BeeOasis Step 3
About one hundred years after Alfred the Great, there was a king of England named Canute. King Canute was a Dane. But the Danes were not so fierce and cruel as they had been when they were at war with King Alfred.
The men and officers who were around King Canute were always praising him.
“You are the greatest man that ever lived,” one would say.
Then another would say, “Oh king! There can never be another man so great as you.”
And another would say, “Great Canute, there is no one in the world that would think to disobey you.”
But the king was smart, and he grew weary of hearing such speeches. He knew that they were too good to be true.
One day he was by the seashore, and his officers were with him. They were praising him as they always did. He thought that now he would teach them a lesson. And so he told them to set his chair on the beach, close by the edge of the water.
“Am I the greatest man in the world?” he asked.
“Oh king!” they cried, “There is no one so great as you.”
“Do all things obey me?” he asked.
“There is nothing that could disobey you, king!” they said. “The world bows before you, and it gives you honor.”
“Will the sea obey me?” he asked. And he looked down at the little waves that were washing over the sand at his feet.
The officers were confused. But after everything they had said before, they could not say “no” now.
“Command it, great king, and it will obey,” said one.
“Sea,” cried Canute, “I command you to come no farther! Waves, stop your movement, and do not touch my feet!”
But the tide came in just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king’s chair. It wet not only his feet but also his robe. His officers stood around him, and they were worried. They wondered if the king had gone crazy.
Then Canute took off his crown, and he threw it down on the sand.
“I will never wear it again,” he said. “And you, my men, learn a lesson from what you have seen. There is only one King who is all-powerful. He is the only one who rules the sea, and he holds the ocean in his hand. He is the one you should praise and serve above all others.”