A greedy king wanted to turn lead into gold, so he found a teacher who could do this.
"If you too want this power," said the teacher, "you must spend twelve years with me in the forest as my disciple."
Greedy for gold, the king agreed.
Together with the teacher's other disciples, the king endured pain and discomfort year after year.
After twelve years, the teacher taught him the mantra for turning metal into gold and rocks into jewels.
But the king now realized that such wealth meant nothing.
He chose instead to remain in the forest with his teacher.
Inspired by: Come to the Secret Garden: Sufi Tales of Wisdom by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Notes: This story is on p. 33 of the book. The story in the book is very long and detailed, and it's such a great story! The way that the king detects the alchemist is very ingenious, and the travails of his years in the forest are also very detailed, even painful to read.