On Christmas Eve, the king invited the prime minister to affix him for his or her traditional stroll collectively. He loved seeing the decorations within the streets, however since he didn’t need his topics to spend an excessive amount of cash on these simply to please him, the 2 males at all times disguised themselves as merchants from some far distant land.
They walked by means of the centre of town, admiring the lights, the Christmas timber, the candles burning on the steps of the homes, the stalls promoting presents, and the boys, ladies and youngsters hurrying off to have a good time a household Christmas round a desk laden with meals.
On the way in which again, they handed by means of a poorer space, the place the ambiance was fairly totally different. There have been no lights, no candles, no scrumptious smells of meals about to be served. There was hardly a soul on the street, and, as he did yearly, the king remarked to the prime minister that he actually should pay extra consideration to the poor in his kingdom.
The prime minister nodded, understanding that the matter would quickly be forgotten once more, buried beneath the day-to-day paperwork of budgets to be authorized and discussions with overseas dignitaries.
All of a sudden, they heard music coming from one of many poorest homes. The hut was so ramshackle and the rotten picket timbers so filled with cracks, that they had been in a position to peer by means of and see what was occurring inside.
And what they noticed was totally absurd: an outdated man in a wheelchair apparently crying, a shaven-headed younger girl dancing, and a younger man with unhappy eyes shaking a tambourine and singing a people track.
“I’m going to search out out what they’re as much as,” mentioned the king. He knocked. The music stopped, and the younger man got here to the door.
“We’re retailers in the hunt for a spot to sleep. We heard the music, noticed that you simply had been nonetheless awake, and questioned if we might spend the evening right here.”
“You’ll find shelter in a resort within the metropolis. We, alas, can not provide help to. Regardless of the music, this home is filled with disappointment and struggling.”
“And will we all know why?”
“It’s all due to me.” It was the outdated man within the wheelchair who spoke. “I’ve spent my life educating my son calligraphy, in order that he might at some point get a job as a palace scribe.
However the years have handed and no put up has ever come up. After which, final evening, I had a silly dream: an angel appeared to me and requested me to purchase a silver goblet as a result of, the angel mentioned, the king could be coming to go to me. He would drink from the goblet and provides my son a job.
The angel was so persuasive that I made a decision to do as he mentioned. Since we’ve no cash, my daughter-in-law went to the market this morning to promote her hair in order that we might purchase that goblet over there. The 2 of them are doing their greatest to get me within the Christmas spirit by singing and dancing, nevertheless it’s no use.”
The king noticed the silver goblet, requested to be given a bit water to quench his thirst and, earlier than leaving, mentioned to the household:
“Are you aware, we had been speaking to the prime minister solely in the present day, and he advised us that a gap for a palace scribe could be introduced subsequent week.”
The outdated man nodded, not likely believing what he was listening to, and bade farewell to the strangers. The next morning, nevertheless, a royal proclamation was learn out in all town streets; a brand new scribe was wanted at court docket.
On the appointed day, the viewers room on the palace was filled with folks wanting to compete for that much-sought-after put up. The prime minister entered and requested everybody there to organize their paper and pens:
“Right here is the topic of the composition: Why is an outdated man weeping, a shaven-headed girl dancing, and a tragic younger man singing?”
A murmur of disbelief went around the room. Nobody knew methods to inform such a narrative, aside, that’s, from the shabbily dressed younger man sitting in a single nook, who smiled broadly and started to put in writing.