A king seeks out answers to three questions:
what was the right time for every action?
who were the most necessary people?
how he might know what was the most important thing to do?
He asks and gets very different answers and unsatisfied with the responses, he approaches a hermit digging in the dirt. The hermit refuses to give him any answers and this frustrates the King. He stays with the hermit and overtakes his digging, pleading with the hermit for words of advice. Still, the hermit does not answer but as time passes and events occur, the lesson learned and the answers to the questions are gained by the King. At the conclusion of the story when the King is spared his life because of a kindness he didn't even realize he'd given, the following quote sums up the moral of this story.
"Remember then: there is only one time that is important-- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!"
The following is a link to the story online: