The Wisest Man in the World

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Sunshine English Course 3

The Wisest Man in the World
Word count415

Long, long ago there lived a king in the country of Israel. His name was Solomon. He was so wise that he could even speak the language of every insect.
One day a little bee flew into the King's room. The bee was too scared to fly away when the King came up to it.
"Oh, King, forgive me, please," it said. "Please let me go! I'm sure I can work for you some day."
King Solomon smiled and opened the curtains. "You may go. I want nothing in return from a little bee like you."

Through the open curtains, the king saw a great caravan. There were many animals decorated with jewels and gold. And at the head of the caravan, the proud and beautiful Queen of Sheba was riding.
"Be careful of the Queen of Sheba, King!" one of his servants said. "She's jealous of you because you're loved by the people."
"Ha, ha, ha! You worry too much," answered the King. "I'm wise enough to take care of myself."
During the next few days, the Queen tried hard to show that King Solomon was not really wise. She asked him a lot of difficult questions. But he answered all of them.

One night the Queen said to her servants, "So far we haven't succeeded, and tomorrow will be our last chance. The King has invited not only us but also other people to a dinner. Why don't we make a fool of him before a great number of people?"
The Queen told one of her servants to pick a flower from the King's garden. Then she ordered her artists to make ninety-nine false flowers which were just like it.

At the party the Queen said to the King, "My artists wish you to judge their work. Among these one hundred flowers only one was taken from your garden. The others are false flowers made by my artists. Won't you pick out your own flower?"
The King tried, but it was not easy to find the real flower. All the flowers looked the same. He did not know which was the real one.

Then someone called his name. It was a bee hiding under the table. "I'm here to help you," it said. "The real flower has honey inside. Just watch me."
After the party, King Solomon thanked the bee and said to himself, "I've been too proud. We all need help from others sometime. And even the smallest one can give it."


  • The Wisest Man in the World is a 1968 book by Benjamin Elkin.

See also