Time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called all the young people in the kingdom one day.
He s aid, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next Emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."
The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued.
"I am going to give each one of you a seed today. A very special Seed! I want you to plant the seed, water it and come hack here one year From today with whatever you have grown from this one seed. I will then Judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next Emperor!"
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, Received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole Story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Everyday he would water it and waited for it to Grow. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk About their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, Four weeks, five weeks went by, but still nothing. By now, others were Talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by-still nothing grew in Ling's pot. He thought he had killed his seed Everyone else had trees and tall plants, bur he had nothing.
However Ling didn't say anything to his friends. He just kept waiting for His seed to grow.
Final the year ended and all the youths of the kingdom brought Their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he Wouldn’t go because of the empty pot hut his mother insisted him to go. Being honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was "right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived; he was amazed at the variety of planes grown by the other Youths. They were beautiful and in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his Empty pot on the floor and the other kids laughed at him, A few felt sorry for him and just said /'Nice try, young boy.'
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people* Ling just tried to hide in the back.
"My, my! What great plants trees and flowers you have grown I said the emperor. Today, one of you will be appointed the next Emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back ni the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified.
The emperor knows I'm a failure I Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name.
"My name is Ling/ f he replied, All the kids were laughing" and Making fun of him, the emperor asked everyone to quieten down. He Looked at Lmg t and then announced, "Behold your new emperor! His Name is Ling!' Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How Could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago From today, I gave everyone present here, a seed, i told you Co take the Seed, plant it water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow, All of you T except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he isthe one who will he the new emperor!"
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