The Blue Fairy Book
The Bronze Ring
Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a king whose palace was
surrounded by a spacious garden. But, though the gardeners were many and the
soil was good, this garden yielded neither flowers nor fruits, not even grass or
The King was in despair about it, when a wise old man said to him:
"Your gardeners do not understand their business: but what can you expect of
men whose fathers were cobblers and carpenters? How should they have
learned to cultivate your garden?"
"You are quite right," cried the King.
"Therefore," continued the old man, "you should send for a gardener whose
father and grandfather have been gardeners before him, and very soon your
garden will be full of green grass and gay flowers, and you will enjoy its delicious
So the King sent messengers to every town, village, and hamlet in his dominions,
to look for a gardener whose forefathers had been gardeners also, and after forty
days one was found.
"Come with us and be gardener to the King," they said to him.
"How can I go to the King," said the gardener, "a poor wretch like me?"
"That is of no consequence," they answered. "Here are new clothes for you and
"But I owe money to several people."