The two dreamers

Once there were two wonderful dreamers. One was the head of the village and the other was a tax collector. They used to dream every night about the king. The king used to come to the village chief in his dreams and tell him what to do every day with regard to the village. The king also would come to the tax collector in his dreams and say how much money he should collect every day from the villagers. Very peacefully this went on for some time. The villagers had great faith in these two.

One day the village chief was crying and crying because he hadn’t dreamt about the king that night and he didn’t know how to guide the villagers. He said, “Last night I didn’t have any dream, so today I will do everything wrong. Please don’t listen to me.”

The villagers said, “Since you have been listening to the king so regularly, if for one day he doesn’t come, no harm. We are sure that you will do what the king would have wanted you to do.”

The chief replied, “The king has always come before. That is how I am able to guide you. But now what am I going to do?”

Everyone was very sad because they were not getting any guidance from the village chief, and nobody was working. When the tax collector came to know what had happened, he became worried. Since the taxes were collected on a daily basis, if nobody worked that day there would be no tax collections.

The tax collector was very clever. He went to the chief and said, “Do you know why the king did not come to you last night? It is because he spent the whole night with me. He was giving me so much advice about taxes that he was not able to come to your house.”

Everybody was so happy that the king had spent the whole night with the tax collector. Still, the people were asking the chief, “What should we do today? The day is passing and you haven’t given any of us jobs. If we don’t make money, how can we pay the taxes?”

The chief said again, “No, I can’t give you jobs today because I have not seen the king. I will not be able to give you any work.”

The tax collector said, “The king has told me how much money to collect today. Even if you don’t work and get paid, the king said you still have to pay taxes.”

The people had such faith in the tax collector because they had so much faith in the king. They said, “Whatever the king has said, we shall do. Let us pay the taxes.” So they had to pay taxes even though they were not working that day.