The Three Questions Summary

“The Three Questions” is a short story follows a king who seeks answers to three important questions: the right time for action, the most important people, and the most essential thing to do. Through various encounters and experiences, he learns that the most important time is now, the most important people are those he is with, and the most important thing is to do good to others. Read More Class 9 English Summaries.

The Three Questions Summary

The Three Questions Summary in English

The lesson is about a king who had three questions and was seeking answers to them. In the end he found answers form a hermit and were quite satisfied.

Once there was a king. He had three questions and he was trying to get answers to them. He had thought he would never fail if he knew three things. The three questions, that the king was seeking answer were

  1. What is the right time to begin something?
  2. Who should a king consider the most important?
  3. What is the most important thing for a king to do?

The king sent messengers throughout his kingdom promising a large sum who would answer the three questions. Inresponse to the King’s proclamation many wise men came to the King. They gave different answers to his question but none of them satisfied him. At last, he decided to seek advice from a certain hermit who was well known for his wisdom. One day he went to the hermit in ordinary clothes. Before he reached the hermit’s hut, he left his horse with his bodyguard and went alone. He saw hermit digging the ground in front of his hut.

The hermit saw the king and greeted him. Then he continued digging. The King told him that he had come to him so that he could get answers for his three questions. The hermit listened to him, but he did not speak. The King thought the hermit might be tired. So he took the spade from the hermit and started to work in his place. The hermit expressed his thanks to him. When he stopped digging he repeated his questions, but the hermit gave no answer.

Meanwhile, the hermit saw a bearded man running towards them. He had pressed him both hands on his stomach. The blood was bleeding from it. A son he reached the King he fainted and fell to the ground. The King and the hermit at once removed his clothes and found a large wound in his stomach. The King washed the wound and covered it with his handkerchief, but the blood flow would not stop. He redressed the wound until the bleeding stopped. After some time, the bearded man closed his eyes and lay quiet.

The King also, tired digging work lay down on the ground and slept throughout the night. In the morning the bearded man asked to forgive him because he had planned to kill him on his way back home. The bearded man was his enemy because the king put his brother to death and seized his property. Therefore he had made up his mind to take revenge. But the King’s bodyguard recognised him and wounded him.

The Three Questions images

So he escaped from him and he would have died if the king had not dressed his wounds. The bearded man wished to kill him, but what happened, he had saved his life. He told the King that he would serve as his most faithful servant if he lived.

The King was quite happy because he made peace with his enemy easily and moreover he won him as a friend.

Then leaving the wounded man in the hut the king went up to the hermit and asked him to answer his questions. The hermit told him that he had been already answered. The King surprised and asked how he had been answered.

According to the hermit, if the King had not pitied the hermit’s weakness the previous day and had not dug those beds for him, he would have gone away. Then that man (the bearded) would have attacked him. So the most important time was when he was digging the beds (This is an answer to the King’s first question). And the most important person was the hermit because he allowed him to dig the beds (This is the answer to the King’s second question). And to do him (the hermit) good or helping the hermit was the King’s most important business. In a second incident, the most important time was, when the King was caring for the bearded man, because if he had not dressed his wounds, he would have died without having made peace with him. So here the King was the most important man. The service done to the bearded man by the King was the most important business.

Then the hermit said to the King “There is only one time that is important time ‘Now’. It is the most important time because it is the only time we have any power to act.” “Further he said to the King ‘The most necessary person, is the person you are with at a particular moment. The most important business is to do that person well because we are sent in this world for that purpose alone.” Thus the hermit explained the answers to the King’s three questions.


In the conclusion of “The Three Questions,” the king realizes that the answers to his three questions have been in front of him all along. He learns that the most important time is the present, the most important person is the one we are with right now, and the most important thing to do is to help the person in front of us. The story’s conclusion is a powerful reminder to cherish every moment, be kind and compassionate to others, and listen to our inner wisdom.

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