Ping loved flowers. He could make anything grow beyond expectation. So, when the Emperor of China announced that whichever child could grow the most beautiful flower in a year's time would be his successor, Ping thought he would win.
The Emperor distributed his seeds, and Ping got to work. However, no matter how carefully he tended his seed, nothing grew in his pot. Discouraged by the beauty of the flowers in the other children's pots and despite the mockery of his peers, Ping presented his empty pot to the Emperor. In doing so, he learned that integrity and courage are more important than being number one.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.
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