Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are printed in bold to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.

Long ago, the country of Gandhara was ruled by a just and good king Vidyadhara. His subjects were very happy, but as the king grew older, everyone grew more and more worried because the king did not have any children who could take over the kingdom after him. The king was an avid gardener. He spent a lot of time tending to his garden. planting the finest flowers. fruit trees and vegetables. One day. after he finished working in his garden, he proclaimed, ‘I will distribute some seeds to all the children in the kingdom. The one who grows the biggest, healthiest plant within three months will become the price or the princess'.

The next day there was a long queue of anxious parents and children outside the palace. Everyone was eager to get a seed arid grow the best plant. Pingala, a poor farmer’s son. was among the children. Like the king, he too was fond of gardening and grew beautiful plants in his backyard. He took the seed from the king and planted it in a pot with great care. Some weeks passed and he plied it with water and manure. but the plant did not appear. Pingala tried changing the soil and transferred the seed to another pot, but even by the end of three months nothing appeared. At last the day came when all the children had to go to the king to show the plant they had grown. They went walking to the palace dressed in their best, holding beautiful plants in their hands. Only Pingala stood sadly, watching them go by. Pingala’s father had watched his son working hard with the seed and lelt sorry for him. ‘Why don’t you go to the king with your empty pot ?’ he suggested. At least he will know you tried your best So Pingala too wore his best suit and joined the others outside the palace, holding his empty pot in his hand and ignoring the laughter around him. Soon the king arrived and began his inspection, The pots held flowers of different shades, beautiful and healthy. but the king did not look happy. At the end of the queue stood Pingala, and when the king reached him, he stopped in surprise. ‘My son, why have you come with an empty pot ? Could you not grow anything? Pingala looked down and said, ‘Forgive me, your highness. I tried my best, I gave it the best soil and manure I had, but the plant would not grow.’ Now the king’s face broke into a smile. He enveloped Pingala in his arms and announced, 'This boy truly deserves to be crowned the prince! I had given everyone roasted seeds, which would never grow. I wanted to see which child was the most honest one, and would admit he or she would not be able to grow anything. Only this young boy told the truth. I am sure he will rule this kingdom one day with truth and honesty'. And indeed that was what happened. When the king grew old and died. Pingala, who had learnt everything from him, came to the throne and ruled Gandhara justly for many years.

Question 81

Why did the king distribute seeds to all the children in his kingdom ?

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