A king had three sons. He wanted to test them before choosing which one will be best suited to be his successor. He called them all and after telling them that he had a task for them to complete, he gave them each three pea seeds. He instructed them to plant the seeds in a pot, look after them and in three months to bring the pea plants to him to examine them. After that he will decide which one of the three sons will be the next king.

The boys took the seeds and carefully planted them in rich soil in a pot. They watered them regularly, fertilised them, placed them in a nice sunny spot and waited for the plants to shoot up. Every day they went and checked eagerly looking for the shoots to appear. One week went by, two weeks, three… nothing.

The older son started to be impatient. “I must have messed up something” he thought to himself. “I’ll go and buy new seeds and try again or else my father will think that if I can’t even look after three seeds how will I look after a kingdom? I can kiss the crown goodbye then. ” So he went as he planned in his heart and bought new seeds and planted them again. He was excited to see the shoots grow and day by day develop nicely.

The second son tried his best also but after four weeks, he realised that the plants were way overdue, yet nothing was happening in his pot. He suspected that the seeds might have been old or infertile and he thought to himself: “My brothers probably have big plants by now. Obviously these seeds are not going to sprout. I’m gonna get some pea seedlings not to fall too much behind or else I’ll have nothing to show my father and thus ruin my only chance to become the next king.” So he went and bought some seedlings and continued to look after them as he planned.

The youngest son started to do some research to find out what could cause the delayed sprouting, planned a schedule of how to insure optimal care for his pea seeds, meticulously kept a record of everything he did and persisted in doing his best in caring for his seeds.

When the three months were due, all three sons presented themselves to the king with their plant pot. The two older boys had really nice pea plants with flowers and pea pods. They laughed at their younger brother who had nothing in his pot just a big folder with his records and research. The younger brother felt very embarrassed.

The king looked at the plants and listened to his boys who were telling him how they looked after the plants. He asked the if they used the seeds that he gave them and they answered “yes“. When it was the little ones’s turn, he showed the king all the evidence of his research and his records but concluded that despite everything he tried, the seeds did not sprout and apologised for failing the task.

The king thought for a moment, then looked at his sons and spoke: “My boys, as you know this was a task that was going to help me decide which one of you is worthy to be the next king. Being king is a great responsibility and above all HONESTY is one of the greatest qualities a king should have. Honesty is what helps build trust with the people of your country and with the kings of other countries. When I gave you the seeds, I boiled them before. I also asked you if you used the seeds that I gave you and you answered “yes.”  Now I wonder how did my two older sons grow such beautiful plants from boiled seeds.”

Being caught red handed, the two older boys had to confess the truth and appologise to their father for failing the task and to their younger brother for laughing at him. The king chose his youngest son to be the next king and he was indeed a very honest one.

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death… but as for the pure, his work is right. Proverbs 21: 6, 8