A child after his own heart

A court jester had a little child. He was very, very fond of his child. Whenever the child wanted anything, his father would immediately give it to him. He indulged the child in every possible way. His position as court jester brought him lots of money and he was able to fulfil all the wishes of his son.

One day the child was caught doing some kind of mischief in the house. His father scolded him a little and sent him out to play. Then the father felt miserable because he had been so strict with his little child. He went in search of the child, only to find that he was again doing the same thing. This time the father gave the child a slap. Afterwards the father felt so sorry for giving his son a slap that he gave him a rupee.

The little child said to his father, “You are so kind to me. I did something wrong, so you gave me a slap, but now you have given me a rupee. Can you sign a contract?”

“What kind of contract?” asked the father.

The little child explained, “Every day I will do something wrong. You will give me a slap to punish me and then you will give me a rupee.”

The court jester was greatly amused. He said, “All right, all right!”

One day the court jester allowed his child to accompany him to the palace. The king was extremely fond of the court jester and his family, and he was very pleased to see the child. He said to the child, “So, are you learning jokes from your father?”

“Yes, I am learning many jokes,” said the child with tremendous confidence.

The king smiled and said, “Then you may begin today by telling me some of your best jokes. If you can tell me at least one good joke, then I will invite you to come to my court once a week to entertain us.”

“Yes, I can tell you a good joke,” said the child eagerly. “My father says to me that you are very, very kind to him. He has never seen anybody as kind as you are.”

The king was very pleased. “Did he really say that?” he asked.

“Yes, he did,” answered the child.

“I am very glad to hear it,” said the king, “but this is not actually humour. There is no joke behind it.”

The little child immediately said, “There is no joke behind it because right now it is incomplete. But if I complete the joke, you may be displeased with me, so it is better to stop here.”

“What could make me unhappy with you?” said the king. “I am telling you to finish your joke.”

“All right,” said the child. “My father has also told me that the queen is infinitely more generous than you are! So if the queen comes to know that you are employing me one day a week, she will definitely pay me much, much more than you will give me.”

The court jester was very embarrassed and uncomfortable, but to his great relief the king started laughing. The king said, “Oh, this is real humour! Unfortunately, the queen is not here today, so I am giving you much more than what I will normally give you because I want to give you the queen’s share also. I would definitely like you to come here to the court once a week on a regular basis, and I do hope that one day you can surpass your father!”

Then the king handed the little child a small pile of rupees.