There was once a king who decided to take a tour of his kingdom. It was a long arduous journey. The roads were rough and bumpy and the king complained about the uncomfortable ride and the fact that it hurt his feet when he got out and walked on the roads.
Upon his return to the palace the king sent out a decree that ordered the countrymen to kill their domestic animals and cover the roads with leather to make them softer for travel and for walking. This caused an uproar in the country. People said it would be an extreme hardship for them.
One day a small boy and his parents were visiting in the city where the king lived. The king happened to be riding by in his carriage. As was his custom, the king stopped to greet the family.
The boy said to the king, “Excuse me, your majesty, but I have an idea.”
“And what is your idea?” The king asked.
“Instead of having the citizens go to all the work and expense of covering the roads with leather, wouldn’t it be wiser to simply cut a piece of leather and place it on the bottom of your sandals. That would make it softer for you to walk.”
The king raised his eyebrow and said, “Hmmm. Now that is an excellent idea.”
The king turned to his staff and said, “Give this boy a small ruby for his idea and then cut some leather to attach to the bottom of my sandals.”