Stories 46: The Coconut Story

During the early days of the kingdom of Ava, a caravan of hill men arrived with their merchandise at the market place. After selling their wares, they went from stall to stall with gold coins jingling in their pockets, looking for rare articles to be bought and taken home.

They paused before a stall selling fruit and looked in wonder at a bunch of coconuts on display.

“What are those?” asked the leader of the caravan.

“Coconuts, my friend,” replied the woman stall-keeper. “They are very expensive and only kings and great lords can afford to buy them.”

“Of course, I can afford to buy them,” the caravan leader replied somewhat testily. “Name your price.” Learning that the price was one silver coin for one coconut, he bought the whole bunch with a lordly air.

The hillmen then started on their journey homeward, and, after one or two days’ travel, the caravan leader said, “My friends, let us now taste the wondrous coconut which only kings and lords can eat.” So saying, he cut the coconut, ate the outer fiber, and then threw away the nut, thinking it was a mere seed and not dreaming at all that there was sweet milk and a rich kernel inside. His friends followed suit with the other coconuts from the bunch. The caravan leader then said, “Friends, kings and lords are foolish indeed to value this tasteless fruit.


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