note: This story was originally told to me by my mom; I can't remember everything, so this is pretty close though not exact.
I also tried to make it 'fairy-tale'-like; I'm not sure if it worked or not.

Well, enjoy!


The King and the Meal without Salt

Once upon a time, there was a prosperous king. Though he had many loyal subjects, he had but three daughters. One day, on his birthday, he called each of his daughters to him. Each one wished him great things, and offered him rich, beautiful gifts. Pleased, he accepted their praise.

"You are like the sun, father, and each one of us looks up to you."

"You deserve nothing less than the moon herself, and one day may you live in the sky with her."

When at last the youngest child came to him, the king was smiling, expecting more admiring words from his youngest daughter. The princess looked up at him, lips curved into a smile and eyes lit with joy.

Full of young joy, she said to her father, "I love you, father, and need you as much as I do salt."

At this, the king burst into rage.

"You dare compare me, your father and the king, to salt?" To his guards, he said, "Take her away at once, and lock her in her room. She needs to learn the proper way to treat her father."

Later, the king hugged his daughter, and forgave her, telling himself that she was still too young to understand.

But the next year, she again said the same, referring to the salt. When she did so again the third time, he banished her from the castle, sending her to live within a nearby kingdom. Unable to think of himself as anything less than the sun or moon, he couldn't accept his youngest daughter's words. Over time, he thought less and less of her.

A few years later, a new cook came to work at the castle. At dinner, he was surprised at how good the food was. He sent his praise to her, the cook, and she thanked him. The cook was soon widely known for her cooking.

A few months later, however, the king pushed his plate away from him.

"What happened to the food? It's terribly bland. Send me the cook!"

The young cook came, head bowed, and asked the king if the food pleased him.

The king replied by angrily asking her why the food was less than the usual.

"Today, I wanted to try something different, and so left out and ingredient."

The king listed spices and sauces. To each, the cook silently shook her head.

"What is it, then?" The king was almost shouting, and everybody in the room was startled.

"Salt."

Suddenly painfully aware of the cook's age, or lack thereof, he looked into her face. He asked her if she was his youngest daughter, and she nodded yes. He pulled her into a fierce embrace, tears streaming down both faces.

"I love you, father, and need you as much as I do salt.


note: I realize that was a sappy ending, yes, but what can I do?- it wasn't up to me. But I still like it.