World Folk Tales – The King and the Peasant
When a queen passes by a peasant’s house, she hears a conversation that forces her to intervene and bring some awareness!
Once upon a time in India, there was a beautiful kingdom which was administered by a king and a queen. They were very popular as the kingdom was prosperous and they did their best to help the people who were in need. The story below is one of the instances where the royal family helped their people.
One day as the king and queen were roaming on an elephant through the kingdom, they happened to pass by a peasant’s house. As they went closer to the house, they were able to hear loud voices and they found out that an argument was going on inside. The queen then heard the peasant’s wife blaming her husband (peasant) for them being poor. She was able to understand that the peasant’s wife was not taking any responsibility and she got an idea. She then told the king about the situation and what solution she had in mind. The king agreed and he asked the peasant to meet him in the palace with his wife.
Sometime later, the peasant and his wife came to the palace and met with the king and the queen. The queen then proposed an idea saying that she would live with the peasant for 3 months and during that time, the peasant’s wife could live in the palace. The peasant’s wife was overjoyed to hear this and she readily agreed. So, from that day, the queen lived with the peasant and the peasant’s wife lived with the king.
The queen went with the peasant to his hut and as soon as she entered, she found the house to be dusty and dirty. She at once set about cleaning the house and after a while, the peasant himself was unable to believe that the hut was actually his house, as it was so clean now! The queen then set a pot on a table and she told that he needed to go to work daily and save up money in order to live better. The peasant agreed and he said that he would work hard. The queen also told him that it was alright if he could not earn every day and that the most important thing was to never give up.
Meanwhile, in the palace, the peasant’s wife was busy trying on all the dresses and jewellery that belonged to the queen. She was so untidy that all the royal jewels lay scattered across the room and when the king passed by, he literally got a mini heart attack. He at once knew that his wife’s assessment of the peasant’s wife had been accurate. The king then went away hoping that his wife would be able to teach the peasant’s wife a good lesson.
As time went by, the money in the pot increased and soon the queen started to furnish and repair the house gradually. At the end of 3 months, the hut was no longer just a hut, it was a beautiful home! When the peasant’s wife came back to her home, she was shocked to see the drastic changes. The queen then told her that running a family and a home was a responsibility to be shared equally by the husband and the wife. It was then that the peasant’s wife realised her foolishness and hung her head low. After that day, the peasant and his wife lived happily ever after!
Moral – Responsibility is the price of freedom