Once upon a time, there was a great king who had three sons who he loved very much. One day to decide how much they loved him back, he called each one of them and asked.
"I love you as much as I love gold and jewels," said the first son, and the king was very pleased.
"I love you as much as I love money," said the second son, and again the king was greatly pleased.
"I love you as much as I love salt," said the third son.
The king then became very angry and banished the third son from the palace.
He wandered through towns and villages, did many jobs and succeeded with his wit to become king in another state.
The years passed, his father was now very old and had almost forgotten his third son. But the son always remembered his father and his unjust banishment from the palace, but held no grudge against him.
So one day he decided to have a feast and invited kings from near and far. Among them was his father. The table was very rich. It had all kinds of food, fruit and sweets, except that all the food was unsalted. This was what the third son had agreed with the cook. When everyone sat down at the festive table, the king-father took the fork and began to eat. But with the first bites he complained that the food had no salt at all and stopped eating. He had such a rich table in front of him... but the food tasted so bland.
Then the third son, who was standing by him, but whom the old king had not recognized, turned and said to him:
"Father, when I told you many years ago that I loved you like salt, you kicked me out of your palace. Now, why are you so sad because you cannot eat unsalted food?"
The old king, surprised, recognized his son and realized his mistake.
"I'm sorry son, I was so unfair to you..." he told him.
Then the son embraced his father and they lived happily ever after.
You can download the PDF version of this fairytale from here.
Thanks to the following sources for the illustrations: