Seeds speak the truth — II
Ling told his mother
that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But
honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to
his stomach, but he knew his mother was right.
He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling
arrived, he was amazed
at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes.
Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey nice try.”
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the
room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried
to hide in the back. “What great plants, trees and
flowers you have grown,” said the emperor.
“Today, one of you will
be appointed the next
emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot.
He ordered his guards
to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. “The
emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have
me killed!” When Ling got
to the front, the Emperor asked his name.
“My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I
gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today.
But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except
Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow,
you substituted another seed for the one I gave