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The King’s Highway


Once upon a time, a king had a great highway built for the people who lived in
his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public,
the king decided to have a contest. He invited as many of his subjects as
desired to participate. The challenge was to see who could travel the highway
the best, and the winner was to recieve a box of gold.

On the day of the contest, all the people came. Some of them had fine chariots,
some had fine clothing and fancy food to make the trip a luxurious journey.
Some wore their sturdiest shoes and ran along the highway on their feet to
show their skill. All day they traveled the highway, and each one, when he
arrived at the end, complained to the king about a large pile of rocks and
debris that had been left almost blocking the road at one point, and that got in their way and
hindered their travel.

At the end of the day, a lone traveler crossed the finish line warily and walked
over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king with great
respect and handed him a small chest of gold. He said, "I stopped along the way
to clear a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This chest of
gold was under it all. Please have it returned to its rightful owner."

The king replied, "You are the rightful owner." "Oh no," said the traveler, "This is not mine. I've
never known such money."

"Oh yes," said the king, "you've earned this gold, for you won my contest. He
who travels the road best is he who makes the road better for those who will
follow."