versiune audio: Autor: Cristina
Once upon a time, somewhere in the world, there was a small country named “the Land of Lazy People”. In that place, nobody was supposed to do anything. As in NEVER. Nobody worked, children didn’t go to school and all the animals just sat lying in the sun.
Parents didn’t care about what their children were doing. So the little ones ate when they wanted, did anything they wanted and went to bed late at night. They never cleaned their rooms and rarely washed themselves. And all this, because they were lazy.
The people living in the Land of Lazy People weren’t very smart either. They were too lazy to study and anyway they didn’t have any books to learn from, because nobody made the effort to print them. So nobody ever used their brains; they were too lazy to even think.
But the laziest and the most stupid of them was, of course, the Emperor himself. He was called Long Hand (ARM?) because he was so lazy he never moved his hands. And because of that, his hands (arms) became so long that they almost touched the ground. When he was crowned Emperor he passed just one law: that there would be no laws in his country. At that time, the people were very happy, thinking doing nothing would make them happy. But it wasn’t like that at all. Let me tell you why:
There were no shops as there were no venders and they wouldn’t have anything to sell anyway, because nobody made anything, so there were no products to sell. Everybody ate forest fruits and fish from the river, drank water from the springs and wore some rags as clothes. They lived in caves and at night they slept on the grass. There were no toys in that land, not to mention stories or cartoons. Who could have made them if nobody worked?!
People were thin, hungry, bored and dirty. When one of them had a problem, he would go to the Emperor for help. The Emperor was so lazy he would simply yawn and then shrug his shoulders. He was too lazy to even care. The person would then leave and go back to his cave, even more upset and with his problem still unsolved.
People were so ignorant they didn’t even realize how unhappy they were.
One day, the Emperor got sick. Because there were no doctors in the land, nobody knew how to help him. So the Emperor ordered that someone must find him a doctor or some medicine. For the first time in a long time he cared about someone … himself!
But now, the wheel had turned and it was the people’s turn not to care about him. Nobody had ever left the land, so why would they do that now? The Emperor then ordered them to cast the dice and choose someone who would do it. So it was decided that a 10 years old boy had to leave the city in search of a cure. He didn’t want to go, but he had no choice. With a sigh, he packed some fruit for the road and left in search of a cure for the Emperor.
Many, many days passed until the boy finally left the Land of the Lazy People. The road was not very long, but the child was so lazy he would stop every 5 minutes because he was too tired. Once he crossed the border he faced a big surprise – a road paved with white stones which took him to a town the boy had never imagined: colourful houses, properly set one next to the other. And each house had a beautiful yard that was properly taken care of. The town had shops of all kinds, schools, hospitals, restaurants and playgrounds. People on the street walked very fast, were dressed neatly and the children played happily with all kinds of colourful toys.
The moment he sat foot in that town, the boy knew that he wanted to live there. He didn’t feel tired, lazy or sad anymore. He just felt a great desire to live in such a wonderful place.
A couple of good hearted people saw him, thin and poorly dressed. They took him to their home, washed him, fed him hot soup and then put him to bed in the softest, fluffiest bed. Before falling asleep, they even told him a story. The first story he had ever heard in his whole life.
That night the little boy slept better than ever and he woke up full of joy and strength. He was very happy to hear that those nice people wanted to send him to a place called “school”, where he would learn a lot of things. At school, not only did he learn a lot of new interesting things, but he also made a friend. After school, the little boy went back to those nice people who were now his family. Days passed by quickly and the little boy was so happy that he totally forgot about the Emperor’s medicine. But he had started to miss his real parents.
Meanwhile, in the Land of Lazy People, everybody was waiting for the little boy. The Emperor was feeling worse each day. But since the boy didn’t come back, people started to forget about him. Not his parents though, who really, really missed him, even if they didn’t care about anything else. In the end, they decided to make an effort and to start looking for the little boy. When the Emperor found out that they were about to leave the land, he asked them to return with a cure.
When the parents found their little boy, they could hardly recognize him. He was clean, handsome, happy and healthy. He had learned to write, read, sing and dance. They hugged him and decided to never let him go, even if that meant they had to start working. So they moved in town and forgot about the Emperor’s medicine as well.
But the Emperor was getting sicker every day. The other people didn’t really care about him, but they were very curious to find out what had happened to the little boy and his parents, who had left the land and didn’t come back. It was like they had awoken from a long, long sleep: “Where could they be? Why aren’t they coming back?” they were wondering.
The curiosity started to overcome the laziness, and one by one, they started to leave the land in search of the missing family. And as they arrived in town, one by one they decided to stay there and start a new and better life.
After a while, there was nobody but the Emperor living in the Land of Lazy People, he was left all by himself. Surprisingly, he never thought about going to search the others, or at least a doctor. It seemed his laziness would bring him his death. And it would have happened if someone hadn’t remembered him … Guess who that was! Yes, it was the little boy himself, the one who left the first, looking for the cure. He had become one of the smartest children in town. He was very friendly and kind to everybody. He was always there to help anybody who needed his help. The little boy found the medicine and went back to the Land of Lazy People to take it to the Emperor.
He entered the palace. It was empty. He went to the throne room and found the emperor there, sitting on the throne. He was lying still, with his eyes almost shut, hardly breathing. The little boy gave him the medicine. The Emperor raised his eyes and looked at the boy wondering: what is happening? What is that boy giving me? The Emperor couldn’t understand what was happening and couldn’t understand that the little boy really cared about him.
But the child’s kindness woke him up from his numbness. He barely raised his hand and patted the little boy saying:
That is how the little boy’s kindness saved the Emperor’s life.
What happened next? After he was cured, the Emperor also moved in town. There, he was not the Emperor anymore, but a simple, happy and healthy man.