There once was a blind king who posted a reward throughout his kingdom: half the royal riches to anyone who could cure his blindness. Years passed, and no one claimed the reward. Gradually, the king began to give up hope that he would ever see the sun again.
Now, the king had three sons. He was very close to his youngest son. The boy would help his father dress each morning and escort him in his royal duties throughout the kingdom. Every day he would surprise his father with a new tune from his guitar, a special fruit from the garden, or a clever riddle he had heard in town.
One night, when the moon was at its fullest, the youngest boy had a dream. A nymph led him by the hand to a giant palm tree. “Walk for 21 days through the forest,” the nymph whispered in his ear. “Find this palm tree and you will find your father’s cure.”
The next morning, the boy ran to his father’s chambers and told him his dream. Then he pleaded, “Father, let me find the palm tree. I want you to see me before you die.”
“No,” replied the king. “I cannot bear the thought of losing you. I will send your oldest brother.”
The next day, the oldest brother set out into the forest, packing enough food and money for his journey. After 21 days, he saw the giant palm tree. Underneath it stood an old woman holding a baby.
“Do you come with food for the baby?” she asked.
“No, I have only enough for myself,” he lied, looking around for a pretty, young nymph with wings.
“Do you come with money for the baby?” she asked.
“No. Have you seen a nymph around here?” asked the oldest son.
The old woman shook her head. Frustrated, the oldest son headed to a nearby town. There, he gambled away all the money his father had given him.
When the oldest son didn’t come back to the palace, the youngest son was worried. He
begged the king to let him go to the forest and find him.
“No, I can’t risk letting anything happen to you,” said the king. “I will send your middle brother.”
The next day, the middle brother set out. After journeying through the forest for 21 days, he met an old woman holding a baby, who asked for food and money. The middle brother flatly refused.
“Find your own food and money!” he yelled. Then, noticing the giant palm tree, he waited beside it for a few minutes. When no nymph arrived, he headed for the town.
A month passed and the middle son did not return to the palace.
“Maybe they’re dead,” cried the youngest son. “Or maybe they’re in jail. Father, you must let me find them!”
Reluctantly, the blind king agreed.
The next day the youngest son set out and, in 21 days, he came to the site of the giant palm tree. There, he saw an old woman holding a baby. He recognized her as a nymph.
“Are you the one who knows of the cure for my father’s blindness?” he asked.
“Do you carry food for the baby?” she asked.
“Yes. Here, take all the food,” he answered.
“Do you have money?” she asked.
“Yes. Take all the money I have,” he replied.
The nymph took him by the hand and led him around the tree. She lifted up a rock. A beautiful yellow flower with long, red-tipped petals was growing underneath it.
“This is the Flower of Olivia,” she told him. “Pass this flower across the eyes of your blind father, and his sight will be restored.”
The youngest son put the flower in his pocket and thanked her. Then he asked, “Have you seen my brothers? I cannot rest until I find them.”
“They went to the town,” she said. “Do not go looking for them. If you do, they will kill you.