The Fastest Runner

The Fastest Runner

A princess once declared that she would marry the person who defeated her in running a race. She was an accomplished runner and was adamant that her suitor should be a better runner than her. Many princes from near and far came to contest a race with her. One by one, she ran a race with each one of them; but each time she was the winner. She hurt the ego of many a vain and handsome prince.

As news of this peculiar condition for the hand of the princess spread, more and more princes and nobles came to try their luck. But destiny was always tilted in favour of the princess. She was getting more and more famous as the faster runner, here and yonder. But there was one drawback too and that was that she was getting older and her parents feared that she may die an old maid!

One day a handsome young boy asked for an audience with the king. He said, “Lord, I have a request to make. Please give me the finest jewels of your queen, just for a day. I shall return them to you tomorrow, in double. The king was intrigued. He asked his queen to give her best jewels to the boy. Somehow, he found a strange look of serenity on the face of the lad and his gut feeling said that the fellow was not a crook. The boy tied the jewels in a bandana and went out. A few minutes later he sought an audience with the princess. He challenged her to a race. She guffawed at the sight of his bare feet and his bandana bag. But she agreed to race with him.

As soon as they started, the lad took a giant leap forward and dropped the most beautiful pieces of jewellery from his bandana there. As he moved forward in leaps and bounds he kept dropping pieces of precious jewellery on the track. The princess saw the beautiful gold necklace; its diamonds and sapphires sparkling in the sun! She dashed forward to pick it up and ran again. A few steps ahead, she found a lovely jhumka for the ear, but it was only one, where was its pair? She ran further in search of the other one and found it further down the track. She continued to run, collecting the jewellery all along.

The young fellow meanwhile had long since reached his destination. By the time the princess reached, she was loaded with jewels, but she had lost the race!

So, as per the condition, the boy was to marry the princess! Imagine the surprise of the king, when he saw his daughter, wearing all the family jewels, standing beside the familiar face that had cast its spell on the king!

This happens in life too. If we stop at each juncture in life to gather, then our luggage increases and the race of life becomes hard to run. On the other hand if we travel light with an eye only on the goal, then we reach our destination faster.