King Midas was a foolish, greedy king but he could be kind and generous. One day a weary traveller arrived at palace of King Midas, tired and hungry from an exhausting journey. He was Silenus, an old satyr with the body of goat and head of a man, who was the friend of the God Dionysus. The King fed him on wild ducks, figs and honey drink, and gave him a bed with mattress of the softest swans' down where he slept very peacefully. The next morning the Silenus set off, well rested with luxurious provisions for his journey back home. Dionysus heard how well the King treated his friend and was pleased. He went to Midas and said, 'you treated my friend Silenus with kindness and I would like to reward you. You may have one wish. Wish for anything you like!'
For a moment, Midas did not know what to wish for. Should he ask for eternal life for himself? For his wife's beauty to remain forever? For his sons to grow strong and healthy? For his reign to be most successful in the history? All these wishes flashed through his mind, but his greed over powered them all.
'I know what I wish!' he cried. 'More than anything else in this world , I wish for everything which I touch turn into gold!'
Dionysus' smile fell from his wise old face. 'Are you sure?' he said, stroking his grey beard. 'You might regret such a wish. I'm not sure you would be wise to wish for such a thing.'
'Why ever not? It would be wonderful! That is my wish.' Midas exclaimed, and he slammed his hand down onto the oak table so hard that it trembled.
'Very well,' said Dionysus, with a note of sadness in his voice. 'Your wish is granted.' With those words he slipped away with a heavy heart.
King Midas felt stunned and a little nervous as well as excited. He placed his hand gently on the oak table. In a second the dark oak table had turned into brilliant gold. Midas gapped openmouthed.
'This is beyond my wildest dreams!' he cried. I'll be the richest man in the world.' He ran round the palace chamber like an excited spaniel, touching the ornamental pillars, chairs with tapestary covers, the delicately carved cupboards, the stone walls .... All were turned to solid gold.
In the wild excitement, he called his servants to bring him feast. he would eat on gold plates just as he had always dreamed of doing! The servants brought him feast. Midas suddenly realized that he was ravenously hungry. He picked up food to eat but suddenly it was hard, inedible gold. He took up tempting drink, but it likewise turned to gold.
Midas started to feel afraid as he realized what he had wished for . Suddenly his youngest son ran into the chamber. 'Father, Father, what has happened to our home? Why is everything gold? he cried and threw himself into his father's arms.
In moments, King Midas was holding a golden stature of his beloved son. What have I done? Oh, what have I done?' cried Midas.
That night alone and hunger, Midas prayed fervently to the god, Dionysus yo save him.
'I pray most humbly to you, oh Dionysus!I have been blinded by my greed. Please save me before I die.'
Dionysus still remembered the King's kindness with his friend. He appeared before Midas who lay in his hard, cold, gold bedfervently repenting of his greedy wish.
'I did warn you,' he said 'I think now you see the consequences of your greed. Tomorrow you must bathe in the river, and I will lift this curse. Let this be a lesson to you.'
The next morning Midas hurried to the river and threw himself into the water. After some time King put his hands on the river bank, afraid that it would turn to gold. The bank remained green and muddy beneath the touch, and Midas breathed a long sigh of relief.