Who is a King?
Alexander the Great happened to step into the hot continent of Africa. He and his soldiers were searching for suitable lodging and boarding or at least a big shady tree. They saw a red Indian soldier rushing towards them. He asked them to follow him. He took them to his chief. The chief and his tribe were dark and ugly. The chief welcomed him and said, “There is a big plantain grove nearby. You and your people can go and rest there. You shall be looked after well, by my people.”
The next day, the red Indian chief arranged a feast in honour of Alexander. He placed before the Emperor a golden plate with golden fruits and said,”Oh King, please taste them.”
Alexander, with great surprise, said, “Do you eat golden fruits here?”
“No, no. We eat fresh fruits from the trees, milk and honey, flour and grain; but, you are a great conqueror and interested only in getting gold – so, we have offered you these. We thought you must be eating only gold.” Alexander realised how meaningful the statement of the African chief was. He said, “No sir, I have not come here to collect gold, but to see and learn of men, matter, and movements.” “Oh, is that so? It is good. You can safely stay here. We will be happy to have you,” replied the red Indian chief.
Just then, two men were brought before the chief. They were arguing very seriously. The chief said, “What is the matter?”
“Sir, recently I sold my land to this man. Yesterday, when he was ploughing the land, he found a treasure chest. He brought it to me and said that he had bought only the land and not the treasure. But, I said that the treasure chest was a part and parcel of the land that I had sold off. Please do me justice, my lord,” said one man.
The other man said, “No, no. How can I take what does not belong to me? Please see that the treasure is given to him.”
Alexander was very anxious to see what the judgement of the chief would be. The chief said,”Look here, my friends, I know that you have a daughter and that he has a son. Why don’t you get your daughter married to that boy? Then, you can give her the treasure as a dowry.”
The two men were very much pleased and swore before him that his will would be carried out and took leave.
After some time, the chief asked Alexander what he would have done as the king. Alexander said,”In our country, the king will take possession of the wealth and will silence the parties by keeping them in prison.”
The Indian chief thought, “How cruel! What wickedness! What wickedness? What right does a king have to take possession of the wealth of his subjects? Then, he is not a king, but a robber. A king must keep his subjects happy and not trouble them.”
- Why did the African chief offer golden fruits?
- What was the case that was brought before the chief?
- What was the Judgement?
- What did Alexander say to the chief?
- Who is a real King?
Source – Stories for Children – II, Published by – Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust, Prashanti Nilayam