King Midas was a hopeless king. He spent his days listening to his friends,the satyrs. The satyrs, strange half-man and half-goat creatures,told wonderful stories of the magical lands beyond the woods where they came from. Midas liked to hear stories with happy endings,especially ones where the hero became rich and had piles of glittering yellow gold.
            Once Midas boasted that his satyr friend Pan could play his pipes better than Apollo,God of music,could play his lyre. Of course,he was wrong. Apollo was so annoyed that he turned Midas’ unmusical ears into donkey’s ears.
            Poor Midas. He had two huge,hairy ears. He wore a big yellow hat to cover them up,but people still laughed at him.
            Finally, Midas decided to build himself a new palace far away. But he was still not happy. He wanted gold,and fretted more and more for the gleaming yellow metal. He was also lonely because his old satyr friends were far away.
            One day,Midas was feeling so miserable,and his ears itched so much that when he found a strange satyr asleep in his garden under  a rose bush,he cruelly tied him up. The satyr woke up trembling and frightened. The satyr said he would do anything for Midas if he would only let him go.
            “ I want gold!”said Midas.
            “ I will take you to see our king,” said the satyr.
            And so Midas set out with the satyr through woods and valleys until they reached a great cave in the mountains.
            The king of the satyr was old and had a huge beard,but his eyes were bright and sharp.
            “ My satyr friend tells me you have a wish that I can grant you,” he said.
            “ Yes,indeed,” replied Midas promptly. “ You see, my destiny is to become the richest king in the world and I’d like ... I’d like everything I touch to turn to gold!”.
            “Granted!” smiled the satyr king. “Now,off you go and enjoy it.”
            Midas could hardly wait. He ran back down the mountain. Was it true? Yes! The bushes that he plunged his hands into became sprays of fine gold! He ran on through the woods,whooping and whacking the tree trunks as he passed. He could own a whole forest of gold!
            Soon, though, Midas’ shoes felt strangely heavy and he had to slow down. His shoes had turned to gold where his feet touched them. He slipped his feet out of them and almost fell over. The path he was standing on had become a slippery ribbon of gold.
            Midas walked the rest of the way home carefully. His head was aching under his heavy golden hat, but he couldn’t take it off because of his donkey’s ears. His golden clothes dragged at his shoulders but he didn’t think a king should walk about naked.
            Midas was very hungry by the time he got back to the palace. He hurried into the kitchen to find a delicious,fresh,crusty loaf of bread lying on the table. Midas tore off a hunk to eat. But half way to his mouth,he almost dropped it. The bread had turned to solid gold. When Midas tried to drink, it was worse. His mouth was filled with thick, liquid gold that he spat out in a panic,half choked.
            It was a sorry Midas who returned to the king of the satyrs the following day. His throat was parched and his feet sore from walking on spikes of golden grass. His shoulders were bruised from carrying the weight of his tunic,and his back ached from sleeping on a cold,hard bed of gold. His were red and watering from the sight of so much dazzling yellow and to tell the truth,he had been crying.
            “ Oh, dear!” said the king of the satyrs. “Back so soon?”
            “ I’m sorry,” mumbled Midas. “ I’ve been really greedy ... I’ve decided I don’t need all this gold after all, and I was wondering” Then he could bear it no longer. “Please, help me” he sobbed.
            " If you wash in that river over there,” said the satyr king,trying not to laugh, “ you should find things back to normal. But you’ll never be rich.”
            Midas dragged himself over to the river and fell into it. And oh, the relief of feeling the cold liquid running over his body,and into his mouth, and through his hair. He even took his hat off. So what if he did have donkey’s ears? He was determined to enjoy things as they were, from that day on.
            Well, Midas could have been rich after all, because the river where he washed away his wish has had gold dust in it ever since. But he lived quietly in his palace, working in the garden and swapping stories with the satyrs. The local children love his funny ears, and the tales that he told them. Their favourite one was about a King who had a wish granted to him that everything he touched would turn to gold.

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