The Honest Laborer and the Royal Test

The Honest Laborer and the Royal Test

Once upon a time, in a distant kingdom, a young man, tired and disheartened from his fruitless search for work, found himself on the road back home. Fate, however, had a different plan for him.

As he trudged along, a voice called out from behind, "Can I find any laborer here?" Turning around, the young man saw an old man with three bundles seeking assistance. Eager to earn his keep, the young man agreed to help the old man on his journey to a village not far away.

The old man, secretly the king in disguise, explained, "I can carry two bundles myself, but the third is too heavy. Can you handle it? I'll reward you with five rupees." The young man, hoping for a fair wage, accepted the challenge and lifted the burden onto his shoulders.

As they journeyed together, the young man couldn't shake the feeling that the old man was scrutinizing him. Unbeknownst to him, the third bundle contained one-rupee coins. Undeterred, the young man focused on earning an honest wage.

Approaching a river, the young man, eager to continue the journey, prepared to wade through the water. However, the old man hesitated, citing his age and wrist pain. Concerned, the young man agreed to carry an additional bundle, unaware that it contained silver coins.

As they pressed on, a hill loomed ahead. The young man, now accustomed to the load, urged the old man to keep moving. Once again, the old man stalled, claiming age and fatigue. Without hesitation, the young man shouldered the extra burden, discovering it held gold coins this time.

As they neared the top of the hill, the young man's thoughts took a darker turn. Greed clouded his judgment, and he contemplated running away with the valuable bundles, leaving the old man behind.

Ultimately, the young man succumbed to temptation and bolted for home. Upon opening the bundles, he discovered they were filled with clay shaped like coins. A note revealed the truth—the old man was the king, testing the kingdom's next security minister for honesty.

The lesson was clear: foresight lies in holding onto principles without giving in to temptations. The young man missed the chance for respect and a ministerial post, a stark reminder that life often tests us when we least expect it.

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