Ancestral bones

By Paulo Coelho

There was once a king of Spain who was very proud of his ancestors, and who was known for his cruelty towards those weaker than himself.

One day, he was travelling with his entourage through a field in Aragon where, years before, his father had died in battle; there he met a holy man rummaging around in a huge pile of bones.

‘What are you doing?’ asked the king.

‘All honour to Your Majesty!’ said the holy man. ‘When I learned that the king of Spain was coming here, I decided to collect together the bones of your late father and give them to you. But however hard I look, I cannot find them, for they are exactly the same as the bones of peasants, poor men, beggars and slaves.’

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