Moral Stories for Kids - Strange Experience Of A King

Strange Experience Of A King

 This happened long, long ago. King Kala ruled Nepal, a peaceful and prosperous land. The people lived happily. The young king faced no problem as his minister was wise and his officers were honest. Unfortunately, King Kala began to think that all went right because he was a great ruler. By and by, pride and arrogance clouded his mind. "My lord, wealth or youth or power or fame can all vanish in a moment," his old minister used to say from time to time. He hoped to infuse some humility into the king But Kala learned no lesson from his minister's wisdom. He did whatever he liked to do and had never found any impediments on his way. Why should the situation be different in the future? He secretly laughed at the minister's warning. The nobles in his court and his officers knew that the young king was very proud of his position, but they thought that a king had the right to be proud, after all! There was an old temple in the town. Famous scholars and devotional singers came there during an annual festival. They lectured on philosophy and sang the glory of God. The King, along with the nobles, was listening to a scholar on the first day of the festival "Nothing is permanent," said the scholar in the course of his talk. "It is a great folly to be proud of any possession," he said further. The king smiled. "These are only theories," he thought. "Who is there to take away my kingship or my wealth? Why should I not feel proud of them?" As the discourse was going on, he dozed off. When he woke up, he could not immediately remember where he was. All was dark. Slowly everything came back to his mind. He was inside the temple. Others had left and the door had been locked. He groped his way to the door and banged against it yelling, "Who dared to lock the door while I was inside? How foolish of all to leave me here alone!"

The two guards outside were surprised to hear the banging and the yelling. They had locked the door only after everybody had left. Who knew that a mad fellow was lying asleep in some nook? They opened the door. The King ran out like an arrow. It was night. He reached the palace gate and started shouting. "Where is my old, useless minister? Where are my bodyguards? How did they come away leaving me behind?" There was a commotion. The palace guards came rushing and caught hold of King Kala. "Don't touch me, you fools! Don't you recognize your king?" Kala shrieked as he pushed the guards back. The result was, the guards pounced upon him with greater fury and threw him, his hands bound, in a cell. As he did not stop shrieking, he was gagged. In the morning he was led into the king's court. To his utter amazement, he saw someone resembling him seated on the throne. "Who are you?" asked the stranger on the throne. The question drove Kala almost mad. "How dare you put such a question to me? I am King Kala. Whoever you be, you are a usurper!" he shouted. The courtiers laughed. "Shut up!" shouted Kala again. That only made everybody laugh even louder. "The fellow is either mad or a joker. There is of course another possibility. He could have been drunk. Keep him in jail. We will see more of him afterward," said the King. Kala was dragged away to the prison. From time to time, he shouted at the guards and officers, "Drive away that usurper! Why don't you understand that I am the king?" Some giggled at his claim. Some teased him or made faces at him. One day the stranger on the throne hosted a banquet for the neighboring kings. "I will show a strange fellow to you," said the host. He ordered Kala to be brought there. Kala was made to look like a joker. A pet monkey rode on his shoulder. As soon as he was brought before the royal audience, he addressed them one by one and said that he was the real king! They all laughed, but admitted that the joker had been trained well enough to be able to call the different guests by their names! It was a good treat for them. Time passed. Kala, the prisoner, was found to be growing more and more silent. He made no claim about himself any longer. One day he was led into a private chamber. The stranger on the throne confronted him alone. 

"Who are you?" the stranger asked. Kala kept quiet for a minute. Tears rolling down his cheeks, he then said, "I am only a mad man, mad with pride and foolishness. There was a time when I believed that I was a king whose power and position nobody could take away. Little did I know that nothing was impossible! Even my friends, the kings, called me a joker the other day!" The stranger smiled. He patted Kala on the back and said, "My friend you are a good man. Pride was your only vice. This experience was necessary for you so that you will shed your pride. Come on, you are the king once again." To his great astonishment, Kala saw that the joker's dress he had put on vanished and he was dressed like a king. "Who are you?" he asked the stranger. "I am your guarding spirit. Call me an angel. But now I must look like the prisoner you were and run away to fool the guards into thinking that the mad fellow has escaped," said the spirit. And, looking like a joker, the spirit rushed out. The guards were about to give him a chase, but King Kala stopped them. The king ruled as a humble and wise ruler. He was revered like a sage, but he never let any pride possess him again. 

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