A King there was, a mighty ruler,
A minister served him with all his wit.
The two were together in every task they could,
The minister said always, “What Happens, Happens for good”.

It was the minister’s life mantra,
And he said it every time when things went wrong.
The King did not object nor accept this,
He let the minister say as his own wish.

A war broke out with the ruler nearby,
Terrible was the ensuing fight.
The King and his minister as they were wont,
Fought side by side, showed bravery worth vaunt.

They won the war, our King and his consul,
But woe, a weapon hit the King at the end.
His left hand was hurt severely,
It had to be severed away, the war cost our King dearly.

Sad he was and he bemoaned the loss,
The minister came to console his Lord.
The king wailed “It has happened as it not should”,
The minister replied calmly “What Happens, Happens for good”.

The King towered with rage at the his aide,
“A great loss and you are pleased with it,
You are no well-wisher of mine,
If you think this loss is fine.”

In his anger, the King sentenced,
The good minister to the prison.
There he stayed, yet the man did not brood,
As always he said “What Happens, Happens for good.”

The minister cast away, the King went on alone,
To manage his affairs and all was well.
Till a day, the King went to hunt for sport,
With able people from his court.

And while he chased a grand game,
He strayed away from his men.
A tribal group finding him all alone,
Seized him and put him before their own throne.

The tribal king, in might and haught,
Was pleased with the catch of his men.
“Our Goddess will be pleased when we sacrifice you,
Foremost amongst men, this fate I bestow you.”

“You will be our sacrifice on her altar,
You will die and we will prosper”
Our King went numb in mind and soul,
How he wished, his arm was whole.

That night, the tribals sang and danced,
Around the King tied to a pole.
The time for the sacrifice neared,
This is the end the King feared.

The tribal priest came to the altar,
He saw the King and cursed his own.
“O King of mine, we cannot sacrifice this person,
It will only our state worsen!”

“And why not?, cried the tribal king,
“A royal sacrifice will please our Goddess.”
“It would have if the sacrifice was complete,
This man is without a hand, the sacrifice would be a cheat.”

In disgust did the tribal king,
Release our King and sent him away.
He rushed straight to the prison where,
The minister was spending his days in prayer.

“O friend, I was very wrong,
My lost arm has saved me today.
If my arm was whole, I would have a sacrifice,
For saving my life, my arm has been a small price.”

So spoke our King and released the minister,
As was his nature, he simply spoke his mind.
“I am glad Sire, you have understood,
What Happens, Happens for good”.

“You are wise and patient”, said the King,
“And have proven your mettle.
But tell me what good do you take,
For being in prison for none of your mistake?”

The minister smiled his benign smile,
And spoke with all calm and peace.
“Had I been not in this jail,
I’d have been on your hunting trail.

We would have been together caught,
By the unruly tribal lot.
Being whole of body by God’s grace,
I’d have been chosen for their sacrifice.”

The King bowed to the minister’s wisdom,
He re-instated him to all glory.
The King found peace as he understood,
What Happens, Happens for good.

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Subhash Iyer

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