King Hobu called his minister,
He said "Listen Gobu Roy,
To earn salary without work
Is your only ploy.
You are useless, all of you,
You don't think about the King
For last night, while sleeping,
I had this disturbing dream.
The soil I rule, soils my feet,
The moment they touch the ground,
This anarchy must be stopped,
Or you won't be around!"
This diktat of the King
Drove Gobu to distraction,
Sweat drenched him from head to toe,
His face paled in tension.
No one ate, no one drank,
They only thought and thought,
Pundits and Scientists of the land,
The brainy and the brainless lot.
Went Gobu, crying to Hobu,
Said "King you must,
Let soil, soil your feet,
Else, how we get foot-dust?"
The King swaying on his throne
Looked thoughtful and somber,
"What you say is quite true,
But, Gobu remember -
Your first job is to banish
All the dirty soil,
After that on the foot-dust problem
All of you can toil.
If simply due to absence of soil
You cannot get foot-dust,
Then all the wise men I employ
Do not deserve my trust!"
Seeing the King unyielding,
Gobu felt helpless out of fear,
He called all those who could help him,
From far away and near.
With glasses perched on their nose,
They all sat down to think -
The stock of snuff in the kingdom
Vanished in a wink!
"If soil is driven out of sight,
How harvest can be fair?"
Said the King "Then what's the use
For scientists to be there?"
Seventeen and half lacs of broom,
Were bought to sweep the earth,
The sweeping raised a storm of dust
That covered all home and hearth.
The King's face was layered with dust,
His hair was filled with grime,
And everyone they choked and coughed
And had an awful time.
"In their bid to clean the earth,"
Said the King in sheer disgust,
"They have made a massive mess
To engulf the world in dust!"
Rivers and lakes were emptied out,
To pour water on dust, to keep it down,
Fish lay gasping on dry riverbed,
On ground all swam, so as not to drown!
Everything came to a stop,
Rich and poor sneezed with cold,
With land and water topsy-turvy,
Such chaos was there that it can't be told.
Roared the King wading in muck,
"Each one of them is a dreadful dud,
In trying to rid the world of dust -
They have managed to cover it with mud!"
The ministers, scientists, all wise men,
To tackle the problem met again,
They thought and thought and thought and thought.
Till they almost went insane!
Some said, "Cover the world with mats,
The problem would be there no more."
Some said, "Keep the King in-door,
And make sure to clean the floor."
Hearing them King Hobu said,
"Your ideas seem to be quite fine,
But tell me how I govern and rule.
If all the time I am in confine?"
"In that case the only thing to do"
At last they said together,
"Get all the cobblers from all around,
And stitch up the world in leather!"
The King's soldiers went East and West,
North and South to look around -
For cobblers who could do the job,
And leather enough to cover the ground.
But, alas, in their quest they failed,
Enough cobblers nor skin were to be found,
And in the absence of such vital tools,
How the world could be leather bound?
Into King Hobu's court then came,
With needles and leather an old man,
"I am the ace of cobblers," he said,
"If you permit, I do have a plan.
The solution I have is really quite easy,
With which your problem would be solved,
The King's feet I will cover with leather,
And all your worries would be resolved."
Hobu said, "Can this be so simple,
When all my men have tried and failed?"
Minister Gobu in anger cried,
"This man is mad, let him be impaled!"
The old man smiled, nothing he said.
He sat down slowly at Hobu's feet.
Deftly he covered them with leather,
And fixed them up with stitches neat!
Gobu said "With this idea,
For a few days I was toying about.
I don't know how this man stole it,
He is a rascal, he is a lout.'"
Everyone else heaved a sigh,
Thanked God that shoe was invented,
It made the King happy and that is why,
More damage to the world, was prevented.
MBL LL.B.(Hons.) CS (Professional) with 4 yrs exp as Law editor in Thakur Publishers Pvt. Ltd.