A King’s Judgement

in Stories

Once upon a time, a wise king ruled a vast empire. One day, he called his council of ministers to make an announcement.

I am going to go around my kingdom to identify the best and the worst people among my subjects,” he said.

The king took a disguise and mounted his horse. Without his entourage, he left to the far away lands from his court. Here, no one recognised him by face.

He came across people at every step of his journey, but none of them best or the worst. Then, while he was riding through a town in the desert, he saw a strong young man dragging an old, frail woman on hot sand by her back.

Illustration by: Neha Kumari

The woman screamed in pain, but the man would not stop.

He must be the worst man alive,” thought the king, climbing down his horse.

He grabbed the man’s neck, and made him to stop. The man appeared shocked, and the woman started screaming louder.

Her shrieks left the king puzzled.

She pleaded the king to leave the man, and to let him continue dragging her over the sand.

What is the matter?” asked the king.

This old woman has a skin illness, because of which all her loved ones have left her. They thought her disease was contagious,” the man answered.

Then, a healer identified her disease. And, according to him, her skin needs to be scratched vigorously with hot sand for about half an hour daily for forty days. I am only trying to help this lonely woman. It brings her relief.”

The king released him immediately.

The man is not the worst in my kingdom,’ he thought.

The king mounted his horse and went on with his journey.

In a far-off treeless plain lived a small tribe. He saw a man helping a dying horse lying on the ground drink water from a pot.

He must be the kind man I am looking to find,’ the king thought.

Just then, a group of men approached the man and pelted him with stones. He shooed them away, wearing a wicked smile on his face.

The king stopped the people and asked them the reason behind their actions.

He stole this horse from a poor farmer and was going to sell it to a merchant. When the horse turned sick, the man stole our hard-earned water to keep him alive for his price,” said the eldest among them.

The king again reversed his judgment.

He is not a kind person,’ he thought.

Tired from the long journey, which had not yielded him any results, the king decided to take rest.

The sun was about to set.

He sat under a tree, exhausted.

He plucked a pear from the tree and soon fell asleep. The king had a dream, in which the tree spoke to him.

The tree said: “It is not for me to judge a person. I give my shade and food to everyone, because that is what I am good at.”

The message broke his sleep. The king understood what was conveyed to him.

He rode back to his castle, and summoned his courtiers.

I set out to look for the best and the worst people in my kingdom so that I could selective in treating them. But I was wrong. My duty is to share my kindness with them. Judging is not my

where he focused on his strengths and goodness alone.

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