There was once a king who was so cruel and unjust that his subjects yearned for his death or dethronement.
However, one day he surprised them all by announcing that he had decided to turn over a new leaf.
“No more cruelty, no more injustice,” he promised, and he was as good as his word. He became known as the ‘Gentle Monarch’.
Months after his transformation one of his ministers plucked up enough courage to ask him what had brought about his change of heart, and the king answered:
“As I was galloping through my forests I caught sight of a fox being chased by a hound (type of dog that assists hunters). The fox escaped into his hole but not before the hound had bitten into its leg and lamed it for life.
Later I rode into a village and saw the same hound there. It was barking at a man. Even as I watched, the man picked up a huge stone and flung it at the dog, breaking its leg.
The man had not gone far when he was kicked by a horse. His knee was shattered and he fell to the ground, disabled for life.
The horse began to run but it fell into a hole and broke its leg.
Reflecting on all that had happened, I thought: ‘Evil begets evil. If I continue in my evil ways, I will surely be overtaken by evil’. So I decided to change.
The minister went away convinced that the time was ripe to overthrow the king and seize the throne. Immersed in thought, he did not see the steps in front of him and fell, breaking his neck.