The Palace and The Hut
King Vikramaditya was known for his justice and kindness. Even Gods sought his help in setting issues. In his kingdom, no one was unhappy. His people loved him and were proud of him.
Once, the Vikramaditya decided to build a palace on the riverbank. He ordered his ministers to survey the site and start the work. The laborers were put to work and in a few days the palace was ready. Before bringing the King to show the palace, the minister decided to take a final look.
“Splendid!” the minister exclaimed, looking at the palace. Then suddenly his eyes fell on something and he shouted, “What is that? I did not see that before.” All the laborers and the soldiers turned around. There was a hut just a few steps away from the palace gate. “What is this hut doing here?” shouted the minister and added, “And whom does it belong to?”
“Sir, it belongs to an old woman. She has been living here for a long time,” replied a soldier.
The minister walked up to the hut and spoke to the old lady. “I want to buy your hut. Ask for anything,” he said.
“I am sorry, Sir. I can not accept your offer. My hut is dearer to me than my life. I have lived in it with my late husband and I want to die in it,” the old lady said.
The minister tried to tell her that her hut would spoil the charm of the newly constructed palace. But the old lady was strong in her stance and she was ready to face any consequences and any punishment. She refused to sell her hut to the King. The matter was then taken to the King.
The wise and generous king thought for a while, and then said, “Let the old lady have her hut where it is. It will only add to the beauty of the new palace.” Then turning to the minister, the King said, “Let us not forget that what seems ugly to us may be precious to someone else.”
The people then realized why their king was so highly respected by all the people and by all other neighboring kingdoms.