The Happiest Man on Earth


There once was a king who had more money than he knew what to do with. He owned all of the land as far as the eye could see, several castles, and he ruled his land with an iron fist. But no matter how much he had, he never seemed to have enough and was a very miserable man.

One day he told his servant, "I want you to go out and scour the land, from one horizon to the other, and find the happiest man on earth, and bring me his shirt. Once I have the shirt of the happiest man, I will be able to be happy myself. And I don't want you to return without that shirt or you will be beheaded."

The servant set out about his mission and was gone for many moons. The king was getting impatient as he waited and waited. Finally, after many months of searching, the servant returned, on hands and knees, crawling before the king. The king noticed the servants hands were empty and became very angry.

He told the servant that he had one minute before he was to be beheaded and he had better explain why he had disobeyed his orders. With tears in his eyes, the servant looked to the king and said

"Master, I did as you said, I searched from horizon to horizon looking for the happiest man on earth, and I finally found him."

So the kings asks, "Why didn't you bring me the shirt of this man?"

The servant replied, "Master, the happiest man on earth did not own a shirt."

Author unknown. If anyone has a proprietary interest in this story please authenticate and I will be happy to credit, or remove, as the circumstances dictate.

Thanks to WITandWISDOM(tm) - April 14, 2000 subscribe-wit-wisdom@xc.org

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