Moral Audio Stories in English - Story Of The Chair

 Story Of The Chair

It is possible that you are seated in a chair when you are reading this story. If you are in your bed or on a swing or on the floor, a few others must be sitting in chairs around you or near you. What we mean to say is, there are chairs galore today. But there was a time when there were no chairs. Small or big, everybody squatted or knelt on the ground or sat on cotton cushions. There was a king who loved to imagine new things. One day his heralds announced that the king would reward any inventor who can invent a comfortable seat. Everybody knew that the king was quite generous and when he gave a reward, it was either a handsome amount or a valuable gift. Several ambitious men began to work on model seats. If one put a few stones together and cemented them with lime and mortar, another made a thick cushion of cotton. They carried their models to the king.

The king appreciated their labor but frankly told them that he was not quite satisfied with their inventions. In a remote village lived a poor farmer. He sat on the narrow verandah of his hut when the king's herald passed by, beating the drum and making the announcement about the need for a comfortable seat. It suddenly occurred to the farmer that he sat quite comfortably with his legs stretched down from his verandah, his back resting against his wall and his hands resting on two pets of his, his left hand on his dog and his right hand on his goat. Why not make a seat which will give this much comfort? The fellow was imaginative and enterprising. He collected some wood. He made the first model for the chair as we see it now. The seat was raised to a height equal to his verandah, there was a plank at the back and there were two bars on both the sides to serve as supports for the hands. He covered it with linen and carried it to the king and unwrapped it before him. At last, there was something new for the king to look at. He was happy. He grew happier when he sat in it and relaxed. "Excellent," he exclaimed. "This is the kind of thing I desired to find." Then he ordered his treasurer to reward the farmer with a thousand pieces of gold. As the happy farmer was leaving, the king asked him, "By what name to call your invention?" "My Lord, I have invented the seat all right, but I do not have any knack for inventing new words," said the farmer. "Never mind. We have twenty wise noblemen in our court. I will ask them to recommend a name for this novel thing," said the king.

Turning to his courtiers, he said, "Gentlemen, I will be back in an hour. Decide upon a good name for this thing in the meantime." The king left the court for attending to some work inside the palace. One of the courtiers, eager to go down in the court chronicles as the man who named the new thing, said, "It is as comfortable as Paradise. Let us call it paradise!" "Nonsense!" said another courtier who was no less eager to make himself immortal. "As if you pass your summer holidays in Paradise and know how comfortable it is!" "Shut up!" yelled the first one. "I may not visit Paradise occasionally, but I will dwell there permanently after I depart from this world, just as my ancestors do. So far as you are concerned, there is a burning dungeon booked for you in hell!" he retorted further. Now, the first courtier had his supporters and the second had his. Besides, there were a few others ready with suggestions of names for the new thing. They quarreled and the quarrel grew fiercer and fiercer. They forgot themselves and forgot the value of the invention. 

Someone picked up the thing and hurled it at another. Others rushed upon the thing and broke it into pieces and attacked one another with the planks and bars. The king was back. At once the honorable members of the court came to a halt. The king looked at the broken seat with sad eyes and said, "Gentlemen, I wanted to make one such seat for each of you. But now I realize that you are not yet fit for such a seat, for you destroyed it in no time! Continue to sit on the floor and I too would continue to do the same!" The courtiers looked guilty and downcast. The king did not let them use the new seat, but once a thing is invented, its use cannot be controlled. The farmer made another seat and yet another. Wealthy people bought them from him. Soon carpenters stepped into the business. We do not know who named it Chair. All we know is, it had come to stay. But once in a while, it is good to ask, does one deserve the chair one occupies? One may not destroy the chair as those courtiers did. But does one honor the position for which the chair stands?

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