A Quick Synopsis of King Midas’ Golden Touch (Contains Plot Spoilers)
According to legend, King Midas was a very rich king; he had more gold than any other king in the world. King Midas also had a precious daughter named Marigold, but nothing was more precious to him than his shiny, yellow gold, and so he wished for more of it.
One day, while the King was counting his money, a fairy boy appeared before him. The fairy assured the King that he had more gold than anyone, but still the King wanted more. He claimed that “gold is the best and most wonderful thing in the world.” The fairy offered to grant the King one wish. King Midas wished that everything he touched would turn to beautiful, yellow gold. The fairy warned that having this gift would not make him happy, but the King did not see the dangers in it.
The next morning, King Midas eagerly awoke to check if the fairy’s promise had come true. He touched his bed and, sure enough, the bed turned to gold. Then, he touched the chair and the table, and those too turned to gold. The King was delighted with his magic gift.
Later, when the King was hungry, he tried to drink water and eat his bread. As his lips touched the water, it turned to gold, so he could not drink. The bread also turned to gold in his hands, so he could not eat. Marigold ran in from the garden to greet the King and when she embraced him, she immediately turned into a golden statue.
King Midas was filled with dread as he realized what he had done. All of the happiness he felt when he first received his gift was now gone. He called on the fairy and begged him to take away the horrible gift. He pleaded for the fairy to take away everything, as long as he gave back his daughter. The fairy asked the King if he still thought gold was the greatest thing in the world, but the King had learned his lesson. When the fairy was satisfied, he advised the King to go to the spring in the garden, fill a pitcher with water, and sprinkle everything the King had touched. The King rushed to the spring and quickly sprinkled his daughter’s head with the water. Instantly, she returned to normal, giving her father a kiss. The king sprinkled the food and sat with his daughter to eat – much more appreciative of the good food and company of his daughter.
Essential Questions for King Midas’ Golden Touch
- Is King Midas a bad person? Why or why not?
- Do you think people learn from their mistakes? Why or why not?
- How does greed create problems for people?