Many centuries ago, the emperor of China made a big announcement: he needed to find someone to replace him as emperor, as he was getting old and had no children. Since she had always loved gardening, she decided to distribute flower seeds to all the boys and girls in the kingdom.

“Whoever brings me the most beautiful flowers in a year will be the successor to the throne,” the emperor proclaimed.

All the boys and girls went to the palace to claim their seeds. Among the children was Ping, the best gardener in the entire kingdom. Her beans and melons were always the sweetest and her flowers the most colorful and scented on the market.

Carefully, he planted the seed the emperor had given him in a pot of fertile soil. The little boy watered and took care of the seed very carefully, but nothing happened.

However, the other children’s seeds quickly sprouted and grew into beautiful flowers of all colors and sizes. Everyone made fun of Ping and started calling him “the boy with the empty pot”.

Ping planted her seed in a larger pot of fertilized black soil. Still, nothing sprouted.

Finally, the day came to bring the plants to the emperor. Ping was sad, but she took her empty pot and walked towards the palace. The emperor carefully observed the green plants with colorful flowers of the boys and girls. When he reached Ping, he said with a frown:

“You brought me an empty pot!”

They all started laughing at the boy in the empty pot.

Ping lowered her head and said with great embarrassment:

“I’m sorry, your majesty. I tried in every way to cultivate the seed, but nothing sprouted from it.

The emperor smiled and pointing to Ping, said to all present:

“I present to you the new Emperor of China!” All the seeds I gave them were cooked so they couldn’t grow. I don’t know how the rest of you grew flowers, but they didn’t grow from my seeds. Ping is the only one who has been honest and for this he deserves to be emperor.

Ping grew up to be one of China’s most memorable emperors. He was always honest and dedicated; he cared for his subjects with the same care with which he cared for the seed that made him emperor.