The King And The Clever Thief: A Story About Understanding

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Last updated on June 13th, 2024


A Short Story About Understanding: The King And The Clever Thief


“It is better to be wise by the misfortunes of others than to be wise by your own misfortunes.”

– Aesop

A Short Story About Understanding of A Thief: A long time ago, once in Ujjaini (Bharat), four thieves were caught stealing from a householder’s house. According to the law of that time, those who committed theft were given the death penalty. In accordance with the royal decree, an order was passed to crucify them at the crossroads.

The King And The Clever Thief Story

Amazing Story of A Clever Thief And An Ambitious King

Before being hanged on the appointed day, the four thieves were asked their last wish. Three thieves were hanged after getting their wishes fulfilled, but the fourth thief was still trying to save his life. He asked for a one-day extension as his last wish. On the orders of the king, it was decided to hang him after a day.

That thief sat in the dungeon all night and started thinking of a way to avert his impending death. Suddenly an idea flashed in his mind and he expressed his desire to meet the king. He told the guards that he had very important information for the king.

I am aware of a field of study that has the potential to make the emperor the most powerful ruler in the world. When the guards asked him about that matter, he clearly said that he would not tell anything to anyone except the king.

The guards had no choice except to convey this information to the commander. The commander also had a desire to become a king so he tempted the thief and asked for the secret. But the thief again refused.

The commander was forced to inform the king about this. When the king came to know that the thief had some information that could make him the most powerful ruler in the world, he ran to the thief.

As soon as the thief saw the king, he understood that his plan would surely succeed but he did not let his feelings be expressed. He requested to speak to the king privately. When asked by the king, he revealed this:

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Why The Thief Wanted To Meet The King Privately

“Your Majesty! I have a secret knowledge about which gold crops are produced by sowing gold seeds in the earth. You can rule the entire earth by building a powerful army with this gold. If I die without telling you, this knowledge will go in vain. That is why I have called you here and troubled you.”

At first, the king did not believe what the thief said, but then he thought what is the harm in seeing the great talent of this thief? He ordered to prepare a wide field as per the thief’s advice and made it suitable for sowing crops by plowing etc.

The thief was kept in jail for so many days so that he could not escape. An announcement was made in the entire state that the work of sowing this unique crop would be started at an auspicious time.

On a certain day, all the courtiers including the king, the ministers, and the citizens of the entire city gathered so that they too could witness that wonderful moment. The thief by whose hands the task was to be accomplished was also called with respect.

A royal servant went towards the field carrying the gold seeds made on the advice of a thief, which were equal to mustard seeds in size. The king also asked the thief to go to the field. But the witty thief folded his hands politely and said to the king,

“My lord! I beg your pardon. If I could grow a crop of gold with my own hands, then why would I steal? Only such a person can sow these seeds who has never stolen anything in his entire life, otherwise, no crop will be produced.”

Everyone was shocked to hear the statement of the thief. The courtiers started whispering among themselves – “Die now! This thief, seeing a good opportunity, has laid a big ambush. Everyone’s honor will be lost today.”

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A Story About The Understanding of A Thief Who Got Death Sentence

A Story That Tells How Understanding Can Solve Problems

Then the king, thinking that in such a large crowd, at least some person would come out who has never stolen anything in his life, addressed the crowd present and said, “Any honest person among you who would complete this task, will be given 500 gold coins as a reward.”

Everyone was greedy for the prize, but still, no one came forward to sow the seed. How could they even come? As everyone had stolen something at some point in their life, so they all remained silent due to the fear of the scepter.

When no one came forward even for a long time, the king asked his courtiers to sow the seeds, but everyone bowed their heads in shame. The king understood everything, but he could not believe that almost everyone in his kingdom was a thief.

Then the king looked towards the commander. The commander understood the king’s intention and said, “Your Majesty! please forgive me. I too had once stolen money from my father’s pocket.” And after saying this, he also lowered his head.

Then the king said to his minister, “Mr. Minister, I have full faith that you must have never stolen anything in your life because to date not even a single penny from the treasury has been diverted.” The poor minister was speechless.

His condition was like ‘Before well, behind valley’ but the poor man had to open his mouth. He said – “No, My lord! I too have committed this condemnable act. Once in my childhood, when my mother was busy with work I stole some coins and gave them to a beggar.

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How Did The Clever Thief Outwit The King & Courtiers

Hearing his minister’s reply, the king was shocked. Then everyone said to the king, “Your Majesty, no one can be as holy and pure as you. Everyone knows how honest and selfless you are, so why don’t you yourself do the sacred work of sowing these golden seeds.”

But the king also admitted in a hushed tone that he too had once committed theft in his childhood. He had stolen and eaten sweetmeat from the food offered to God. Everyone was stunned to hear this revelation from the king.

Seeing everyone silent, the thief suddenly spoke loudly, “When all of you have committed theft, then why am I the only one being crucified? If appropriate punishment is given in this state, then it should be given to all of you first.”

Hearing the words of the thief, the king suddenly started laughing, because now he had understood the thief’s trick. He postponed his sentence, praising his intelligence. Not only this, the king was pleased with the thief’s intelligence and made him his courtier.

Moral of The Story: Scholar has rightly said that even in difficult times, a person should not lose his patience, rather he should use his intelligence to deal with the crisis.

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“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to ignore.”

– William James

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