There once lived a proud driver in Qi, a state in China. He was the driver of the Prime Minister of the state. One day the Prime Minister happened to drive through the street where the driver lived with his wife. Some neighbour’s saw him drive the Prime Minister and were excited.

One of the neighbours ran to the driver’s home and said to driver’s wife-“Quick! See who is driving the Prime Minister? Your husband.”

The wife ran out to see her husband drive the chariot of the Prime Minister. She saw her husband drive past her with his head held high up in the air, arrogant and proud.

Modesty Pays [Illustration by Sudheer Nath]
Modesty Pays [Illustration by Sudheer Nath]

When the driver returned home that evening, his wife did not speak to him.

He asked her, “Why are you unhappy.”

She said, “I want to divorce you.”

The driver got the shock of his life. He said,” Why, Why do you want to divorce me?”

She replied, “Look at the Prime Minister, he sat with great modesty in the chariot. You are but his driver, yet you are so arrogant, that is why I want to leave you.”

The driver realized his mistake. He understood that the better a person
get, more humble should he be to gain respect. From that day onwards, he became more humble.

The Prime minister noticed the change in him.

He asked the driver, “Why have you changed your manner of behaviour?”

The driver replied, “My wife admonished me, and I think she is right.”

The Prime Minister admired his change in attitude, took him to the king and said, “Your Honour, my driver is a man of virtue, he has the courage to correct his own mistakes.”

Recognizing it, the king said, “Good! He should be given an official

The driver was made an officer. He discharged his duties with great
modesty, and lived happily ever after.

320 words | 3 minutes
Readability: Grade 5 (10-11 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #prime minister, #chariot

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