The King's Disguise


One day, the king sneaked out of the palace with his servant. Along their journey, they saw a magnificent house. The king asked, “Whose house is this? It is quite magnificent!” His servant replied, “This is the home of the richest man in the country. He throws lavish balls frequently, and many rich people love to attend them. His events are quite lively!” Upon hearing this, the king thought to himself, “I wonder how he treats the poor?”

The next day, the king came to the rich man's house disguised as a beggar. He bumped into the rich man at his doorstep. The beggar said, “Could you spare me some food, Sir?” The rich man shouted, “I hate beggars! Go away, lest you soil my clothes!” The beggar continued, “I haven't eaten in two days. Please, Sir, show some mercy and spare me something to eat.” The rich man ignored him and bid his servant to chase the beggar away.

On the third day, the King disguised himself as a noble knight and arrived at the rich man's door. The rich man ran out to shake the knight's hand. He even asked his servant to ready a feast, and invited the knight to stay for supper. When the food came, the knight smeared the food all over his clothes. The rich man asked curiously, “Why would you do that?” The knight replied, “You seem to have invited my clothes to supper, and not me.” He then removed his knightly clothing, revealing the beggar's outfit underneath. The king said, “I was turned away at your doorstep because I was wearing shabby clothing yesterday. But you invited me for supper today, because I was wearing fine clothes!” The rich man heard what the king said, and he was at a loss for words. The king continued to speak, “Snobbish man! Who do you think I am? A knight? Or a beggar? I am none of those, for I am the King!” The rich man fell to his knees and begged for mercy, “Forgive me, your Majesty! I was wrong! I promise to change my ways!” The king smiled, and left the rich man's house.