Once upon a time, there was a tiny kingdom. Tiny holdings, tiny castle, tiny population. Everything was tiny.
Except the aspirations of the King.
The King wanted more. More land, more power, more everything.
One day, he heard a tale about a neighboring kingdom. This kingdom had everything this King wanted. And he had learned that it was all the result of a magic throne held in the other King’s castle.
Oh, how the King wanted that throne for his own.
So one day, he assembled all of his knights, and their servants, to go and steal the throne for him.
(Now, bear in mind, this was a very tiny kingdom. All he could pull together was about five knights, and two servant boys to go with them.)
Well, once they arrived at the other castle, they quickly learned that the power of the magic throne extended to the defense at the gates. What they saw at the bridge leading into the castle was a giant pair of glowing yellow hands. These moved about with an apparent life of their own, moving things around, clearing the area, and, as the unfortunate knights learned, throwing any unwanted visitors back they way they came, or into the moat.
Eventually, the knights fled. The two poor servants were huddled in the bushes, afraid to go forward, but just as afraid to go back, knowing their King would punish them terribly for failing.
After some hours of indecision, it began to get darker. The boys watched the giant yellow hands look as though they were slowing somewhat in their motion. Like they were maybe getting tired. As time passed, they slowed more and more, until they just leaned against one another, barely moving. Had they fallen asleep?
The boys crept cautiously from their hiding place, and watched the hands warily. But there was no response. The boys moved closer. Still no response. With this, the boys boldly attempted to cross the bridge into the castle, having to move carefully around where the hands were resting together.
Now safely past the magics at the gate, they found there was no further security or resistance inside, as the local King had apparently been entirely dependent on the hands to protect the castle, and all it contained. So they were able to get to the throne room unchallenged, where they found the magic throne, and hauled it away, squeezing between the hands, and running for their home kingdom.
The moral of the story is: Let your pages do the walking through the yellow fingers.
— But that’s not all! —
Once the boys were back in their home kingdom, they realized that they held the power of the magic throne in their hands! Why should they give this up to their King, when they had done all the work for it?
So they instead took the throne back to their own house! (Well, it was more of a hut, really. As I said, tiny kingdom. Tiny house.) To keep it a secret, they stored it in the space above the thatching of their ceiling.
Their King learned that the neighboring kingdom had lost the throne, and so he assumed that one of the people he had sent had succeeded. But, because all the knights had been driven off, and nobody had seen the boys’ success, nobody could say who might have the magic throne.
Eventually, the King sent his guards to every house, to search for it. (You might think it went really fast, because of how few houses there were, but you would be wrong, because he only had a couple of guards to do the work!)
These guards hadn’t considered that it might be in this ‘attic’ space, and so missed the now twice-stolen throne hidden in the attic of the family of the pages.
Once the king had given up on the search, and the pages’ family felt safe, they had a large party to celebrate. (Well, large for them, which was about five people. As I said, tiny kingdom.)
However! In the middle of the meal, the weight of the throne proved to be too much for the thatching, and it crashed through their ceiling, killing them all!
The moral of the story is: He who lives in a grass house should not stow thrones.
— But that’s not all! —
One of the members of the nobility, through his network of spies and connections, had learned of the location of the throne after the tragedy that befell the family. He managed to get there before anybody else found out about it, and hid the throne away in a place where he thought nobody else could find it.
However, this nobleman wasn’t the only one with spies, or connections. The King learned of this betrayal, and that the throne was somewhere within his borders.
Given that there were only about three Counts in the kingdom (it was tiny, you see), the knowledge that it was one of them allowed him to narrow it fairly quickly to the guilty party, who was then thrown into the castle’s jail cell.
For three days, the King would go to the Count, and demand to know the location of the throne. Each time, the Count would refuse to tell him, figuring that, once he was out, the power would be his.
On the fourth day, the King told the count that, if he persisted, he would be executed the next day. Still, the Count refused to answer.
On the fifth day, the Count was led to the executioner’s block. The executioner stood there in his hood, with his axe. (Tiny axe. Tiny kingdom. You know this by now.)
“Tell me where to find the throne!” demanded the King.
“I will not!” shouted the Count.
The king signaled for the executioner to raise his axe. “For the last time! Where can I find the throne!”
“I’LL NEVER TALK!” shouted the Count.
The king, enraged, gave the sign for the executioner to proceed.
As the axe fell, the Count finally called out, “NO, WAIT, I’LL TAL-”
And the moral of the story is: Never hatchet your Counts before they chicken.