A king has no sons, no daughters, and no queen. For this reason he must decide who will take the throne after he dies. To do this he decides that he will give all of the children of the kingdom a single seed. Whichever child has the largest, most beautiful plant will earn the throne; this being a metaphor for the kingdom. At the end of the contest all of the children came to the palace with their enormous and beautiful plants in hand. After he looks at all of the children’s pots, he finally decides that the little girl with an empty pot will be the next Queen. Why did he choose this little girl over all of the other children with their beautiful plants.
The seeds were all dead (burned, fake, etc.). The other kids cheated and got different seeds and planted them. The little girl didn’t cheat and was not able to grow anything because the seed was dead. She was the only one who didn’t cheat.
Nothing like original fairy tales!
i get the moral it’s trying to convey but that king is an idiot and the kingdom’s doomed. you don’t appoint an honest kid who will forthrightly admit a failure like that to leadership of a country, you put that kid in charge of like… the army, or something. the department of agriculture.
i’d send out dead seeds, then appoint the kid with the biggest and most beautiful plant anyway. ideally the same kind of plant as the dead seeds were from. and ideally a kid with a really good pokerface. that kid knows:
a) how to perceive failure early (a well developed second plant means they knew how soon the first seeds should sprout and didn’t fuck around when they didn’t)
b) how to fix the situation (a second plant of the same species means they got someone to help them identify the seeds and plant more, or are observant enough to do it themselves)
c) how to get the best people for a job in to do it (kids aren’t great gardeners. a beautiful science project probably means mom did all the work— just what you want from a child ruler and their regent)
all around, that kid (or their mom) is the kind of devious results-oriented bald-faced liar you want to go toe-to-toe with the lords of your country and the rulers of your neighbors. not a little kid who admits defeat so early and in a situation with such high stakes. ‘whoops i didn’t grow a plant’ sounds a lot less sweet when you phrase it like ‘i give up on ruling my country’.
you know, i think i’d also send agents out to encourage the kids to destroy each other’s plants. let’s see who’s good at seige warfare, too.