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name: Mehreen
email: mehrteen@hotmail.com
age: 14
Date: 02 Jun 2004

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Four Girls and a King An Indian (Punjabi) Tale -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A king spent the day sitting on the throne and holding court, but at night he would wander through his capital in disguise looking for adventures. One evening he saw four girls sitting under a tree in a garden, talking very earnestly to each other. He stopped to listen. The first said, "Of all the tastes, the taste of meat is the best." The second said, "I don't agree. There's nothing so good as the taste of wine." "No, no," cried the third, "you are both wrong. The sweetest taste of all is the taste of love." "Meat and wine and love are sweet all right," said the fourth, "but nothing can equal the taste of telling lies." The girls were then called home and they left. The king, who had listened to this exchange with great interest, made a mental note of the houses they went to, marked each door with chalk, and returned to his palace. The next morning he called his minister and said to him, "Send someone to that narrow street next to the garden, and fetch the owners of the four houses which have a round mark of chalk on their doors." The minister went there in person and brought the four men to the court. The king asked them, "All four of you have daughters, don't you?" "Yes, we have, Your Highness," said they, trembling. "I'd like to talk to your girls. Bring them here," said the king. The men objected, fearing some harm to their daughters. "It's not proper for our young unmarried daughters to come to the palace." The king said, "Your daughters will come to no harm, I assure you. They will be safe and you can bring them without any publicity." Then he sent four litters with curtains to the four houses, and the four girls were brought to the reception room of the palace. The king summoned them one by one to his presence. To the first he said, "Daughter, what were you talking about last night when you sat with your friends under the tree?" "I wasn't telling tales against you, Your Highness," she answered. "I do not mean that. Just tell me what you were saying." "I merely said that the taste of meat was the most pleasant of tastes." "Whose daughter are you?" asked the king. "I'm the daughter of a Bhabra." "If you are one of the Bhabra tribe, what do you know of the taste of meat? They never touch meat. They are so strict that they even drink water from a vessel through a cloth for fear they might swallow an insect." "That's quite true. But from my own observation, I think meat must be extremely pleasant. There's a butcher shop near our house. I have noticed that when people buy meat, nothing is wasted or thrown away. It must be quite precious. When they have eaten the meat, the bones are seized upon by the dogs, and they do not leave the bones till they are picked clean. And even after that, the crows come and carry them off. When the crows are done with them, the ants gather and swarm over them. That's why I think that the taste of meat must be very pleasant." The king was very pleased with her argument and said, "Yes, daughter, meat is indeed very good to eat." Then he sent her away with a handsome present. The second girl was then brought in and the king asked her, "What were you talking about last night under the tree?" "I was not talking about you, Your Highness," said the girl. "That's true, but tell me, what did you actually say?" "Oh, I said that there was no taste like the taste of wine." "Whose daughter are you?" The girl replied, "I'm the daughter of a priest." "That's a joke. Priests hate the very name of wine. What do you know of the taste of it?" The girl said, "It's true I never touch wine, but I can easily understand how pleasant it is. I learn my lessons on the top of my father's house. Below there are wineshops. One day I saw two nicely dressed gentlemen who bought wine, sat there, and drank it. When they got up and went away, they staggered about from side to side, and I thought, 'Look at these fellows weaving through the street, knocking against the walls, falling down and getting up at every step. I'm sure they'll never touch that wine again.' But I was mistaken. They came back the very next day and did the same things. That's when I said to myself, 'The taste of wine must be very delicious. Otherwise these men would never have come back for more of it.' " The king said, "Yes, daughter, you're right. The taste of wine is indeed delicious." And he sent her home with a handsome present. He then called in the third girl and asked her, "What were you talking about last night under the tree?" "I wasn't saying anything about you, Your Highness," said the girl. "I know that. But tell me what you were saying." "I was saying," she said, "nothing in the world is so sweet as the taste of lovemaking." "But," said the king, "you are a very young girl! How can you know anything about making love? Whose daughter are you?" "I'm the daughter of a bard," she replied. "It's true I'm very young, but I have eyes and ears. From what I've seen I guess somehow that lovemaking must be very pleasant. My mother suffered so much when my little brother was born. She didn't even expect to live. Yet very soon after that, she went back to her old ways as a dancing-girl and welcomed her lovers just as before. That's why I think lovemaking must be irresistible." "You're absolutely right," said the king, and sent her home with a handsome present. When he asked the fourth girl the same question, "Tell me what you and your friends talked about last evening under the tree," she too said, "It was not about the king." "Nevertheless, what was it you said?" "Oh, I said that people who tell lies must like it very much." "Whose daughter are you?" asked the king. "I'm the daughter of a farmer," she answered. "What made you think there's pleasure in telling lies?" The saucy girl said, "Everybody lies. Oh, you yourself will tell lies someday, if you haven't done so already!" What do you mean?" The girl said, "Give me two bags of rupees and six months, and I'll prove it to you." The king was intrigued, and he gave her the money and agreed to wait for six months. Six months later, he called her to his court and reminded her of their agreement. The girl had meanwhile built a fine mansion with the king's money. It was beautifully furnished with paintings and carvings as well as silk and satin. She said to the king, "Come with me and you shall see God." The king arrived at the mansion that evening with his two ministers. The girl said, "This place is God's own dwelling-place. But He will reveal himself only to one person at a time, and He will not reveal himself to anyone who is a bastard, born out of wedlock. Now, you may enter one by one." "All right," said the king. "Let my ministers go in first. I'll go in last." So the first minister went through the door and found himself in a peaceful and lovely room. As he looked around for God, he said to himself, "This is a lovely place, certainly fit for God. But who knows whether I'll be able to see Him or not? Maybe I'm a bastard, who can tell?" He looked some more and strained his eyes but he couldn't see God anywhere. Then he said to himself, "I can't go out now and tell the others that I didn't see God. They'll think I'm a bastard. So I'll have to tell them I've seen God." So he went out, and when the king asked him if he had seen God, he answered at once, "Yes, I saw Him as plainly as I see you." "Really, did you see Him?" "Really and truly, I did." "What did He say to you?" "He asked me not to repeat His words to anyone," answered the minister. Then the king asked the second minister to go in. The second minister obeyed his king's orders, but as he crossed the threshold, he thought in his heart, "I wonder if I am a bastard?" He was now in the magnificent chamber and stared all around him, but he too did not see God nor any signs of Him. Then he said to himself, "It's quite possible I am really a bastard, for I cannot see God. But how can I admit it and bear the disgrace? I'd better pretend that I've seen God." When he returned to the king, he said, "I've not only seen God but I've also spoken to Him." Now it was the king's turn, and he entered the chamber confidently. But he looked and looked all around him and saw no sign of anything like the Almighty. He was very troubled and began to doubt himself. "Both my ministers have obviously seen this God, wherever He is. Obviously they are true sons of their fathers. Is it possible that I, the king, am a bastard and that's why I cannot see God? Admitting to this will lead to confusion of every kind. So I have to say that I have seen Him too." Having decided this, the king stepped out and joined the rest. "And now, Your Highness, have you also seen God?" asked the girl who was waiting for his return. "Yes," he answered firmly, "I have seen God." "Really?" she asked again. "Certainly," insisted the king. The girl asked the same question three times, and all three times the king lied without a blush. "O king," said the girl, "don't you have a conscience? How could you possibly see God, since God is a spirit?" Hearing this rebuke, the king suddenly remembered the girl saying that one day he too would lie, and he broke into laughter and confessed that he had not seen God at all. The two ministers, by now shamefaced and alarmed, also confessed the truth. Then the girl said, "O king, we poor people have to tell lies now and then to save our lives, but what did you have to fear? Telling lies, therefore, has its own attractions for many, and to them at least the taste of lying is sweet." The end


name: kamellia mehershahi
email: kamellia_m@hotmail.com
age: 18
Date: 20 Sep 2004

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love people, search in their souls, and you will not need to go to the movies and you will not need to read novels.Each person contains many novels and many movies,but we donot listen to people .We donot see people face to face , we donot hold their hands KAMELLIA, A ZOROASTRIAN


name: soheil javanmardian
email: cody_vercetti@yahoo.com
age: 18
Date: 11 Oct 2004

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name: mojgan
email: golshin_rad@yahoo.com
age: 18
Date: 09 Jul 2005

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