The Kings Jester
The great King Dharmapala had a jester at his court for many years. This jester was an ungainly dwarf and could be described as ugly as sin. Still, his antics, witticisms and funny stories made him very popular with the king, so much so that he was inclined to take liberties which nearly brought about his downfall.
It so happened that the king had a lousy gout attack one morning, which at the best of times, made him highly bad-tempered. But on this particular morning, the king could hardly walk, and then the jester took on himself to mimic the king hobbling along and giving pitiful groans.
This so enraged the king that he ordered the jester to be executed immediately. The poor jester fell on his knees and begged for mercy.
“You will get no mercy from me,” roared the king. “But given your long service, I will grant you one favour. You may choose how you are to die. By sunset, you will make your wishes known so that the executioner can make the necessary preparations.”
That evening the jester was brought before the king. Going down on his knees, the jester said sadly. “Your Majesty, I have decided how I want to die.”
“Then name it, and it shall be done,” said the king.
“God bless Your Majesty!” quickly replied the jester. I want to die of old age.”
This appealed to the king’s sense of humour, so he pardoned the jester and let him remain at court.