Once upon a time there lived a king who was a very happy man. He had all the things that could make him a king! He had a grand palace, a store house filled with rubies and emeralds and the finest cooks on land to spread the most delicious food on his table.
The king had something else too that none of the other kings ever had! He had a lamb! No matter, for such a wealthy king might have a farm all for himself, you might ask. And in a farm there might be frisky lambs bleating as happily as they may. But this king had a lamb, a lamb all for himself. The lamb was the joy of his heart and so the king called it Joy! The king bathed the lamb, brushed its fleece with a golden comb and tied the softest of ribbons on its tail!
But every tiny treasure brings the biggest fear. The king was worried about the lamb’s safety. And one day… things happened just as the king had feared. He woke up from his satin bed and found Joy gone. He looked under the pillows, beneath the bed and into the cupboards… Joy had vanished!
The king sent for the witch doctor. He was the best person on land to find all those things that had disappeared. The witch doctor promised to help the king find Joy. ‘But I need a candle, some money and a pot of water,’ said the witch doctor. When the things were brought to him, the witch doctor lit the candle and placed it in the pot of water. He put the money in the pocket of his flowing robe. The king noticed it but kept quiet.
The witch doctor peered into the pot of water and said, ‘Oh, King you will never get Joy back. Someone stole her and ate her up. It must have been the smartest man on land to steal Joy from under your nose.’
‘I know who stole my Joy,’ said the king. He ordered his soldiers to go and find Mr. Malica wherever he was. ‘Meanwhile I shall throw a grand party in memory of my dear Joy. I shall hold competitions for my subjects and give away prizes,’ said the King and left the place.
Mr. Malica was indeed the smartest man on land. He knew that the guards were after him. He went to meet his friend Mr. Grange who was not as smart as Mr. Malica.
‘You know, the king is holding a party for Joy. There is going to be a singing competition and a grand feast. Why don’t you participate in the singing competition?’ Mr. Malica asked Mr. Grange.
‘You said a grand feast, too?’ asked Mr. Grange. ‘I‘d love that! But I don’t have a good suit to wear.’
‘Never mind! I have a beautiful white fleece coat that you can wear for the party,’ said Mr. Malica. ‘And I have a nice little song that you can sing at the competition.’ So it was that Mr. Grange arrived at the palace, dressed in a white fleece coat that the King could not take his eyes off! And Mr. Grange opened his mouth wide and yodeled.
‘The King has lost his Joy; With sadness he is filled
But not all news is sad; For with Joy I am filled.’
‘Hey, you are the one who stole my Joy!’ cried the King. ‘Guards, drag this man away to the dungeons!’ As a howling Mr. Grange was dragged away, Mr. Malica came out from amongst the crowd of people that had gathered around.
‘Your Majesty, it was I who managed to bring the cunning Mr. Grange here! I am filled with Joy to see him arrested. You may give me my reward for having helped you to catch the thief.’
‘My witch doctor told me that my Joy was stolen by the smartest man on land. Mr. Grange is not a very smart man. You stole my Joy and blamed poor Mr.Grange. Guards, take Mr.Malica to the dungeons,’ thundered the king. And so, even the smartest man on land is not spared when he cheats!