- The Angry King
Once, long ago, a king summoned all his provincial rulers to his castle. He was in a rather belligerent mood, and wanted to scare them into giving him extra taxes.
Unknown to him, they met in secret on the way, and decided that they should agree to pay the extra, but they would at first pretend to refuse, so they could try to bargain down the actual amount extra they would have to pay.
They arrived at the king's castle, and gathered in the audience chamber. The king made his demands, and as agreed, they started to refuse.
Unfortunately, they hadn't realised just how belligerent the king's mood was: as soon as they started to refuse, he got angry, and ordered his guards to kill them on the spot.
More than half of them were slain before they even realised what was happening, and the others had to do some very quick grovelling to survive.
After everything had settled down, those who remained explained to the king their plan, and the king was filled with remorse for his hasty actions.
The moral of the story?
Don't hatchet your counts before they chicken.
- Category: Shaggy dog stories