A man without sin

A man once stole some food and was ordered by the king to be

hanged. When asked if he had any last words, the thief replied,

"Know, O King, that I can plant an apple seed in the ground and it will

grow and bear fruit overnight. It is a secret that my father taught me

and I thought it would be a pity if the secret died with me."

A time was appointed the following day for planting the seed. The

thief dug a hole and said, "This seed can only be planted by someone

who has never stolen or taken anything which did not belong to him.

Being a thief, I cannot, of course, do it."

The king asked his prime minister to plant the seed, but he hesitated

and said, "Your majesty, when I was young, I recall keeping an article

that did not belong to me. I cannot plant the seed."

The treasurer, when told to plant the seed, begged the king's pardon,

saying that he may have cheated someone out of some money, The

king, in his turn, recalled that once he took and kept a precious object

belonging to his father.

The thief turned to them and said, "You are all mighty and powerful

persons. You are not in want of anything, yet you cannot plant the

seed. But I, who stole a little food to stay alive, I am to be hanged."

The King, appreciated the man's wisdom and pardoned him.

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