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The King Who İs İnterested İn Astronomy - 03-03-2007, 03:10 PM

Many years ago there was a king who was interested in astronomy. He spent most of his time in the observatory which was built near his palace. He wanted to have all the books that were written about the sky, stars, space and astronomy so far and all the maps drown about them in his library. He invited astrologists and astronomers from other countries to his palace and took a share in their discussions about the evolution stages of the world until that time, the adventures of mankind on earth, whether there was an intelligent life on other planets or not and they tried to find out the answers of such kind of subjects.

One day he heard that a Persian man who was called Ebu Salip Efendi invented a kind of telescope and thanks to it he had discovered lots of new stars. The king called for his vizier by his side and said to him ‘I want to know what the new discovered stars look like and every detail about them. I want an ambassador to go to Persia and I want him to invite Ebu Salip Efendi to my palace as my guest’.

After many days and weeks Ebu Salip Efendi who thought the conditions which were written on the letter which was sent to him by the king with the ambassador were favourable, got permission from the Persian shah and set off his journey to the palace. The king welcomed his guest at the entrance of his palace. Then they started talking about the stars which were discovered by his guest and as they continued their conversation the king became more and more curious about the things which his guest was telling him. When the king heard that his name was given to the biggest star which was discovered by Ebu Salip in his honour, he became very excited and was really delighted that he wanted his guest to make a similar telescope for him as soon as possible. The next day they went to the observatory which was next to the palace. Ebu Salip Efendi told the king that the equipments they had were not qualified and the observatory was not big enough for the telescope. He wanted permission to build a bigger observatory from the king. After getting permission, he started the building of the new observatory on a slope of a mountain which was far away from the palace and moved to a village near it.

It took so long to build the observatory and so much money was spent on it that there was no money left in the state treasury. As a result of this, the king wanted his taxmen to collect the taxes belonging to four or five years’ later from the people who lived in that country. Unfortunately the people had lots of difficulties because they had given all their money for the building of the observatory so that they were desperate. And they started fighting with the taxmen but the king could not understand that he was mistaken so that he did not care about the people who tried to advise him of his mistake. He could not realize his false step because of his curiosity about the newly discovered stars and the biggest star which his name was given to. He could not think of anything accept them. He started listening to the meetings which were held in the palace about the stars, space and astronomy much more carefully and Ebu Salip Efendi sometimes attended those meetings.

One day in summer the king and his two men changed their clothes and wore ordinary clothes which were worn by merchants in his kingdom and went to the village where Ebu Salip started living. The owner of the village was a kind hearted, honest and brave man. He was about thirty years old. He invited the king and his two men to his house. They ate different kinds of meals and drank some buttermilk and after that they started talking about ordinary daily things and then the conversation turned to stars and space. The king who was dressed up like a merchant started talking about the first man on the earth and ended up his speech by giving information about all the secrets of earth. He said that the space was infinite and there were countless planets and stars in it and he added that owing to the new observatory which was being built thanks to the great king and the telescope which was really reformed lots of unknown planets and stars were going to be discovered. In addition he said that humanity owed thanks to the king.

The owner of the village who was listening to the king who was dressed up like a merchant quietly and then he said ‘Why should the humanity owe him thanks? We must think about where the money which is spent for the building of the observatory comes from. It is not fair to get lots of taxes from the people who are hard up and it is not legal and this is cruelty. When new stars are discovered will it be useful for the poor? Will they eat the new discovered stars to get rid of their hunger? And everybody knows that Ebu Salip spends one tenth of the money for the building and buys lots of birds with the remaining of it’.

These words were so irritating that when the king heard them he stood up with anger. When his men saw him standing up they stood up as well holding their swords and taking them out of their spear carriers as well. They were ready to attack the owner of the village because it was obligatory to kill this indiscreet and rude man. The man’s speech affected the king deeply that’s why the white part of his eyes disappeared because of hatred and anger.

After he got rid of the shock he cries out to the man, ‘How dare you speak about the king this way? It is the duty of every citizen to pay tax for his country. If everybody says I don’t care who will find out the secrets of the universe?’

The owner of the village who was sitting on a cushion answered back:

‘Everybody should pay tax in accordance with their income. It is not fair to get this much tax from those poor people and they gave all their money in tax. Ok! I know that the people who try to find out the secrets of the universe serve mankind a lot but they can not get the results of their discoveries in less than two years time. As the scientific researches and technical achievements progressed, those secrets will be discovered day by day. May be centuries are required for this. I mean more time is needed for it’.

The things he said were very logical so that the king became so silent and calmed down. Then he asked if one tenth of the money was being spent for the observatory how could the remaining be spent on birds.

The owner of the village replied, ‘On the last day of each month lots of gunny bags full of birds are being sent the Persian shah. The king could not speak any more. He greeted the owner of the village with his head and went out. He and his men hopped on their horses and set off speedily to the capital city. They learned that everything which was claimed by the owner of the village was true. Thanks to the plan which was made cleverly by the king, on the last day of the month they found out bags full of gold which was prepared to be sent to the Persian shah. All the criminals were captured. It was understood that Ebu Salip Efendi was a liar and he did not know how to make a telescope and anything about stars and that he had not discovered any stars and also all the things that he mentioned in the meeting were made up and memorized by him. Ebu Salip sold all his possessions in his country and gave all his money to the king in order to be forgiven by him. The king forgave him and let him survive in one condition. He was going to be followed by the king men until he died. All the money taken from Ebu Salip and gold coins which were found out the last day of the month were handed out to the people. They were so pleased.

The king and his men continued visiting the owner of the village and staying in his house dressed up like ordinary people. During these visitations neither the king who was dressed up like a merchant told the owner of the village that he was the king, nor the owner of the village told the king that he understood that he was the king at first sight. They swapped information all the time and the king stopped thinking about the planets and the stars. Moreover, he started taking care of his people.
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10-11-2007, 01:45 AM

That's a good story it is well written in simple sentences, It even has a good moral.

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