The Wise Cook
By: Pat Nelson
There once was a king who loved to eat. When the castle cook grew too old to prepare the meals anymore, the king looked for a new cook. A young man applied for the job. The king said to him, “I want you to cook me the best and most important dish in the whole world.”
That night the king sat down at the table. When he looked at the special dish, he exclaimed, “Why, that’s cow tongue!”
The young man answered, “Yes, it is. Nothing is more important than the tongue if it is used correctly.
The tongue is used to teach, to explain, to command, to defend, to calm. Tongues are used to sing to babies and to make bargains.
Tongue has to be the most important thing for a king.”
“I must say I didn’t realize that, young man. You’ve opened my eyes. Therefore, tomorrow night, I want you to fix me the worst dish you know.”
The next night, the young man served the king cow tongue. The king said, “What goes on here? Last night, tongue was the best dish in the world.
Tonight it’s the worst. How can this be?”
“The difference is what you do with it, sire,” said the young man. “Tongues make gossip, stir up trouble, and tell lies. Tongues are cruel and hypocritical.
Therefore, tongue can be the worst dish in the world.”
“Yes, I see. I also see that I need your wisdom in my court. I’ll get someone else to do the cooking.”