This Arab story shows how truth can still be found in a world of artifice and the imaginary.
When the queen of Sheba was visited by the famous king Solomon, who she really wanted to surpass in wisdom, she gave him a kind of riddle. She took him to an area in her palace where extraordinary artists had laid out an amazing artificial field with artificial flowers. The sea of colorful flowers rippled softly in a breeze that had also been created artificially.
Colors, scents and wind could not be distinguished from the real thing.
The queen spoke: “One out of all these flowers is real, king Solomon. Could you point it out to me?”
Solomon looked around closely. He used all his senses and concentrated very hard, but could not pick out the real flower. He started to perspire heavily and said to the queen of Sheba: “It is very warm here. Would you please ask your servant to open a window?”
The queen gave orders for a window to be opened.
“That is the real flower,” said king Solomon a little while later.
He pointed. There was no mistake. A bee had flown in through the window and had landed on the only real flower.
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