The Magic Shoes and Staff
Never in all his life had he thought it possible to be so miserable as he was now. Everything seemed changed and he felt as if he were himself a different person. The only thing that comforted him at all was the thought of his mother, whose love had never failed him; but even that was spoiled by the remembrance that it was her husband who had wished to kill him. She must never know that, for it would break her heart: yet how could he keep it from her? Then the idea came to him that the best thing he could do would be to go away and never see his own people again.
15. What do you think was wrong in Putraka's way of looking at the past?
16. Was his idea of leaving his country and his people a sign of weakness or of strength?
In the end the poor young king decided that he would go right away as his father and uncles had done; and his mind being made up, he became more cheerful and began to think he might meet with some interesting adventures in a new country, where nobody knew anything about him. As soon as it was light, he wandered off into the forest, feeling, it is true, very lonely, but at the same time taking a certain pleasure in being entirely his own master; which a king can never really be, because he has to consider so many other people and to keep so many rules.
After all Putraka did not find the forest so very lonely; for he had not gone far in it before his sad thoughts were broken in upon by his coming suddenly to a little clearing, where the trees had been cut down and two strong-looking men were wrestling together, the king watched them for a little while, wondering what they were fighting about. Then he called out, "What are you doing here? What are you quarrelling about?"
The men were greatly surprised to hear Putraka's voice, for they thought that they were quite alone. They stopped fighting for a minute or two, and one of them said: "We are fighting for three very precious things which were left behind him by our father."
"What are those things?