By Paulo Coelho
Zaki heard Xa asking his friends what was the most beautiful sound on Earth.
‘The sound of the flute,’ said one.
‘Birdsong,’ said another.
‘A woman’s voice,’ said a third.
They continued the discussion late into the night, without reaching any conclusion.
Days later, Zaki invited Xa and his friends to supper. In the room next door, the best orchestra in the world was playing lovely music, but there was no food on the table. Around midnight, by which time his guests were all starving hungry, Zaki finally served up an exquisite banquet.
‘After hours without eating, isn’t the clatter of cutlery on plates a divine sound?’ remarked Xa.
‘I am simply answering your question about what is the most beautiful sound on Earth,’ replied Zaki. ‘It could be the voice of the woman we love, the singing of birds, the clatter of plates, the breathing beside us in bed of someone dear to us, but it will always be the sound that our heart needs to hear at that precise moment.’
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