All The King’s Horses And All The King’s Men

And so it came to pass that King Abuster drew nigh unto his counsellors and said unto them in a loud voice, “Am I not the greatest king that ever lived since the days of the creation, and is there wisdom such as mine to be found in all the world?”

And the counsellors, fearing for their positions, said unto the king, “Nay, Oh wise and mighty king, there is none in all the earth like unto thee, for thy wisdom surpasses the wisdom of all the ages, and thy glory is greater than the Sun and the Moon in every wise.”

So the great king was mightily pleased with himself and with his minions.

Then, King Abuster, drew a circle in the sand before the great throne whereon he sat and said unto his counselors, “There is plague in my land.”

All the counselors answered the great king with a single voice, saying, “There is plague in the land.”

Day and night, the king’s counselors builded themselves fires upon an altar dedicated to the great king and they chanted from morning until the setting of the sun, “The great king has proclaimed that there is plague in the land. Great and mighty is the great king who knoweth all things!”

Then said the king unto the counsellors, “Let us go to forthwith and render a saying unto the people, “If thou be sorely vexed by the plague, then take unto thyself poisonous potions to be healed thereby, and I proclaim unto you, that if ye shall obey in this thing, thou shalt surely live, and thy loved ones too.”

But one counselor stood against the proclamation of the king concerning the potions and said unto the people, “Not so, my people, this is not proven and will prove deadly unto you if you shall drink of it.”

On hearing of the wayward counselors treachery before the people in the matter of the potions, the king sent forth soldiers and cast out the errant counselor from before his face, never to utter another word as a counselor to the king forever more.

Whereupon, the king said to himself, “Let us seek other counselors who will agree with all my wisdom and that will never embarrass me before the people again.”

Thus, the great king did surround himself with new counsel; counsel that uttered “Yes, Yes, Yes, Mighty is the king and worthy are all his proclaimations forevermore.”

And so the great king was mightily pleased that he had sent forth from his presence those errant counselors who did not agree with his desire to poison those afflicted with the plague.

The great king then took unto himself one counselor, youthful and wise beyond his years, and did say unto him, “Go to now — is it not so that if this plague shall spread upon all the land it will utterly destroy all the aged and the infirm in the land and thereby free up all the treasury of the kingdom for our plunder and province?”

And so the youthful counselor, wise beyond his years, did agree with the king and the king saith unto him again, “Therefore, is it not meet and prudent that there be found a way to hasten the spread of the plague among the people, that the aged and the infirm be utterly destroyed from all the land, so that the treasury might be opened up more readily for our own plunder?”

The wise young counselor saith unto the king, “Yea, O great one, it is prudent that the plague be dispatched throughout the land more speedily that it might do that for which it is ordained to do — to cleanse the kingdom of all that are unworthy.”

“And the king inquired diligently of the young counselor saying, “How shall this be?”

And the young counselor saith unto the king, “Say unto all the people “This plague is nothing to worry about — it is small and insignificant — and I shall surely protect you all with my great wisdom and power. Ignore, therefore, the warnings of the sages who saith “Lock thy doors behind thee for a season until the pestilence pass” for thou shalt surely live by the wisdom and power of the great king who has no equal in all the land.”

And so, some of the people listed unto the counsel of the counselor and the king and they did die there for having believed the lie — and the king was sorely pleased that the treasury of the land was opened up unto his own hand in greater measure than ever in the history of the kingdom to distribute to whom he would with a freer hand than ever known among the kings of the world.

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