1. Where did the shepherd live and why was he uneducated?
Answer- The shepherd lived in a cave in a village .He was very poor. He did not have even a small cottage of his own. He had never been to school or learnt to read and write, for there were very few schools in those days.
2. In spite of being uneducated what special quality did the shepherd have?
Answer- Though poor and uneducated, this shepherd was very wise. He understood people’s sorrows and troubles, and helped them face their problems with courage and common sense. Many people came to him for advice.
3. Why did the king of the country want to meet the shepherd?
Answer- The shepherd was famous for his wisdom and friendly nature. The king of that country heard about him, and thought to meet the shepherd himself and check it out.
4. How did the king decide to meet the shepherd?
Answer- To meet the shepherd the king did not want to expose his real identity. He thought to meet him in disguise. So one day disguised as a shepherd and riding on a mule, one day the king came to the cave where the wise shepherd lived.
5. How hospitable was the shepherd?
Answer- When the shepherd saw the traveller coming towards the cave, he rose to welcome him. He took the tired traveller inside the cave, gave him water to drink and a share of his own meagre meal. The king rested for the night in the cave and was greatly impressed by the shepherd’s hospitality and wise conversation.
6. Why did the king make the poor old shepherd the governor?
Answer- When on the next day in spite of being tired and exhausted , the king decided to leave and informed the shepherd so , the shepherd looked straight into the eyes of the king and said, “Thank you, Your Majesty, for paying me the compliment of a visit.” Listening this the king was shocked and surprised and realized the true wisdom of the shepherd and said, “I need people like him to work for me.’ And the king appointed this humble shepherd the governor of a small district.
7. How was the shepherd after becoming the governor?
Answer- The virtues of the shepherd did not change a bit despite his becoming the governor. Although he rose to power and dignity, the shepherd remained as humble as ever. People loved and honoured him for his wisdom, sympathy and goodness. He was kind and just to one and all. His fame as a fair and wise governor soon spread throughout the country.
8. What did the jealous governor say to the king about the poor shepherd?
Answer- As the poor shepherd’s virtues were in the talks of everyone in the country, the other governors were jealous about him, they brought false allegations against him. They said, “He is very dishonest, and keeps for himself part of the money that he collects as tax from the people.” Why did he always carry with him, they added, an iron chest? Perhaps he carried in it the treasure that he had secretly collected. After all, they said mockingly, he was an ordinary shepherd and could behave no better.
9. What was the initial reaction of the king about the allegations of other kings? What did the king do at last?
Answer- At first the king did not pay attention to these reports because he did not believe on their talks.
But he could not ignore these stories of governors about the shepherd for long. The king was certain about one matter. That the new governor did carry an iron chest with him all the time. So, one day, the new governor was summoned to the palace.
10. How did the shepherd come to the king’s court and what did the king ask?
Answer- The shepherd came riding on his camel, and to everyone’s delight, the famous iron chest was there fastened securely behind him on the camel’s back.
Now the king was angry. He thundered, “Why do you always carry that iron chest with you? What does it contain?”
11. What was found inside the iron chest?
Answer- When the king asked the governor about the iron chest in an angry tone, the shepherd asked his servant to bring in the chest. How eagerly the people standing around waited for the shepherd to be found out! But how great was their astonishment, and even of the king himself, when the chest was opened! No gold or silver or jewels but an old blanket was all that came out.
12. When the king asked why did the shepherd carry a blanket with him what did he say?
Answer- When the king asked why the shepherd carry an old blanket in the iron chest always, the shepherd replied with quiet dignity, “This blanket is my oldest friend. It will still protect me if, at any time, Your Majesty should wish to take away my new cloaks.”
13. How did the king and the other governors react when they got to hear the reply of the shepherd?
Answer- Hearing the reply about the old blanket in the iron chest the king was pleased and the other governors were embarrassed. Now they knew that the shepherd was indeed the humblest and the wisest man in the land. The king made him the governor of a much bigger district that very day.