Beliefnet
Reprinted with permission of Harmony Books, a division of Random House.

As I went begging today from door to door they cried, "He is coming! He draws near!" And seeing the dust of your gorgeous chariot, I thought, "Who can this be but a king among kings?"

My hopes soared, and I stood waiting for alms to be given and wealth scattered in the dust. Your chariot stopped right before me, you looked down with a smile, and I knew that the luck of my days had come. Until suddenly you held out your palm and said, "What will you give?"

Begging from a beggar! What a kingly jest--I was confused and dismayed, but I groped in my sack until I brought out one grain of wheat, the tiniest thing I could afford.

I got home that night and emptied my sack on the floor, only to spy a grain of gold gleaming there in the heap. Then how bitterly I wept. If you did this for a tiny grain of wheat, what would you return if I had given you everything?

More Teaching Tales

Stubborn Husband, Stubborn Wife
A Persian tale about a husband and wife who rediscover each other through their own obstinacies.

Baby Snake in a Cup
How not to let illusions make you sick.

The Lion and the Tiger
What we're afraid of might just be scared of us.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus