The Honest Thief
King and the Court
The King Court
Long ago, there lived a king who was just and kind. His people knew that even the poorest of the poor could expect justice from him and they loved and respected their king.
One day, a merchant came to the court and sought an audience with the king. A diamond ring had been stolen from his house last evening. The king asked the merchant to recollect all those who had visited him since yesterday morning and the time they had spent there. The king asked the merchant whom he suspected. The merchant mentioned that there were four friends of his whose honesty, he was not sure of.
King sent for the four friends of the merchant
The king sent for the four friends of the merchant. `Have you taken a diamond ring from this merchant’s house? The king asked the first man.
``You Majesty, why would I do such a thing? Besides, I am his friend, not a thief.’’ lied the first man.
The king called the second man and repeated his question. The second man too spoke as if he was very innocent. ``Your Majesty, I am not a thief. There must be some jealous person who has implicated me in this.’’
The king then repeated his question to the third friend. `Your Majesty. I would not dream of stealing anything. I have many such rings in my possession’’. The third friend too lied to the king.
The king finally turned to the last man ``You my dear man, have you seen a diamond ring in this merchant’s house?’’
The fourth friend fell at the king’s feet. ```My lord, please forgive me. In a moment of weakness, I agreed with my three friends here to steel the merchant’s diamond ring. We agreed to share the money equally after selling it. But soon I realized that what I had done was wrong. My conscience has been pricking me all this time. I am ready to accept whatever punishment you are going to give me’’.
The merchant thanked king and returned home happily
Hearing these words, the king was very happy. He appreciated the courage and honesty of the man in sing his crime. The king asked him to get up. `Look here, my good man. Body is born as a thief. Sometimes circumstance force one to steal either to fill one’s stomach or through greediness. But if a person realizes he is on the wrong path and corrects himself, then he will not be led astray again. I am glad you came forward and confessed. You will be pardoned. I know you will not steal again’.
The king then turned to the other three friends who were hanging their heads in shame. `You will be publicly flogged and everyone all come know of your crime. Because I would have let you off lightly if you had not lied to me after stealing. Of the two crimes, telling lies is the worst one’’.
The merchant thanked king and returned home happily with his ring which his unfaithful friends had stolen.