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King Midas and the Golden Touch

A long time ago, there lived a king called Midas.  King Midas ruled over a large country.   The country was prosperous as it enjoyed peace for many years under his rule.  The people were contented and happy.    

The King lived in a large palace in the capital city.  The king lived in luxury with his queen.  They had a beautiful daughter.   Midas was very fond of her.  

Every Day, in the morning, King Midas would sit in the Royal Court surrounded by his courtiers.  He would listen to his people who came to him with their petitions.    Midas was a just king.  He saw to it that justice was done to one and all.  

Life thus went on in the palace and the country.  Midas had everything that he ever wanted.  However, Midas had a weakness.  He was very fond of Gold.  He loved Gold in any form.  He loved to wear lots of Gold Jewellery.  

He loved to see his queen and his daughter, the young princess dressed in glittering jewels.  Apart from this weakness, Midas was a kind and charitable king.  He helped the poor and the needy.  His subjects loved him and were happy under his rule.

Every evening, before the sun set, Midas would go for a walk in the Palace Gardens.  He loved to be in the garden among the sweet smelling flowers enjoying the cool breeze of the evening.  One day, while he was thus enjoying his evening walk, he saw a bright flash of light beneath a tree in front of him.  

Midas was surprised to see a beautiful fairy step out from the flash.  As he stood there, the fairy smiled at him.  “I am here to meet you”, she said, “I have seen you and your kindness for the poor.  I would like to grant you a wish as a reward. Ask anything you want”.  Midas was shocked to say anything.  It took him some time to recover.

He quickly regained his composure and realised his good fortune.  He could ask whatever he wanted.   Midas thought for a while as to what he should ask.   He, then, had an idea.  He would ask for gold - the gold he loved so much.  He would ask for plenty of it so that he can live in greater comfort.  
He turned to the fairy and said, “I am indeed grateful for your kindness.  I wish that everything I touch should turn to Gold”. The fairy looked at him and gave him a smile.  “So be it”, she said and disappeared as quickly as she came.  

Midas could not wait to see if the fairy and her wish were for real.  He quickly bent down and touched a blade of grass in the garden.  To his delight the grass turned into gold.  He picked up the grass and carefully put it in his the sash of his royal robes.  

He then touched a rose near him.  He was happy to the rose turn to gold as well.  He quickly rushed into the palace.  He touched everything around him, Tables, chairs, vases, curtains and even his bed.  All of them turned into gold.  Midas could not contain himself.   It was late in the night and Midas reluctantly went to sleep.  He would turn the rest of palace into gold the next day, he told himself.  
The next day, Midas woke up and went about the palace touching everything.  The palace was almost entirely gold now.    A few hours went by and it was time for breakfast.  Midas sat down.  He was quite hungry now after running around the palace touching everything. 

He reached out for an apple from a bowl in the table.  To his surprise the apple turned into gold   Midas just smiled.  He reached for another.  The same thing happened.  Midas was now a bit worried.  He wanted to eat something.  He reached out for a slice of bread.  The bread too, turned into gold.  Midas was afraid now.  He reached out for a glass of water.  The glass with the water inside turned into gold.  Midas was now shocked.  He sat down for a minute pondering over his wish.

Just then, he heard his daughter coming.  She was his only child.  She ran to embrace Midas.  Midas stood up and embraced her.   To his horror, she turned into a statue of gold.  Midas was mad with grief.  He embraced the statue and wept bitterly.   He cursed himself for his greed.  
Just then he saw a flash in a corner of his room.  Midas rose and looked at the flash.  The same fairy reappeared.  Midas ran to her and fell down.  He begged her to take away the wish she gave him.  The fairy looked at him and smiled.  “Midas, you have learnt your lesson”, she said, ‘I will take back the wish”.  

The fairy turned all the golden things into their original form.  His daughter too came back alive. Midas was relieved.   He lived for many years and ruled his kingdom wisely and well.
Children, this story teaches us to be contented with what we have and not to be greedy.  We should be satisfied with what we have.  Greed only brings misery and sorrow.

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