Not many people remember this story. It’s buried in many books you’d have to read when you’re young in order to develop comprehension. Somehow this short story stuck with me up until today. I think it may have been entitled “The Princess and The Salt.”
There was a king who celebrated his birthday. His three daughters had prepared presents, and in front of the whole kingdom, presented their gifts one by one, to show the King how much they loved them.
The eldest daughter provided diamonds. “To you Father, I present you precious diamonds!” The king was pleased. The next daughter came next. “To you Father, I present you gold!” The king was delighted. He wondered what his youngest daughter was going to offer him.
And it was the youngest daughter’s turn.
“To you Father, I present you … all the salt of all the kingdom.”
The King was aghast! He started speaking. “Your sisters gave me diamonds, and gold. You in turn give me such a simple gift making me doubt your love for me.”
“But Father! Don’t you see? I love you like salt, I –“ But the King silenced her. And expressed his disappointment. The young princess felt so hurt, she asked the palace and the kingdom to throw away their salt, for apparently, it meant nothing to the King. She wept and ran back inside the palace.
After the presentation of the gifts, a banquet was prepared, and they began celebrating and feasting in a long table full of food. When everyone began eating, they wondered why the food tasted funny. The King took a bite, and wondered what was wrong with the food. Why didn’t it have flavor? Was it spoiled? Worried, he called the cook and asked why the food wasn’t good.
The cook replied, “But your Majesty, your youngest daughter asked all the salt she gave you as gift to be thrown away after you had dismissed it … Sadly without it, our food will never taste good again…” Suddenly, the King realized what a big mistake it was to dismiss the salt. And realized what his daughter was trying to tell him. So the King called for his daughter to apologize.
When the youngest daughter met face to face with her father, the King said he was sorry. That he didn’t understand what she meant at first … but now he does.
“Don’t you see Father, my love for you is like salt… People cannot eat the food prepared without it.” Said the daughter. And The King realized suddenly, “Oh how wise my youngest daughter is, to liken her love to me with salt… thank you for loving me in such a big, important way. Now I realize how something so small could be so important…”
To this day, I’m not sure if anyone would remember this story. I’m not sure if I even got the story right. The point is that we shouldn’t dismiss anything because we think it’s worthless. It might be of a certain value that you may not have taken into account unless it’s gone.
And to you B, I love you like salt. You make my life taste good. And I hope you this story, because sometimes you forget!