There was once a fabulously wealthy sultan. One day he received a gift from an emir friend. It looked like a kind of onion.
“This is a tulip bulb,” said the emir. “Plant it in the ground and it will grow into a beautiful flower. I’ve brought a few thousand for you.” The sultan was not impressed by the ‘tulip thingies’ but his old gardener did plant one of them in the ground. After the emir had left, the sultan grew sick. Even the doctor could not cure him. One day a tramp walked up to the gardener. The gardener gave him a drink and the tramp played his strange-looking flute. The gardener listened attentively.
Suddenly, a red flower emerged from the ground, very quickly. The tramp said, “I am a fakir. The sultan is sick because he is too rich. He will only feel better if he can learn to value the beauty of a single flower.” The gardener placed the tulip next to the sultan’s bed and he perked up noticeably. The doctor told the gardener to plant all the ‘tulip thingies’ he had, in the hope that this would cure the sultan completely. The following day the sultan appeared on his balcony. The fakir played on his flute below and hundreds of red flowers poked their heads up out of the earth. It was an amazing sight and tears of joy streamed down the sultan’s cheeks. But would he ever be cured completely?