no.

If you said something to him like “Do you like asparagus?” he could not reply and give the obvious answer to that question — for of course, no one likes asparagus. You would have to rephrase the question to “Do you hate asparagus?” And he could nod, say “Yes!” and pour an emphatic stream of hate onto the subject, just as anyone would.

At any rate, this strange condition caused many problems, for, as you might imagine, not all questions asked of him had obvious answers like the asparagus one.

Probably what the Mentor would say… The Hero wouldn’t like it… (pinterest)

One day, the old man who was teaching him hero-like things (see: “Mentor”) — who, for the record, did like asparagus — decided to get rid of this annoying habit of his pupil.

So he set up a scene, where some robbers came, and pretended to kill the old man, who fell over.

And the Hero, of course, did the thing he had never been able to do before: he yelled “Nooooo!”

At this the old man got up, having proved that once again, even the most obnoxious of problems can be fixed with a simple antidote that has been used so many times that it may now be considered mandatory in stories. In this case, that classic example of the old Mentor being killed and the Hero yelling “Nooooo!”

And so, the Hero was cured, and the Mentor not dead (but then, who would be surprised at that “twist”). Because, although the Hero had said “Noooo!” he very fortunately had not said “You’re going to be okay.” For if he had said that, obviously the Mentor would most certainly not have been okay.

So of course they lived happily ever after, especially as the Hero could now reply correctly when asked if he liked asparagus.