The merchant was the first to speak. He told the king his side of the story. He explained how many gold coins had been in his lost pouch and how the homeless man had stolen half of them.

The king listened to the merchant, then he turned to the homeless man and asked, “What do you have to say for yourself?”

“My king, I found the pouch on the rubbish dump and it had only a hundred gold coins in it,” said the homeless man bowing his head as he spoke. “That is the truth.”

The king thought for a while and then he said, “Merchant, am I correct? You say that your pouch had two hundred gold coins in it.”

“Yes, my king,” said the merchant.

“I see,” said the king stroking his long beard. “Well, I believe both of you and I can solve this easily! Merchant, you said that the pouch you lost had two hundred gold coins in it. That is a lot of gold to carry around in a small pouch. But, the pouch this homeless man found only had a hundred gold coins inside. That means that this is not the pouch that you lost. I order you to give it to the homeless man immediately.”

And so, the merchant had no choice but to give the pouch to the homeless man. The homeless man’s honesty had paid off and he lived a long and happy life, with plenty to eat every day.

Tell us: What did you think about this story?