A King and a poor man


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
were made.
The poor old man was very happy over
this gift but did not realize
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. Recognizing
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

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