A tale you’ve heard before

2014-01-12 10:00

Once upon a time, there lived a prince. He lived in a beautiful land that had been run by ogres. But now it belonged to the people.

The kings knew that all the riches of the land had to be ploughed back to the people and the land. There was to be little for the royals and most for the people, the first king decreed.

Before he became prince, he had been a forest fighter, seeking to liberate the kingdom from its chains. People loved the prince and the court he came from. They wanted the prince to be king when the time was right.

But the prince had a fatal flaw: he liked riches. He liked lots for himself, his princesses and the little princelings.

When the kingdom had to rearm itself, the prince was bribed by merchants from the lands across the sea.

He built mini-palaces and bought trinkets for the princesses. Some courtiers were upset and wanted the prince to be deposed, but the people and wise men loved him too much. So did the soldiers. They forgave the prince and made sure he never faced his inquisitors.

The prince was made to promise that he would like riches less and he would be made king.

The prince’s friend who had introduced him to the men with guns and powder and ships from across the sea was sent to the gallows.

Some courtiers who had aided the prince were strung out too. But not the prince, who promised he would temper his appetite.

So the prince was crowned king. The people loved him and everyone was happy. But then the king seized a lot of the kingdom’s money meant for the people and the land.

He took it to a corner of the kingdom and built himself a beautiful big castle.

It grew and grew and grew. It was wondrous and had an amphitheatre and pools to swim in. It had high walls and its own market.

The princesses loved it, and the king beamed with pride. But when the people saw it, they grew angry.

They said the king had not fixed his fatal flaw and tamed his appetite – why was he spending their money on riches and trinkets while they still suffered?

Some courtiers were upset and wanted the king to be deposed, but the rest of the people and the wise men of the court loved him too much, and so did the soldiers.

So the king’s friends who had helped him build the house were sent to the gallows.

The wise men said the king had not known a thing.

The king was saved. He promised again he would temper his appetite for riches.

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