The Little Kingdom©

From the dark ages of European history comes a legend about a little kingdom. Surrounded by a high stone wall, the kingdom was protected from the attack of roaming armies that burned and destroyed almost everything in sight.

One day, word came that Attila the Hun, the most feared of all warriors, was heading toward the kingdom with his army of barbarians. The king knew that if his army stayed inside the walls of the city, everything would be destroyed. So he ordered his entire army to go in search of Attila the Hun and battle him and his army out in the countryside. However, the king’s army went searching in the wrong direction. Attila the Hun’s army was soon only a few hours away.

The king had to come up with a plan to save the kingdom. Soon he had an idea. He ordered his palace guards to hang streams of black cloth on the gates to the city. This was a sign to all who came near that the city was stricken with the plague, a sickness known as the black death. It meant that all who entered would surely die. However, someone had to meet Attila the Hun outside the gates and convince him of the story.

It so happened that the king had just the right person locked up in his prison. He was a well-known liar who had cheated many people and could not be trusted. But the king struck a bargain with the liar. He offered him his freedom if he could convince Attila the Hun that the story of the black death was true. The liar happily agreed.

Attila the Hun and his army soon arrived. They saw the hanging black cloths and the ragged-looking man standing alone in front. As Attila the Hun approached on his horse, the liar bowed on his knees and cried out, “Oh mighty king of the Huns, I have been sent by my king to tell you that our city has been stricken with the black death and that only the king and a few sickly waifs like myself remain alive. Our entire army was sent away to find your army and do battle.” He then paused for a moment.

“However, great king of the Huns, I am an honest man and must tell the truth.” He then whispered, “I was sent here by my king to lie to you. There is no black death inside these walls. It is all a trick. The king wants to spare the city from your army and save his own life.”

Attila the Hun was not amused. He turned to one of his captains and asked, “Am I to believe this man?”

The captain replied, “If he is lying and we enter the city, we could all die from the plague.”

“That is true,” said Attila the Hun. “And if he is telling the truth, he is a traitor to his king and cannot be trusted.”

“What shall we do?” asked the captain.

Attila the Hun replied, “We do not know if he is lying; therefore, we will not enter the city. However, we can believe that their army is out looking for us, so we will go looking for them.”

The captain then asked, “What shall we do with this liar or traitor?”

Attila the Hun responded, “Liars and traitors belong to the vultures. Hang him from the highest tree, and let the vultures claim him.”

Attila the Hun and his warriors rode away in search of the king’s army. However, the story had a happy ending. The two armies never found each other. Only the liar’s life was lost. The king and his little kingdom were saved. The people had a great celebration, as did the vultures.

Truth and honesty is a must
If you're to be the friend I trust.