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The King and the Faithful Minister

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Safarpur, ruled a king who was strong and powerful.  However, he was also rash and unpredictable.  He could be kind one moment and extremely cruel the next. 
The king had a devoted minister who had served him for many years.  The minster was old in years and mature in wisdom.  Before this king, the minister had served his father as well.    The minister had the king’s absolute trust and confidence.

There were many other courtiers in the royal court who were jealous of the minister’s privileged access and relationship with the king.    They were envious of his position in the royal court and his authority.  They began plotting against the elderly minister.   

One day an anonymous letter was left at the door of the palace.  The letter was addressed to the king and soon found its way to him.  The king read the letter and was shaken.  The letter said that the king would be poisoned soon.  As the perturbed king read further on, it said that his trusted minister was part of a deep conspiracy to eliminate him and seize power.   

According to the malicious letter, the minister would send a secret signal to the neighbouring kingdom to invade once the king was dead.  The army of the neighbouring kingdom would install the minister as the new kingdom of Safarpur after the invasion. 

The king’s anger knew no bounds.  He could not come to terms that some would dare to even think of such a treacherous plan.    The jealous courtiers who had sent the letter were happy that their plan was working.  “The king would get rid of the minister soon”, they told themselves. 

The Minister was arrested and put in prison.  The king informed the minister that he would be executed for treason.    Execution was a frightening prospect in that kingdom.  People who were sentenced to death were thrown into a pit filled with a ravenous pack of wild dogs.  They would be torn to pieces in no time. 

When the minister heard the sentence of death, he was shocked.  He had served the royal family all his life.  He could not believe that the king would lose faith in him after all he had done and condemn him to such a terrible death.  He thought of his predicament.  The next day, he went and sought an audience with the king.  He asked the king to postpone his sentence by ten days so that he could set his affairs in order before his death.  The king granted his petition.

The appointed day of execution arrived.  The minister arrived at the place of execution.  His bearing was dignified as ever and his face was calm.  The king was seated on a dais with the other courtiers who were only happy to see the proceedings and the end of their rival.  The wild dogs were already in the pit.  The angry barks and yelps could be heard all around.   They leaped and jumped around, irate and agitated.  It was a frightening scene. 

The minister was lowered into the pit.    Everyone expected the dogs to jump on the minister and to shred him to bits.  But nothing of that sort happened.  The dogs went around the minister and began licking him and jumping over him playfully.  Everyone was amazed at such a strange happening.    The King was surprised and embarrassed.  He hastily left the place.  The execution was halted. 
Back at the palace, summoned the minister.

The minister was brought before him.  The king dismissed his attendants and was left along with the minister.  “You cannot escape death by such clever tricks”, he thundered.  The minister listened patiently.  “O King!” he replied calmly, “Do you remember I had asked you to be released for ten days from prison before my execution.”  The king nodded.  The minister continued, “Those ten days, I had visited the place of the execution with bread and had fed the dogs.  After I became familiar to them, they played with me and pranced around me every time I visited them.  I did this every day.  That is why the dogs did not hurt me today”.

The king was silent.  The minister said further, “The dogs did me no harm as I had fed them for ten days.  I was faithful to you for a lifetime.  Yet you have suspected me on the basis of a mere letter.  Please see if this fair”, he told the King.    The king was speechless.  He sat down in quiet thought.  He had indeed been hasty.  He saw his folly.  He embraced the minister and asked for forgiveness.    He reappointed the minister to his former position.

Meanwhile, it was discovered that the malicious letter was sent by some of the courtiers.  The courtiers were arrested and sent to prison.  The king reigned for many more years.  The faithful minister served him loyally for many more years. 

Children, the moral of this story is that we should not take hasty decisions based on hearsay or doubtful information.  Trust is the foundation of any relationship.  Hence, it is necessary to analyze and investigate any accusation before condemning anybody. 

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