One day, a long time ago, a gnarled old woman came to the palace of the King. She was stooped and bent. Her face was covered with warts. She was dressed in rags. She smelled a horrible stench. In her hands, she was carrying a book.
"I must see the King," the old woman said.
With some reluctance, the guards to the palace let her in to see the king.
"I am here to sell you this book," said the old woman to the king.
"Why should I buy that book? What does it contain?" said the king.
"This book contains valuable information which you need to know," said the old woman.
"What is the price of the book?" said the king.
"One hundred dollars," said the old woman.
"You are crazy," said the king. "There is no book in the world worth one hundred dollars! Get out of here!"
With that, the old woman left.
The next day, the old woman came again to the palace. Again, she was let in to see the king.
"I am here to sell you this book. It contains important and valuable information which you need to know."
The king, naturally expecting a bargain reduced price for the book, said, "How much do you want for the book?"
"Two hundred dollars," the old woman said.
"Are you crazy?" said the king. "Yesterday, it was one hundred dollars, and now you want two hundred dollars for the same book."
"This book contains important and valuable information which you need to know," said the old woman.
"Get out of here," said the king.
The old woman left.
On the third day, the old woman came again. Again, she was let into the palace.
Skipping the preliminaries, the king said, "How much do you want for the book?"
"Four hundred dollars, and you really need the information in this book."
"You are just a crazy old woman. What could I possibly want that is in your book? Now leave."
The old woman left.
On the fourth day, the old woman came again.
"How much do you want for the book?" said the king.
"Eight hundred dollars, and now you need it more than ever."
The king thought and he thought. It was just possible that this book did contain something valuable, something which only he, the king, could use. If he waited, this book might be too expensive to buy, or perhaps some other king would have bought it by then.
Finally, the king decided, he was going to buy the book.
The king ordered one of his ministers to give the old woman eight hundred dollars. The old woman took the money and then handed the book to the king.
The king opened the book, and here is what he found. .......
[Actually, I do not remember the rest of the story, except that this was the beginning of a long story, and that what the king learned was worth vastly more than the eight hundred dollars he paid for the book. If anybody knows the rest of the story or where it comes from, please let me know.]
This is a good story for children, because it teaches the importance of books.
The moral to the story is, of course, that you should BUY ISHI PRESS BOOKS.