Once there was a child that lived deep in the darkest forest.
Sadly, this forest had grown barren and dry and the child had grown hungry.
Pained with hunger, the child left the forest and headed to the temple nearby. As it was a holiday for the king, all kinds of food was laid upon an alter in honor and celebration. Such wonderful fruits were stacked in the open air and the child tried to reach for one, when one of the monks shewed the child away with a broom. "This sacrifice is in honor of the king!" The monk shouted.
To escape, the child journeyed further down the road to the palace gate. Through the slats that separated the road, the feast wafted a symphony of of scents to excite the appetite. Looking through, all that could be seen was every manner of singing, dancing and merriment, and most importantly to the child, food.Squeezing through the gates, the child was spotted by a guard, who rang the alarm bells and alerted the other guard. "This feast is in honor of the king" they shouted and chased the child down the road.
The child ran nearly as fast as there was energy left to run and fell down at the edge of a farm. A simple farmer saw the child struggling to try to stand and walk and came to the child and asked to help.
"Oh," cried the child, "I am so ever hungry. Please may I chew the chaff you have left upon your ground to sustain me so I can return to my forest?"
Moved by the farrowed face of the child, the farmer asked the child to wait there as he ran to his house and back again and began to explain "on this particular day of the year, everyone in the town bakes a special loaf of bread to honor the king, in hopes of a visit to their home. It is the very best of our crops and only the finest bread each house can make. Today is your lucky day, for as I wish to be a baker more than a farmer and make the best bread town. I happen to have an extra loaf of which I am happy to give to you with some of the sweetest water I have."
Now, this was only partially true. Though the farmer happened to be the best bread maker in town, there was no extra loaf of bread; as the farmer had only baked one, but the King had never traveled so far out the farmlands and the farmer was sure the bread would not be missed.
The child thanked the farmer with tears, as the farmer asked him to come by anytime and they would eat together one day - the child agreed and walked back toward the trees.
All the meanwhile, the king had heard the ruckus in the palace garden with the bells and came out to investigate. The guards explained what had happened with the forest-child and how not to worry as the child was chased away.
The king looked concerned and nearly enraged asking the guard, "Is not the forest my kingdom as well?"
These simple words deflated the guards and they dropped down and asked forgiveness.
"Rise,for you were doing what you thought was your job, please tell me which way the child ran." commanded the king.
The guards pointed to the road that lead out to the farmland.
At this time, the farmer had just returned back to his home, when a shadowy figure came to his door; face veiled, asking, " You there, you are the one that is known as the farmer with the best bread. Tell me farmer-baker, I am looking for a child that ran this way."
The farmer stood, stoic. "The child is well, and no longer here. What business is it you have?" asked the farmer. At which point the veil was removed, and the farmer could see the face of the king.
The farmer fell to his knees and in tears continued to prostrate before the king, explaining that the day's bread was given to the hungry child and there was nothing left for the king on this visit. Before there was a chance to ask for forgiveness the king replied...
"Wipe your tears, and stand before me. The compassion have shown for the child has made you my head baker and a given you a place within my palace; where you will perfect your craft to bake bread like that which few have tasted and the child will be our guest. For I am the king, and all that you can see before you and behind belongs to me. I have mountains of bread and want for nothing."
"The bread has always been for you."