The King’s Motley Curtains


Not very long ago, there lived a King in the North of the Indian subcontinent. He was a great reader, a great acquirer of knowledge. He had a personal library and would often import books from China and the Middle East and Russia, to add to his collection. He would also quote great writers and their work and offer his minister’s a virtual tour of the world during his court proceedings.

The courtiers were always in awe of their master. The Prime Minister, a man of deep knowledge himself, would be hesitant to advise the King on matters related to the state. The Finance Minister, a gold medallist from a leading school of business wouldn’t dare to pass bills without a nod from him.

Every time there was a crisis, the King would refer to great books of knowledge and there would be long-drawn-out hours of court proceedings, until the problem at hand was resolved.

In between all the solemnity and decorum, only the court jester  sometimes added moments of laughter. The King would be in splits seeing his antics and would always joke, ‘This joker hasn’t read a word all his life. If he were to run for his life someday, be rest assured to see him rush to the devil!’

The King, once received a beautiful set of ten motley curtains from the far east. The draperies were something new for the people and they hadn’t ever seen them before. Bright and polychromatic, the curtains were the talk of the town. Made of fine silk, they were the best drapes for the King’s court. This further mushroomed his reputation and he was revered more than ever before.

A learned man that he was, the King referred to his best collection of books on house-keeping and found out that each curtain must use thirteen rings to hang like the Niagras.

Rings were a rarity in India at the time. In fact, the wealthiest of people didn’t even own curtains. So, to get the rings was an unnerving task for the courtiers.

After much ado, eighty rings were procured from near and far. They were still short of fifty rings. It was a grave matter. The King was in no mood to forego the lovely window hangings. He sat in his library day in and day out, spent hours hunting books but could not find a solution to his problem.

His ministers were also in a fix. They hadn’t seen such draperies before and had no idea how to get the requisite number of rings. Afterall, the King’s best books had quoted thirteen rings for each curtain!

As the commotion in the palace refused to die out, the King stopped visiting his court. He was so upset that all his books had failed him. One day, while he sat in his library forlorn and sad, the Prime Minister came rushing in. He announced that the jester had managed to put up all the curtains.

The King hurriedly ran to the court. He was ecstatic to see the magnificent motley curtains adorn the windows of the court. They were a treat to the eye. In all his excitement, he went and hugged the court jester.

‘Where did you manage to get the remaining rings from?’ he asked.

‘Your Majesty, I did not manage the rings. I got no extra rings.’

‘How then? Oh! How did you hang those beauties?’

‘Well, I just did an easy calculation. I simply used eight rings in place of thirteen, My Lord!’


Sometimes we fail to see the simple solutions that life offers because of our fixated ideas and myopic vision. Things may just be simpler than they appear!

This blog is a part of #Blogchatter’s A to Z Challenge 2019. The other posts of this marathon may be read here.

Happy reading!



18 thoughts on “The King’s Motley Curtains”

  1. Pingback: Blooger's Pen | Keekli

  2. Beautiful story …and had a deep meaning as well…. really we are so focused on the bigger things in life that we fail to enjoy the little joys in life…

  3. One more beautiful story with a great message Sonia. True, we overlook life’s simple things opting for more complex solutions, ignoring common sense which resides near to us.

  4. Beautiful story with a powerful lesson! Reminds me of the time I puzzled my head over a Maths problem, adding in half a dozen variables, and the solution didn’t require even one. 😛

  5. How lovely…Sometimes we really fail to see solutions which is just around the bend… And this is when someone giving a simple solution breaking the set perspective comes across as such a genius…. Beautiful story Sonia.

  6. Such is life. We often overlook the simple things in the process of a bigger purpose or fail to appreciate the ones who can find solutions in such simple ways. Beautiful story.

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