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The Poet's Reward

The poet Abu Dalameh wrote a poem in praise of the king, and the monarch, pleased, asked him what he would like as a reward.
"Give me a hound," said the poet. The courtiers looked at each other in disbelief. They felt the poet had missed a golden opportunity to make some money and pitied him.
"If it is a hound you want, you've got it," said the king.
"Your Majesty is generous," said the poet. "Now if I had a horse I could go hunting with the hound."
"You can have a horse too," said the king.
The poet said: "When I return from the hunt it would be nice if I had someone to cook the game I have brought."
The king gave him a cook.
"Your generosity is boundless," said the poet. "But where will I keep all these presents you have heaped on me?"
The king gave him a mansion.
"I am overwhelmed," said the poet. "But how will I maintain such a large establishment, Your Majesty?"
"I will give you a date plantation," said the king. "It will fetch you enough to run a palace."
"Never has the world known such generosity," said the poet, and kissed the king's hand and left, leaving the courtiers dumbfounded.

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