Long long time ago, in a far far away land, in the kingdom of Beka3, lived two farmers as neighbours.
Boutros has a garlic field just next to Boulos’ onion field. Each year they travel to Baalbek’s city market and sell their produce.
Not this year though where many of the city merchants were suffering from the harshest economic depression the kingdom has ever known.
Worried about this year’s crop, and while sitting on his house porch thinking how to save his harvest, Boutros notices a foreign merchant passing by. As is the tradition in Boutros’ village, he invites the merchant for a coffee. It turned out that the merchant , Youhanna, comes from a nearby kingdom, Petra, where the economy is booming. Upon hearing about Boulos’ hardship, Youhanna convinces Boutros to travel to Petra where he will surely be able to sell his harvest.
Early next morning, Boutros fills his chariot with the garlic harvest and sets out to Petra. After a long 2 days trip, he arrives to Petra city Market. Boutros is so overjoyed to see that none of the market kiosks is selling garlic. His joy didn’t last though because none of the merchants heard about garlic and are afraid of purchasing it.
Boulos was so overtaken with sadness that he started weeping in the market. Youhanna noticed him and asked him: lwhat’s wrong my friend? I see you made it to Petra!”
“I took your advice but no one knows garlic here and I can’t sell my harvest”, replied Boutros.
“No worries my friend”, says Youhanna, “all you have to do is ask for an audience with the king and explain your situation. Come I know the chief of the guards, he will let you in”.
And so it is, after a two hours wait, Boutros was in front of the king of Petra.
“What can we do for you?” asks, the king, of Boulos.
“My king, I travelled for two days”, replied Boulos, “to sell my harvest of garlic but no one from your merchants knows it and none of them bought from me”.
“Garlic? what is Garlic? I never heard of it!” said the king.
“Garlic is the best ingredient you can add to your cuisine my King. It is good for your health and prolongs your life”, explained Boutros while giving many examples of delicious dishes......
The king was so amazed that he called upon his best chefs and ordered them to prepare tonight’s feast with garlic.
And so they did. The King and his guests were so happy with the feast that the King ordered his guards to bring Boutros to him.
“My dear farmer, with your garlic, we just had the best feast ever. You brought us the best you have and I decided to award you with the best we have”, said the king. He then orders his guards, to take all of the garlic harvest, and fill Boutros’ chariot with gold.
Upon arriving home, Boutros was so happy that he was singing like a bird. Boulos heard him and came out to greet him.
“Where have you been the last week?”, enquired Boulos.
“You can’t believe what happened to me”, and he told Boulos about what transpired in Petra. “You should go and tell the king about your onion since they never heard about it too!”
Boulos didn’t wait for the morning, and left with his chariot full of fresh onion. The king received him, learned about onion, ordered a feast and enjoyed his best feast ever. So the king calls upon Boulos and tells him:”You brought us the best you have and I decided to award you with the best we have”.
He then orders his guards, to take all of the onion harvest, and fill Boulos’ chariot with garlic.
Tobi Aouad, sincerely yours all the way from Montreal Canada!