There once was a king named Midas, who ruled a magical land of roses and sunshine. King Midas was rich beyond imagination, but he was also very selfish and foolish.
King Midas liked to spend his days in the basement of his castle where he kept his gold. Every day he locked himself in the vault so he could count his money without anybody bothering him. There was nothing that King Midas would rather do than count his riches. His gold made him feel important. He loved to surround himself with it.
Each morning, at the crack of dawn, King Midas headed straight to the vault. He stayed with his gold until he went to sleep at night. And even then he dreamed of how to get even more gold.
King Midas had a beautiful daughter named Marygold. She was very different from her father. Marygold did not pay any attention to gold, and she was not at all selfish.
Marygold liked to spend her days outdoors. Day after day, Marygold walked happily among the roses in the garden. It was her favorite place. She loved taking care of all the beautiful flowers and watering them so they would grow to be even taller than she was. There was nothing Marygold liked better than smelling the sweet scent of the roses and watching the pretty butterflies as they fluttered about.
One morning, Marygold said to her father, "Why don't you join me in the garden today? Come outside to see what a lovely place I've created in the sunshine."
"Oh no, Marygold," King Midas replied. "I would never enjoy that knowing there is so much gold to count. I really must go down to the vault right away."
King Midas disappeared down the long, winding staircase that led to the basement. This saddened Marygold. She was certain that her father would really enjoy her flowers, especially the roses, if he ever saw them in full bloom. Later that day, as King Midas busily counted his gold in the vault, a mysterious stranger appeared.
"Good afternoon, Your Majesty," said the stranger to King Midas.
"How did you get in here?" asked King Midas, looking up at the locked door.
"Well," said the stranger, "I have some magical powers."
Go to the next page to learn more about the stranger's powers.