Champakvan’s new king, Sheru Singh, was a very just and caring ruler. However, he was also extremely stubborn. Very often he was struck by new ideas and would forget everything and stubbornly concentrate on accomplishing them. This habit often entrapped him in troubles; still Sheru Singh could not free himself of it.
Minister Happy Elephant was always worried because of the king’s habit.
One day when Happy went to pay a visit to the king, he found Sheru Singh sitting solemnly under a tree in the royal gardens.
“Maharaj, what are you gazing at in the sky sitting under this tree?” Happy asked.
“Happyji, I am thinking of something,” King Sheru Singh replied, still looking at the sky.
His words caused a wave of panic in Happy’s mind, thinking that some new idea had germinated in Sheru Singh’s psyche. “Maharaj, please do not think, sitting alone like this,” he said.
“Ministerji, at least listen to me. I was thinking how can the birds fly in the sky?”
“Maharaj, the bodies of the birds is made in a way that they can easily fly,” Happy grew more suspicious.
“That is true, Ministerji, but birds can also fly because they have wings. If I had wings, could I have flown?” King Sheru Singh asked, still lost in thoughts.
“I don’t know Maharaj, but why think about it, when it is impossible? Think about the various schemes you are planning for the masses,” Happy suggested.
“But Happyji, just imagine that if I had wings, then I could fly, right?” Sheru Singh asked again.
“Maharaj, I am very heavy, so maybe I would be unable to fly, but I think you can,” Happy pondered and said.
King Sheru Singh’s face beamed with happiness at Minister Happy’s words.
“Ministerji, I want to fly,” Happy could not believe his ears at King Sheru Singh’s declaration.
“What are you saying, Maharaj?” Happy expressed his disbelief. “How can you fly? You have no wings!”
“That I do not know. I just want to fly. Ministerji, you are so sharp. Think of a way so that I can fly,” Sheru Singh was back to his stubbornness.
“But Maharaj, how can you…”
“Umm… Umm… What kind of a minister are you, who cannot even fulfill a small wish of your king. I just want to fly somehow,” Sheru Singh began crying like a small child.
Happy became nervous at the sight of the king crying. “Maharaj, what are you doing? If anybody sees you crying like this, what will they think? Please stop crying. I will think of something.”
“Maharaj, I will lift you up with my trunk and walk from one place to another. This will make you feel as if you are flying,” Happy came up with this bright idea after contemplating for a long time.
“No, not like this,” said the king petulantly. “I want to actually fly like the birds.”
“Maharaj, do not be stubborn. You are trying to do the impossible. Can I think it will be possible for me to become slimmer than a bear if I am on a diet? In the same way, your flying is also impossible.”
“Okay, tell me why I cannot fly?”
“Maharaj, there are many reasons for it. You do not have wings and your body is too heavy.”
“I have a solution for this problem,” King Sheru Singh exclaimed happily.
“What solution, Maharaj?” Happy asked in despair.
“I need a pair of artificial wings. Since I am huge, the wings too have to be big,” King Sheru Singh declared.
“No Maharaj, this is impossible.”
“Everything is possible, Ministerji. Just wait and watch,” King Sheru Singh said and went to the weaving bird. He got two big wings made out of many palm leaves.
King Sheru Singh took the wings to Minister Happy, “Ministerji, look at these. I have especially got them made for myself.”
“Maharaj, you will not be able to fly with such heavy wings. Even the birds will be unable to fly with such heavy wings,” Happy said, after inspecting the wings.
“Ministerji, do not worry, just come with me. I will jump from the hill and fly with the help of these wings.”
King Sheru Singh’s words gave Happy enough reason to panic. He realized it would be pointless to make Sheru Singh understand the gravity of his action. He would never listen to him.
“Maharaj, you carry on. I will follow you,” Happy said and went away.
When he reached the hill after a while, King Sheru Singh was ready with his wings to fly.
“Maharaj, tie this rope to your leg,” Happy gave one end of a rope to the king.
“What is it for, Ministerji?”
“So that you do not fly away too far,” Happy replied. King Sheru Singh did as Happy had asked him and jumped from the hill.
He could not, fly, and started falling down into the valley below with great speed. Happy saw this and quickly pulled the rope with his hands.
Sheru Singh did not fall in the valley due to the rope but was badly hurt because of colliding with the rocky hill. By the time Happy pulled him up the hill, he was bleeding profusely.
“Maharaj, are you all right?” enquired Happy with concern for his king.
“You saved my life otherwise I would surely have fallen down very far,” King Sheru Singh groaned with pain.
“Maharaj, you are safe, I am happy about that. These wounds will soon heal,” Happy said as he began untying the knot of the rope from Sheru Singh’s leg.
“Ministerji, I am thinking about something.”
“Maharaj, such a big mishap was about to happen and here you are again thinking!” Happy was shocked.
“Ministerji, this time my thoughts are of good intention. I am thinking that one should not blindly ape others but try to be happy just the way one is.
“Now look at me. I tried to copy the birds and wanted to fly like them, without even thinking that it is impossible. See, I am so badly hurt. I have decided that now I will never imitate others and not be stubborn about anything. What is the point of being stubborn, if it gets one into trouble?”
King Sheru Singh’s words made Happy breathe a sigh of relief. After all, his king had left behind his bad habit of being stubborn without reason.