But father,"" says Emir, the prince of a brand-new kingdom on an almost brand-new earth, ""there are no airplanes or cars or trolleys or trains, because they haven't been invented yet. So how will I travel?"" ""You will go by boat,"" says his father the king, and Emir does--off through a hole in the sky to ask the gods how to solve the kingdom's growing over-population problem. (""The earth was so brand new that death hadn't been invented either."") On his trip Emir gets into all sorts of trouble because of his impatient habit of demanding that the sky or the rain do his bidding; and worst of all he commands the top God himself, the One in Many and God of All Life. (""Really more like a light than anything else,"" this God signals His presence in the way everything else lights up when He appears.) Emir's audacity causes the God to vanish without answering his question--but then, back home, aided by an invisible girl named Inspiration, Emir thinks up the answer himself: we must all go off and leave our bodies so that they can be remade for somebody else. Which Emir does, showing the way, and attaining a wonderful moment of enlightenment as he takes his new place at the head of the Parade of Life. (Death, it seems, is merely a period of waiting to return--up where the yet unborn, represented here by Sappho and Napoleon, are also waiting for their centuries to come up: ""They just pick a number and wait till it's called."") An outdated blend of the fanciful and didactic, this seems best suited as a discussion starter for non-doctrinaire Sunday schools--of the sort where older youth groups read Kahlil Gibran.