Moral Story For Kids - The Maid's Mistake

 The Maid's Mistake

King Victor had a daughter Rose by name. While she was still a child her old nurse used to tell her this tale every day. "Once upon a time there was a pigeon couple in a certain forest. They had four nestlings. One day the forest caught fire and the poor nestlings got caught in it because they could not fly. Seeing her young destroyed in the fire their mother, the hen-pigeon got heartbroken and decided to destroy herself in the fire. The cock-pigeon too came to the same decision and they both flew together towards the flames. But halfway the cock changed his mind and said to his mate, "Let us not kill ourselves. If we are alive we may have other young ones. But if we are lost, everything is lost." "Fie upon you!" said the hen. "You are not at all worried at the sad death of our young ones. I shall not listen to you." Then she flew into the raging flames and got destroyed. Never believe the males. They are all bad! After listening to this story the innocent princess asked the nurse, "Then what happened to the dead pigeon?" The nurse laughed and said, "Oh she was born as a daughter to our king and she is now my sweet pigeon." Then she kissed the princess. In course of time, the old nurse died and the princess forgot her. But she remembered the tale of the pigeons and its moral very vividly.

She began to believe that it was all her own personal experience. One day she went to her father, the king, and asked him that he should provide her with a nice cottage in the gardens and issue orders forbidding all males from setting foot in the gardens. "How is that, my dear child?" asked the king. "Why such aversion to males? I am hoping to find a husband for you soon." "That is quite out of question," said Princess Rose. "I am not going to marry in a thousand births." Some time elapsed and one day a young prince and his companions came along the highway that ran past the gardens in which Princess Rose was leading a life of seclusion, surrounded by her maids. The young men were so pleased with the gardens that they wanted to rest there for a while. The moment they set foot in the gardens they heard someone shout, "Get out! Keep out!" One of the maids approached them and said, "You seem to be strangers. This place is the abode of our princess and if you trespass the king will punish you." "We do not intend to abduct the princess," said the prince. "Our princess hates the very sight and sound of males. You had better go," said the maid. So, the two young men came on to the road again. "Something tells me," said the prince to his companion, "that I must marry this princess, somehow." "Let me first ascertain whether she is worth the trouble," said his companion. They rode into the city and put up at the house of an old hotel-keeper.

They asked the old lady, "We hear that your princess does not tolerate even the sight of the males. Is there any mystery behind it?" "That is a close secret, my dears," said the old woman, dropping her voice. Our princess was a pigeon in her last birth. She had four young ones all of which got burnt to death in a forest fire. Then she wanted to kill herself along with her mate who agreed at first but deserted her halfway. Then she died alone and was later blessed with human existence." "How did this secret come to light?" asked the young man. "Princess Rose is blessed with the knowledge of her previous birth," said the old woman. The next morning they started on their way. But instead of going away they changed their attires and returned to the city and went to the king's court. "Who are you? Where are you from?" the king asked them. "We are from Egypt, O King," said the prince's companion to the king. "This is my master, a renowned sorcerer, and magician. At his command, the desert is covered with grass and dead trees bear fruit. You must see his magic and reward him duly." "Good," said the king. "Let us arrange his performance near our gardens so that my daughter too shall enjoy it."

The young fellow smote his forehead and said, "Never, O King! My master, the Master Wizard of the world, hates the very sight and sound of a female. If you insist on the ladies we will have to depart at once." "Be reasonable," said the king. "What harm is there if the girls sit behind the screens without being seen by you?" "So long as we do not see them and hear them they are welcome," the young man said. So the preparations for the magic performance were carried out. An arena was specially provided for the princess and her maids with a screen through which they could see the magic performance without being seen. The prince who was supposed to give the performance addressed his audience thus: "You must all excuse me for insisting that my act should not be witnessed by ladies. There is a reason for it and I shall tell it to you. In my last birth, I was a pigeon. I was very happy with my mate and we had some young. But, as ill-luck would have it, all our young got burnt up in a forest fire. This was such a severe blow to us that I and my mate decided to die. At the last moment, my mate gave me the slip and I flew into the flames alone. I shall never, never believe a female, nor shall I marry in a thousand lives. I curse my mate that she shall be without a mate until eternity. It was only my virtue that made me acquire this rare gift of sorcery which you will now witness." 

"Lies! Foul Lies!" came a shout from behind the curtains and next instant princess Rose rushed forth shouting at the sorcerer, "It was you who gave me the slip and I that committed suicide!" "Good gracious! I? I died in the flames the moment you disappeared!" shouted the prince. "You tried to fool me. You said that we could have more young ones," said the princess. "Ah, that was only to test the strength of your will. If God wanted us to have the young ones he would not have taken them away in the first place and I knew it, but no sooner than I said it you slipped off and let me die alone, you cheat!" the Prince thundered. His companion pretended to soothe the ruffled prince, saying, "Let bygones be bygones. Master, Fate has brought you together again. Stop quarreling and be happy. That is the wish of one and all here if I am right." The prince appeared to calm down. He approached the princess saying, "Excuse my indignation. I honestly believed that you did not fly into the flames." "On the contrary," said the princess remorsefully, "It is you who has to pardon my silly mistake. I thought you abandoned me." In effect, the only magic the prince performed was eradicating the princess's prejudice for males and marriage. For which act of sorcery the king rewarded him with his daughter's hand. 

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