LOVE AS SALT
A very long time ago, there lived a king and his three daughters. One day, the king wanted to find out which of his daughters loved him the most. So, he called his daughters and asked, "How much do each of you love me, my dears?" The eldest daughter replied, "I love you as much as I love gold!" The King was happy. The second one replied, "I love you as much as I love diamonds!" On hearing this King was even happier. But the youngest daughter said, "I love you as much as I love salt, dear father!"
On hearing this, the King was furious.
"How can you say something like that?" he shouted at his youngest daughter. "In your eyes my value is only as much as mere salt?" He was so angry and humiliated that he banished his youngest daughter to the forest.
Sad and dejected, the princess began to wander in the forest. Suddenly, she heard the sound of a horse galloping. Frightened, she hid in the hollow of a tree. The horse halted near the tree and a young man alighted. He had seen the princess hiding behind the tree. As soon as they both saw each other, they fell in love. "I am a trader," said the young man. "I live in the neighbouring kingdom. What are you doing alone in this dense forest?"
The princess then narrated her woeful story. "I love my father very much, but he doesn't understand!" she sobbed. "One day he will," consoled the trader. Soon they were married and the youngest princess lived in a mansion with her husband, the trader.
Then one day, it so happened that the king lost his way while hunting. For two days, he kept wandering in the forest. Then, as fate would have it; he reached the trader's mansion. Hungry and tried, he approached the trader and sought his help.
Although the trader knew that the king was none other than his father-in-law, he kept quiet about it. "I shall arrange for your food, Your Majesty!" he said and went to his wife, the princess. The trader told her about the king's arrival and asked her to prepare a feast. "But remember, all the dishes should be sweet!" he instructed.
Though the king was very hungry, but he was not able to eat much of the delicious sweet dishes. He desperately needed the salty food or at least the salt. That very day he realized the importance of salt and the love of her youngest daughter. He realized that he can do without gold, even without the diamond, but cannot do without salt.