Halwa and the King – a short story

Halwa and the king- a short story

By Qadeer Tanoli
Once upon a time there was a poor potter who used to sell his ceramics by travelling around different states.
He also had a donkey and nothing particular was associated with it except the fact that it was all his world.
This donkey was solely responsible, who else might be, to carry the handmade ceramics of the potters on it and both these creatures were habitual travelers, the potter by his choice and the donkey by default.
It was all usual for the potter for some many years to do business like it until he came across a country which didn’t allow visitors after evening.
When the potter reached on the border of this specific country it was already late evening time and thus he was not allowed to enter into the city by the pickets’ men who were deputed alongside the fence which was erected around the main entrance.
The potter was extremely disappointed on this treatment as he had no shelter around but his donkey felt comfortable or it felt useless to express its emotion on this development.
Early in the morning when the doors of the stockade were opened by the guards, the potter along with his donkey entered into the city which was the capital territory of the country and he was astonished to observe that he was being given guard of honour by the military of the country.
He wasn’t sure why he was given this honour as he knew that his donkey had nothing to do with it.
He asked the chief of the ceremony as why he was being awarded with guard of honour to which he was informed that he had been bestowed with the rule of this country by virtue of being first to enter into the walls of the city. He was told that this was the custom of the country that whenever its king had died, his successor was appointed purely on merit on the basis of event which involved first entry of a person during early in the morning into the premises of the country.
The potter was astonished on happening of this event but he was badly lured to become monarch of this country. He was placed on the throne by the intelligentsia and other persons who mattered a lot in the country. After he was ceremonially crowned, the chief of his court requested him to pass any order to him.
The king ordered that his old torn clothes must be preserved and they should be presented to him along with his donkey whenever he asked for it.
His command was duly obeyed and his clothes were put into kingly drawer while his donkey was taken to royal stable. The life of the potter had changed but it was all the same for the donkey despite being placed in the royal stable.
When it was inquired from the king to pass another order, the order of the king surprised the entire court when he ordered that ‘Halwa’ should be prepared in bulk with pure ghee along with almonds and other distinguished ingredients comprising of other delicious dry fruits. He ordered that this halwa should be offered to him and council members of his court.
The wish of the king was fulfilled as it was ordered. Later on when he was inquired again he passed the same directive of making halwa for him and for entire court.
The king was so found of halwa that whenever he was asked for an order or he felt hunger he would ask for halwa.
Soon his reputation as halwa-lover spread across the region and to some extent across the globe. A king of nearby state dispatched his trusted spies to confirm this happening and he learnt that it was as true as steel.
The neighbouring king had the temptation of expansion in the territory of this country and soon he ordered his army to get ready to attack the country which was being governed by the potter by profession but luckily he had the status of king. Attacking another country by a country is always a great news so this too spread rapidly and the spy agencies of newly crowned king also informed him about this development. However, he expressed least concerns over it and instead issued the order of more halwa for him and for his royal court.
Later on he was informed that the enemy army has started marching towards his country but again he showed a lot of calmness and again asked for halwa which was provided to him instantly.
The commanders of his own force told him that the enemies had already conquered the capital territory in absence of any resistance and they were about to enter into the royal palace to which he asked his aides to deliver his donkey along with his old clothes. These articles were provided to him as per his demand and the king removed his royal dress and he wore his old clothes and climbed onto his donkey and told his council’s members that his only wish as the king was to eat halwa besides providing the same to his aides and he accomplished this task by every mean. He started his unfished journey while being mounted on the donkey by stating that as his mission was over so it was up to the court and the people of the country to do whatever suit them to tackle the situation which they were facing.
Moral of the story: You never know when an undeserving king is around.


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