One evening, Wali Dad dragged out the pot to see how much money it held. He was amazed to find that his coins had filled it to the brim.
“What am I to do with all this money?” he said to himself. “I need nothing more than I have.”
Wali Dad thought and thought. At last he had an idea.
The next day, Wali Dad loaded the money into a sack and carried it to a jeweler in the marketplace. He exchanged all his coins for a lovely gold bracelet.
Then Wali Dad visited the home of a traveling merchant.
“Tell me,” said Wali Dad, “in all the world, who is the noblest lady?”
“Without doubt,” said the merchant, “it is the young queen of Khaistan. I often visit her palace, just three days’ journey to the east.”
“Do me a kindness,” said Wali Dad. “The next time you pass that way, give her this little bracelet, with my compliments.”
The merchant was astonished, but he agreed to do what the ragged grasscutter asked.
Soon after, the merchant found himself at the palace of the queen of Khaistan. He presented the bracelet to her as a gift from Wali Dad.
“How lovely!” she said, admiring the bracelet. “Your friend must accept a gift in return. My servants will load a camel with the finest silks.”
When the merchant arrived back home, he brought the silks to the hut of Wali Dad.
“Oh, no!” said the grasscutter. “This is worse than before! What am I to do with such finery?”
“Perhaps,” said the merchant, “you could give it to someone else.”
Wali Dad thought for a moment. “Tell me,” he said, “in all the world, who is the noblest man?”
“That is simple,” said the merchant. “It is the young king of Nekabad. His palace, too, I often visit, just three days’ journey to the west.”
“Then do me another kindness,” begged Wali Dad. “On your next trip there, give him these silks, with my compliments.”
The merchant was amused, but he agreed. On his next journey, he presented the silks to the king of Nekabad.
“A splendid gift!” said the king, admiring the silks. “In return, your friend must have twelve of my finest horses.”
So the merchant brought the king’s horses to Wali Dad.
“This grows worse and worse!” declared the old man. “What could I do with twelve horses?”
But after a moment Wali Dad said, “I know who should have such a gift. I beg you, keep two horses for yourself, and take the rest to the queen of Khaistan!”
The merchant thought this was very funny, but he consented. On his next visit to the queen’s palace, he gave her the horses.
Now the queen was perplexed. She whispered to her prime minister, “Why does this Wali Dad persist in sending gifts? I have never even heard of him!”
The prime minister said, “Why don’t you discourage him? Send him a gift so rich, he can never hope to match it.”