King Midas was a very wealthy king. Collecting gold was his hobby, his joy and his life. One day as he sat counting his wealth he saw an old man asleep under a tree. He saw that it was Silenus from the court of Dionysus, God of wine. Midas was cunning and treated Silenus like a king for ten days before taking him back to Dionysus. Dionysus was grateful for the care lavished on his old servant and told King Midas that he would grant any wish that he made. Midas asked that anything he touched would be turned to gold. Dionysus granted his wish but warned him about his greed. Midas was very happy. He touched a tree and it turned to gold. He touched the walls of his palace and it turned to gold. He touched his horse, then his servant, his food and finally his children. Everything turned to gold.
Midas began to feel very unhappy. He could not eat, sleep, drink or touch anything because everything turned to gold. He missed his children dreadfully.
Finally Midas went back to find Dionysus and told him that he wanted to get rid of his golden touch. Dionysus laughed when he saw the change in the king. Eventually he decided to take pity on him and told him to go and bath in the river Pactolus. King Midas went to the river. He was afraid to get into the water in case it turned to gold and killed him. He got a jug and washed himself down. Little by little the gold washed away. King Midas was so relieved. He took jug after jug of water back to his palace to wash his children, his servants, his horse and the whole palace. He did not stop work until he had restored everything to its normal state.