Once upon a time there lived a man whose name was Kenric the Dreamer. Kenric was a man of roving and adventurous disposition, always ready to travel and explore. One day, an itinerant maggid told him about a far away country where onions were unknown.
“No onions!” mused the Dreamer. “Now what kind of pleasure can they derive from their food without onions? I’ll go there and introduce the delicious vegetable.” Without further delay he acquired a wagon-load of onions and started out for that country. It was a distant land and the journey took many months.
Immediately upon his arrival he went directly to the royal court and asked for an audience with the emperor.
“Your highness, I bring you a new vegetable that possesses the unique quality of improving all food,” began Kenric. “Even by itself it is a gourmet’s delight. I urge you to try it.”
“Very well,” agreed the monarch. “But if this strange vegetable should prove injurious you will forfeit your head.”
The dinner at which the onions were to be served was a formal one. All the ministers of state, the nobles, and high priests of the mighty realm were invited. The dishes which contained the onions were first tasted by Kenric the Dreamer, then by the slaves, and then, in turn, by the potentates and prelates. Finally the emperor tasted the new vegetable. The reaction among all was of great enthusiasm. Serf and sovereign alike pronounced it most excellent in flavor and succulence. The monarch appropriated the wagon-load of onions for his court and gave Kenric their weight in gold.
When the adventurer returned home, a committee of prominent citizens gathered to congratulate him on his good fortune. For hours he told his curious landsleit of the splendor and magnificence he had witnessed in this distant land where gold was cheaper than onions.
Fired by these tales, one enterprising individual, Dugly by name, conceived a plan by which he was certain to make even a bigger fortune than had Kenric the Dreamer. Garlic, he figured, is not only more expensive than onions but infinitely more fragrant. So why not take a few sacks of that delicacy to the faraway land? Sure, if they would exchange gold for onions, they would give him the equivalent weight in diamonds! Whereupon he set out for that mystic country with a cargo of five bags of garlic.
As did Kenric the Dreamer, he succeeded in inducing the emperor to give his innovation a trial. And, just as he had foretold, the garlic was relished much more than the onions. The monarch held a consultation with his ministers as to the form of recompense to be paid this noble visitor. Gold, they unanimously decided, would not be an adequate remuneration for such a desirable food in which even God and his angels might take delight. Therefore they decided to reward him with the most precious commodity in all the kingdom.
And so Dugly returned home with his reward – five sacks of onions.
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