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Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju
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THE KING AND HIS VASSAL

AN Eastern king was very angry with a certain chieftain who had not seen him at court, though often desired to do so. One day he was walking through the streets of his capital in disguise with his chief minister, according to the custom of kings in the East, to see how the people fared. Soon after passing a butcher's shop, the king said to his minister, "Instantly the chieftain arrives in the city, send him up to me."

[3] When the minister returned to his palace, he found the chieftain on his way to the court. "Pray, don't see his Majesty till I ask you to do so; and don't ask me for the reason now," said the minister to the chieftain, who therefore postponed his visit.

The king came to know of this, and asked the minister why he had done so.

"Sire," said the minister, "your order to send up the chieftain was given after passing a butcher's shop, and you meant to flay him like a sheep; so I asked him to see you some time after, when you should be in a better mood to see him."

The king confessed his intention, and said, "A wise minister is a tyrant's curb."


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