"A

haron, why is your face so pale?” Yair asked in concern as Aharon gazed in shock at the object in his hands.

“This is not a worthless ball!” Aharon said once he had found his voice. “This is a priceless pearl! A jewel worth more than an entire palace! In fact, this is the biggest jewel ever discovered in Bombay since the beginning of time!”

Yair and Hodaya began trembling. It was a miracle!

“Listen to me.” Aharon pulled Yair close and whispered nervously. “Such a valuable object is not safe in your home. Were anyone outside to learn what is now in your possession, your entire family would be in danger!”

“What do you suggest I do?” Yair asked.

“Come with me right this moment,” Aharon replied. “Just last week I was chosen to find a jewel that would replace a gem inside the king’s crown. The king will pay an enormous amount for this pearl. But we should not delay!”

Yair hastily bid farewell to his family and set off with Aharon to make the journey to the city center where the king’s palace was located. After several hours of waiting, one of the royal guards escorted them into the ruler’s inner chamber.

“Your Majesty, I present you with the Jewel of Bombay,” Aharon said dramatically, holding out Yair’s pearl with great flourish. “I trust you won’t find a better gem to sit inside your royal crown.”

“How is this possible?” The king gushed, rushing from his throne to grasp the enormous pearl.

“Don’t mind the smell,” Aharon said hurriedly. “Just a few hours ago this beauty was resting inside the stomach of a giant fish.”

“A giant fish?” The king laughed as he held the pearl aloft. “No, really, tell me how you found this wondrous treasure!”

“It’s true, Your Majesty,” Yair spoke up for the first time. “My wife found this pearl inside the stomach of a fish that my friend gave to me.”

“And who is this?” the king asked, raising his eyebrows at Yair.

Yair blushed as he realized he hadn’t even changed out of his black, tattered work clothing.

“This is my friend Yair,” Aharon explained. “The story of how he came into possession of this pearl is quite remarkable. He was telling it to me as we traveled to see you.”

“I want to hear the story for myself,” the king requested, inviting Yair to sit beside his throne and share his tale.

Yair spoke for a long time, telling the king all about Jeffer and Djanger’s great experiment, the thieving eagle, the jug of coins sold for a tiny bar of soap, Djanger’s fall into the pit, the lead piece, the giant fish, and finally, the discovery of the priceless jewel.

“Your G-d orchestrated all of these remarkable events for you,” the king said, staring at Yair in admiration. “I want a man like yourself to work for me. Aside from the money I will pay you for the pearl, I want to hire you as one of my personal advisers.”

Yair felt tears of happiness welling up inside his eyes and he gazed upward and thanked HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 720)