The prince receives punishment

There was once a king who had only one son. One day a complaint came to the king that the prince had become extremely violent while he was playing with another teenager. He had broken the rules of the game and struck his friend very severely. The other teenager’s head had begun bleeding profusely.

When the king got the message, he was horrified. He went to the magistrate and said, “Since he is my son, I don’t want to deal with his case. You please look into the matter.”

The magistrate summoned the king’s son and also the friend who had been hurt. The magistrate saw that both of them were minors. He felt miserable that he had to punish the prince, so he went to the king and said, “Your Majesty, both these boys are minors, and your son is such a good boy. While playing, perhaps he lost control of himself. But he does not deserve punishment.”

The king said, “He does not deserve punishment? Then who deserves it?”

The king summoned the prince and his friend and said to the friend, “In front of me you have to strike my son the way he struck you. Only if his head bleeds will I be satisfied. Otherwise, the punishment will not be just.”

The boy started trembling. He was afraid to hit the prince.

The king said, “If you do not obey my order, you will be punished! One day my son will rule the kingdom. He has to learn how to control himself.”

Still the boy was afraid. The king insisted, “You have to obey me!” he said.

Finally the boy started striking the prince very hard. The king was satisfied only when his son’s head started bleeding. The prince was crying, but what could he do? This was his father’s order. In this way the king taught his son self-control.