Moral Stories in English - King Saved By Craft

 King Saved By Craft

A prince, out for hunting, lost his way in the jungle. He wandered all alone for a long time and got extremely tired. He sprawled under a tree. The young daughter of a forest dweller found him and gave him food and drink and showed him the way out of the jungle. The prince could not forget the girl. He tossed on his bed without a wink of sleep for the whole night and in the morning rode into the jungle. He found out the girl soon. "This time you won't have to lead me out of the forest. Lead me to your father," he said to the girl, all smiles. And soon he stood before the forest dweller and introduced himself. The forest dweller, a poor man, was surprised that the prince came to see him. He received the prince with humility and asked him, "How can I serve you, Your Majesty?" "I propose to marry your daughter," said the prince.

"Will you kindly agree to my proposal?" he asked, sure that the man will jump at it. The man was more surprised surely than before, but he looked grave. Then it was for the prince to feel surprised at his question. "What work do you do, O Prince?" asked the man. "Did I not say that I am the prince, the one to succeed my father, the Sultan, to the throne?" stammered the prince. "That is all right, Your Majesty, but one who would marry my daughter ought to have learned some craft. Pardon me for saying so, but the kingdom has not been achieved by you. Today it is yours, tomorrow it may not remain with you. If you have achieved some skill in any work, you can be proud of that and can depend on that," said the man. The prince could not appreciate the man's point of view, but he did not like to argue with him. "I'll come back in a year's time," he said and took leave of the man. Back in his palace, he summoned one of the best craftsmen in the kingdom, a master seamster. He learned from him the art of needlework. His concentration was deep. In a few months, he could knit excellent and intricate designs on clothes. 

He practiced till his trainer assured him that he had excelled all the others in the art. Then the prince rode into the forest and demonstrated his art to the girl's father. The forest dweller was much impressed. He happily let his daughter marry the prince. Soon the Sultan died and the prince ascended the throne. One day he decided to see the condition of the city in disguise. He dressed like an ordinary trader and moved about in the markets. He felt hungry. He walked into a shop where hot food was on sale. "You look like a traveler from another town. Instead of buying food and eating elsewhere, you may sit in our inner room and dine. We will serve you freshly cooked food, item by item," proposed one of the fellows managing the shop. They looked very hospitable. "That should be fine," agreed the disguised Sultan. He was led into a room, then into another behind it, and then into yet another. "There, sit on the carpet," they told him. There was a small square carpet. The Sultan stepped onto it. At once he fell into a deep underground chamber. The carpet had only hidden a hole. He understood that he was in the hands of a gang of thugs. Soon his captors arrived through a staircase. They began to search for him. He had no much money on him. The thugs were annoyed. "You see, we have to kill you in any case. It is a pity that you should yield so little." "Please don't kill me!" pleaded the Sultan. "If we spare you, our having killed so many people over the years will go in vain! You will go and inform the Sultan and we will be captured!" a member of the gang explained.

In the meanwhile, two of them were examining a handkerchief they had found in the Sultan's pocket. "How charming is this design! This may fetch us some money!" they exclaimed to their friends. "If you let me live," said the Sultan, "I can make such designs on handkerchiefs and you can sell them at a high price. What will you gain by killing me?" "Do you mean to say that you made this design?" asked the leader of the gang. "You can fetch me cloth and thread and needle and see for yourselves." Within two hours the thugs knew that they had a master craftsman as their prisoner. They kept him under lock in another room. They brought him the necessary materials. He made beautiful handkerchiefs, covers for jars and veils, and screens. The thugs sold them among the nobility and made a very good profit. A month passed. The queen, the Vizier, and the courtiers were extremely worried on account of the Sultan. Where had he gone? Was he in any danger? They did not know.

One day the Sultan gave the thugs a handkerchief with the best design he had ever made. "Sell this to the Sultan," he said. "The Sultan is not to be seen for some days now," the thugs informed him. "In that case, try to sell this to the Sultan's vizier," advised the Sultan. The thugs, in high spirit, met the Vizier with the stuff. The moment the Vizier saw it, he read in it some secret signs which were known only to the Sultan and himself. "Wait a moment. I'll show this to the queen. If she likes it, you'll receive a reward that would be far more than its price!" the Vizier said. He entered the palace. The thugs waited with joy. Inside the palace, the queen at once recognized the needlework to be her husband's. The vizier had no doubt left in his mind now about the nature of those sellers. When the vizier appeared before the thugs, he was not alone. A full dozen fearful guards were with him. The thugs were captured. One of them broke down and confessed to their crime. The royal soldiers surrounded their camp cautiously so that the imprisoned Sultan was not harmed. Then they stormed in and captured the rest of the gang. The Sultan was rescued. "When my wife's father insisted that I ought to learn some craft even though I was a prince, I had taken him to be crazy. But how sound and sensible he was. My work saved my life, not my kingdom," said the Sultan.

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