Sunday, 27 November 2022

A WISE CHOICE

A WISE CHOICE

Short story, fairytale

Once upon a time a ship sank in rough seas. There was only one survivor. His name was Charles Sagan. 

With immense difficulty he reached an island and fell asleep on the beach. When he woke up, he saw that he was surrounded by many odd-looking men and women. 

Strangely, the elderly people of this group declared him their king and before Mr. Sagan could say anything they carried him on their shoulders and started celebrating. 

Obviously Mr. Sagan was confused by everything. First, his ship capsizes and everyone dies. And now this. These people think he is their king.

However, on that very day, an old man told him everything he needed to know about this situation. They will consider him their king for a year… Yes, for a year only! … He can enjoy his life to the full/fullest. He can do whatever he wants. At his bidding, they will travel across the globe in order to bring him the things he wants. But after his one-year rule, he will be sent to a distant land where it's impossible to sustain oneself. It's a barren land. Nothing grows there. 

"But you must not think about your future. Seize the day. Have fun while it lasts.", his ardent follower said. 

So he didn't quite bother about what was going to happen to him after a year. 

"Why shouldn't I enjoy my stay on this island!", he thought. "I'm the king after all." 

But after a week or two, he became a little worried about his impending doom. He couldn't enjoy himself while an imminent danger of losing his life loomed on the horizon. 

A month of his rule was over by then. He was a noble ruler, and everyone liked him. But what about the future? He will be sent away, no matter how good he is.

He wanted to talk to someone, someone who can help him find the solution to this problem. He knew there was just one person who may be able to help him. There was a teacher. No one liked him. While everyone on the island was happy because Mr. Sagan, their new king, was a man of colour, the teacher often stated that one must not prefer equality to quality. Much to the annoyance of several parents, he once said in one of his lectures, "Equality in getting opportunities is an admirable trait of a civilized society. But it doesn't mean everyone must accept that someone who lacks the necessary skills for the job should hold office in the name of diversity." 

The teacher also became one of Mr. Sagan's admirers when he saw how brilliant he was as a ruler. So when Mr. Sagan visited him, he was warmly welcomed by the teacher. 

He listened to everything his new king had to say. He saw that Mr. Sagan had a worried look on his face. This was something new to the teacher for two reasons. First of all, a king wanted to speak to him. This has never happened before. Secondly, for the first time, a king had thought of consulting a teacher. That's weird! 

"My Lord, the previous kings never thought of what was waiting for them after their rule ended. They were too busy having fun. They never cared about their future. But you do. If I were you, I would use my present resources to make sure when I leave for that distant land, I can continue being a king there. 

My Lord, put an end to these meaningless celebrations and make use of the remaining time of your rule to cultivate that land. Send your people there. Try as hard as possible to produce food there. You have everything here. Make use of it before you have nothing left. 

My Lord. 

It is a barren land. But it doesn't have to remain so."

Mr. Sagan understood what he had to do. By the time his rule ended on the island, he had already developed a civilized society in that distant land.

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