BEST SHORT STORIES FOR KIDS–THE TWO KINGS
STORIES FOR KIDS:
Powerful and just king names Mallika once ruled over the kingdom of Kosala.
Great though his achievements were, he was plagued by self-doubt. Am I really as good as people say I am?
He questioned his minister. Tell me the truth. Is there any flaw in my character?
No, your majesty. You are gentle, generous and just.
He questioned the people of his city.
What would you say was my greatest fault?
You have none, your majesty. You rule us wisely and well. Yes, indeed, you do.
Perhaps my ministers and my people are afraid to speak out. I’ll go to the countryside where they do not know me. So he got into a chariot and set out.
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His charioteer drove him wherever he wished to go…
But nowhere could he find a man who could, or would, point out his faults to him.
There is no one as virtuous as our great king, Mallika.
Then one day as his chariot was about to cross a narrow bridge.
Ho, there! Hold back your horses.
Let no one come in the way of my royal master, Brahmadatta, king of Varanasi.
Well, my master is the lord of Kosala. I cannot move aside for anyone.
It was the practice in those days that the man of lower status should give the right of way to his superior.
Both of us are carrying royal personages. Now, who should move aside for whom?
Let age or power decide that. How old is your master? How large is his kingdom?
But it so happened that both the kings were of the same age and both their kingdoms were of the same size.
Now, what are we to do?
Let the better man have the right of way.
Who is the better man? What are your master’s virtues?
My master repays evil for evil and good or good.
If those are your master’s virtues I shudder to think what his faults are.
At last, I have met someone who is not afraid to speak his mind.
Enough of your insolence! Let’s hear what your own master virtues are.
That is something I would like to hear too.
My master repays good for evil. He does well even to those who do him harm.
Then he is a better man than I.
I salute you, o king. Now I know what my faults are and how far short of the mark I fall. Come, let’s draw
back our chariot and let king Brahmadatta pass.