A King and a poor man (A small story)
A poor old man lived in a forest and used to earn money by making
coal from scraps of wood and selling it. One time, a king lost his way in the forest. The old man saved him and showed him a correct way.
As a reward for rescuing the king, the poor man was given a big
area full of a most fragrant type of sandalwood trees. These trees
were of a special quality from which expensive and rare perfumes
The poor old man was very happy over this gift but did not realise
what a great fortune was bestowed on him. So, he burned the
sandalwood trees and got coal. He was selling it in the market for a
small amount of money.
After a long time, the king happened to pass that the same way again
and noticed that the most valuable sandalwood area had been
reduced to ashes. And the old man was in the same poor condition
as before. When the king enquired, the old man told that he had been
earning his living by making coal from the trees. The king then asked
him if he had any sandalwood left. The old man replied that he had
nothing except a small piece, perhaps, one or two feet long.
The king told him to go to the same bazaar where he had been
selling the coal and sell this piece of wood without burning it. There
were some wealthy people in the bazaar who noticed the excellent
quality and rare fragrance of this piece of sandalwood. Recognising
its value, they all wanted to buy it. The result was that the old man
earned hundreds of rupees out of that small one piece of sandalwood.
He returned to the king with the money, and the king said: "You have
not understood the value of this wood. If you had understood its value,
you wood not have wasted the sandalwood trees.
"On realizing his mistake, the old man asked the king for another such
gift that he might make proper use of it. The king replied that such gift
is bestowed only once in a lifetime.
Moral: Some opportunities in life are very rare. Once we lose them,
we cannot get them again. Beware of your opportunities and use them
scrap (noun) = a piece of something
rescue (verb) = save somebody from a danger
fragrant (adjecive) = having a good smell
bestow (verb) = give something to somebody with honour