Rhylin 邱欣宇 190110815
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled his country in a merciless way. He thought merely of himself; he didn’t care about his people. What’s more, he had a strange passion for beauty. He was fond of collecting beautiful clothes and ornaments. His hundreds of robes were made of gold and silver, sewed by the best tailors. In order to keep them well, he also ordered his people to build a new big palace for his collections. All in all, he never got tired of this collecting urge.
But recently, what had occupied him most was his crown. It was the best collectable ever, and it had satisfied The King for quite a long time. The King loved the crown so much, whether he was awake or asleep, he always held it in his arms tightly.
The crown was totally perfect except for one thing — there were no gems on it.
‘What a pity!’ The King complained about it all the day, ‘My crown would be much more gorgeous if there is a gem studded in it, whether ruby, sapphire, or emerald.’
Finally, The King determined to find a beautiful gem for the crown himself; he believed that there must be gems that suited this crown well.
When day broke, The King began his journey. At the foot of the mountain, some shabby houses stood under the meager daylight. In the silence, The King went up to one of the shabby houses, and then knocked on the door.
A sickly-looking woman opened the door, thin as a feather. Through the door, there was needle and thread on the table. Some haggard girls were seated at the table sewing.
‘Excuse me, do you know where I can find a gem. I really want a wonderful gem for my wonderful crown,’ The King asked.
‘I have heard of that before. It is said that there is mysterious ruby in our village,’ the pale woman answered softly.
‘Ruby? What is it like?’ The King became excited by her words.
‘It has the most beautiful color in the world. As crimson as the roses in The King’s garden, more crimson than the blood of our wounds from the sharp needle and our countless tasks.’
The description dissatisfied the King, the ruby was not so attractive as anymore. Then he left the village.
Before the sunset, the King came to a town. He was wandering on the street. Suddenly, the sound of crying came from a dark corner. The King stepped forward to wonder what had happened.
In the corner of the street, an old woman was crying sadly; tears were running down her wrinkled cheeks.
‘Why are you weeping?’ asked The King.
‘Someone took my son a few days ago, for The King wanted to build a new palace. Now he has to toil all day long until The King’s palace is finished. My poor son! How weak he is! How unfortunately he is! I don’t even know when he can come back. In the meanwhile, I am too old to make sure I can wait until that day.’
‘Kind gentleman, please. I can see the nobility from your beautiful clothes. I beg you. I beg you to rescue my son. In return for this, I am willing to give you everything I have. Do you like gems? I have kept the ancestral sapphire for a long time; it has the most beautiful color in the world. As blue as the boundary between sky and sea, bluer than the tears of every poor person who has lost his or her beloved.’
The King was silent for a while.
‘Your son will come back to you soon, I promise.’ He said. ‘I don’t want your sapphire; please keep it until your son comes back.’
That night, The King had a strange dream. In the dream, he was led into a forest by a loud noise. The forest used to be very big, he guessed, but the trees now were being cut down by so many people.
A little bird flew around him and even tried to speak to him.
‘The forest is the sweetest home for us, most of us animals are unable to survive without the forest. But now you people are devastating our home for The King’s palace. Young man, if you can protect the forest from being turned it into a palace, I will give you my favorite treasure — an emerald. It has the most beautiful color in the world. As green as the grass after spring rain; greener than the leaves from the cut down trees.’
‘I will protect the forest, I promise,’ he replied firmly.
The bird sang happily and said. ‘I believe you. So, in return, I will give you the emerald.’
It quickly left and then flew back with a shining emerald in its mouth. Indeed, the emerald was as beautiful as it said, even The King had never seen such a beautiful gem.
Instead of taking the gem, he refused it.
‘I don’t need it anymore. I've been wrong all of this time, and now I want to change. Thank you, lovely bird.’
Then the king woke up and immediately ordered the construction of the palace to be stopped. He also discarded all his useless flashy collections and decided to be a wise king from now on.
Finally, the crown without gems was kept in the king’s room, in order to remind him of being a benevolent king.