Intelligence and Happiness

Once upon a time, Intelligence met Happiness. Intelligence was sitting on a bench when Happiness came walking up and said demanding, “Make way for me!”

At that time, Intelligence had no idea for whom he should make way and replied, “Why should I make room for you? You’re no better than I am.”

Then Happiness said, “Do you see that farmer’s son over there plowing the land? Enter into him. Will he do better with you than with me? In that case, I will always take an inferior position to you, wherever and whenever we meet.”

Intelligence agreed and immediately entered the boy’s head. The boy, named Vanek, felt the intelligence in his head and stopped plowing. He went to his father and said, “Dad, I don’t like the life of a farmer. I’m leaving to learn the trade of gardening.”

“Are you crazy?” asked Vanek’s father. “Go! And become a gardener, I will leave nothing for you when your brother inherits the farm.” Vanek didn’t mind at all and apprenticed with the king’s gardener. The gardener taught him everything, but Vanek understood so much more. It didn’t take long before Vanek stopped obeying the gardener and did everything on his own. The gardener didn’t mind because he saw that Vanek achieved much more that way. In a very short time, the garden had become beautiful. The king was very happy with it and enjoyed taking walks there with his only daughter.

The princess was a beautiful young lady, but she hadn’t spoken a word since she was twelve years old. The king was very sad and had announced throughout his kingdom that the one who could make her speak again would be her husband. Many young kings and princes came from far away to try, but no one succeeded in making her speak.

“Why not try my luck?” thought Vanek. “Who knows if I will succeed in making her answer if I ask her a question?”

He let the king know, and his advisors brought him to the princess’s room. The princess had a small dog. She adored the animal because it was so smart and understood everything she wanted.

When Vanek and the advisors entered the princess’s room, he pretended not to see her. He addressed the dog and said, “I’ve heard, dog, that you’re very smart. Maybe you can help me with the answer to my question. First, I’ll tell you something. Once, I went on a journey with three friends. One was a sculptor and the other a tailor. One night, each of us stood watch in the forest. My friend the sculptor stood watch first. To pass the time, he carved the figure of a young lady from a piece of wood. My friend the tailor stood watch second. Out of boredom, he sewed a beautiful dress for the wooden lady. ‘Let me use the time to teach her to speak,’ he thought to himself. The next morning, she could speak. All three of us thought we had the right to keep her for ourselves. The sculptor said, ‘I made her.’ The tailor said, ‘I dressed her.’ But I thought I had a right to her too. So tell me, dog, who has the right to the young lady?”

The dog said nothing, but instead of the dog, the princess answered, “Who else but you? What is the use of a wooden statue from the sculptor, without life? What is the use of tailor-made clothing without speech? That’s why she should belong to you.”

“Now that I have given you your voice again and a new life,” Vanek said to the princess, “I have the right to marry you.” The advisors put their heads together and cried out, “The king will surely reward you handsomely for this! But she cannot marry you because you are not of noble birth.”

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But Vanek would hear of no other reward and said, “The king promised without exception that the one who would make his daughter speak again would be her husband. The word of a king is law! And if the king wants others to follow his laws, he must also abide by them himself. Therefore, the king must give me his daughter.”

“Seize him!” cried the counselor, “whoever says the king must do something insults His Majesty and deserves death.” And so the king was informed.

Whereupon the king said, “Give him the death penalty.”

Vanek was immediately seized and taken to the place of execution. When he arrived, Happiness was waiting for him.

“Now see what happens to you,” whispered Happiness in Vanek’s ear. “Make way, and let me take your place.”

At the moment Happiness took the place of Intelligence in Vanek’s head, a white horse galloped onto the execution site. The horse pulled a white carriage with the king and the princess inside. The king ordered Vanek to be released.

The princess had told her father that Vanek had spoken nothing but the truth and that the word of the king should not be broken. The king agreed completely. Therefore, Vanek was allowed to marry the princess.

Not long after Vanek and the princess’s wedding, Intelligence was sitting on a bench, enjoying some rest. But when he saw Happiness approaching, he quickly made room on the bench. Since then, it has been said that Intelligence always gives ample space to Happiness whenever they meet.