Danger. The king was in danger. He had left his palace, alone, to go hunting in one of his many forests. Now, hours later, he was trapped in the forest, clueless as to how to get out. His situation worsened as time went on and the light all but completely left the sky. Suddenly, he slipped. Instinctively, he cried out and called for help. His desperate shouts seemed to mock him as they echoed amongst the trees, in vain. Pathetically, the king cried out again and again, hoping that somehow, there would be someone around who would hear and come to his aid.
And, miraculously, there was. An honest man who had made his home in the forest heard the cries for help. He dashed out of his home and into the night, in search of its source. When he at last found the dying king, it was impossible to recognize him as the proud and majestic king he once was. For the peasant, however, the status that the needy man held mattered not. Lifting the king up, he gently guided him out of the dangerous forest and into his simple hut. He dried, changed and fed the king. He tended to his wounds. The good man took it upon himself to nurse his ill patient until he gained sufficient strength to leave the shack and continue on his way. And all the while, the peasant had no idea that it was the king of the land who was sleeping on his bed of straw.
Shortly after the king left, the peasant received a gift at his door. Along with a breathtaking set of silverware, there was a note. It was from the king who was thanking him for his hospitality in the forest and for nursing him back to his health. The simple man was shocked. The king?? He had hosted the king in his dilapidated hut?? Amazed, he now turned his attention to the gift. Ridiculously out of place in his impoverished home, it was placed on a corner shelf and eventually forgotten about.
Some time passed. The king was on yet another one of his expeditions and happened to be passing through the area where he had gotten lost in the forest some time beforehand. He sent word to his simple benefactor that he would like to visit him in his home and thank him personally.
When the peasant heard that the king was coming, he was overcome with anxiety. How can he welcome His Majesty into his impoverished shack?? This was no place for a royal king!! Frantic, he scrambled around in search of something to display that would be presentable for someone of such stature. Suddenly, he came upon the gift that he had received from the king months earlier. Realizing that surely this grand set is something that the king can well appreciate, he gratefully placed it on the table and awaited the king's entrance.
This time, when the king came through the door, he was royally attired and well-escorted. The peasant trembled, feeling ashamed at the sorry welcome he was offering the king. He exclaimed, “My deepest apologies, Your Highness! My home is but the simplest of homes. My food? Your dogs surely have tasted better. What do I have that I can offer to the king? Understandably, I have nothing from my own that is worthy for His Majesty. The only thing I assumed appropriately honorable was something that His Majesty himself had sent to me."
The peasant gestured to the table and the king turned to view the costly and beautiful set of silverware -the one that he had sent—that was laid out on the rickety table.
The eyes of the king lit up and a warm appreciative smile spread across his face.
"Did you ever consider becoming an author?" Shaul asked.