A supremely selfish king

When the old king died, his son, a supremely selfish person, took up the throne. He had been spoiled throughout his childhood, had always received everything he demanded, and everyone had always been under orders to make him as happy as possible. In fact, the only thing he truly cared about was his own well-being. On the day he became king, all of his subjects feared the worst.

The first thing he did was to inspect his stables. Walking along, he saw that one of his favorite horses looked a bit ill. Very upset at the sorry condition of his horses, he called over the stable boy to reprimand him. “My lord, the boy replied, your minister has so reduced the servants’ rations that i am often too weak to feed enough hay to all the horses and so some of them go hungry.”  Furious at having sickly horses, he ordered his minister to reinstate all servants’ rations so that he not have to suffer from their shortcomings anymore.

Later, riding through the countryside, the king saw beggars and scraggly houses everywhere. “How ugly and depressing this all is!” he complained to his minister. The minister replied, “The people are too poor to take care of themselves properly. We would have to reduce the taxes if the villagers are to repair their houses and not be reduced to begging.” The king would hear no more, “Do whatever it takes, but i don’t want to have to ride through an ugly kingdom anymore!”

That night the king went to bed and found his wife crying. “What are you crying for? Stop!, or you will spoil my mood!” he ordered. Sniffing her tears away, the queen answered, “You ignore me all day and never set eyes upon our children.” The young king thought for a while and then answered: “Very well, i will be kind to you and take time for our children. Now be happy, lest you make me sad!”

 

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