A King’s Ransom

There once was a king who ruled his kingdom with a strong and even hand. He was as firm with his sons as he was with his servants and subjects. Justice was pronounced swiftly but surely in his court, punishment meted out in the strictest sort of confidence, unswayed by doubtful cries of innocence or desolate pleas for mercy. Rebellion was unthought of, or if thought, and spoken aloud, quickly dispelled by the king’s strong and even hand.

All this changed, though, when the king died, leaving his entire kingdom in the hands of his eldest son, a stupid and silly man whose only virtue was that he didn’t know a thing about a king’s strength, and still less about a king’s justice.

– MWP 2011

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