THE KING’S BOATMANIn the days before cars, trains and aeroplanes, the king traveled by boat. Once the king was traveling to a town far from the capital. Besides the boatmen, he had several of his ministers with him.The day was very warm, and the ministers fell asleep. Of course, the boatmen couldn’t sleep. It was their duty to row the king’s boat.As the day grew warmer, the boatmen became very tired. One of them looked at the sleeping ministers. He became very tired. One of them looked at the sleeping ministers. He began to grumble. “Look at them,” he said. “Sleeping the day away. I don’t know why they can’t help us row the boat. After all, we’re all men. We should be able to do the same work and help each other out.”Now the king happened to overhear this. A little later he heard a noise coming from the woods beside the river. He ordered the boat to stop and sent the grumbling boatman to find out what the noise was. Soon the boatman came back.“What’s making that noise?” asked the king.“Some puppies,” repelled the boatman.“How many are there?” the king asked.Because he didn’t know, the boatman had to go back to look. When he returned he said there at six.“What color are these puppies?” asked the king.Again the boatman had to returned to the woods. This time he said that the puppies were black, white and brown.“They must be very nice puppies,” said the king. “Tell me, are they male of female?” Once more the boatman had to go into the woods. This time he was able to tell the king that four were male and two were female.The king then woke one of his ministers and sent him to findout what the noise was. When the minister returned the king said. “Well, what did you find out?”“That noise is made by some new-born puppies, Your Majesty, “said the minister. “There are six of them, four males and two females.”“What color are they?” asked the king.“One is white, three are black, and the others are brown, like the mother,” the minister replied.The king turned to the boatman. “When I asked you to find about the noise, you had to make four trips into the woods. This man had to go only once. This is one reason that he is a minister while you are a boatman. Some people are good at giving information and advice. Others are good at rowing boats.”After this, the boatman did not grumble about his work.