The king and his court jesterOnce a king was very displeased with his court jester. He was so disgusted that he said, "Tomorrow at eleven o'clock you will be hanged."
The jester had many friends and also many enemies. His friends were very sad that he would be hanged, and his enemies were very happy. When the appointed hour arrived, the king said to the jester, "You will soon be hanged. I will fulfil your last desire, if you have any."
The jester said, "My last desire is to have a glass of water."
The king was surprised. He said, "A glass of water? This is your last desire?"
The jester said, "Yes."
The king ordered a glass of water to be brought for the court jester. The court jester held up the glass and started shaking and trembling, as if he was going to fall down with the water.
The king said to him, "Why are you acting like this? I will give you time. Peacefully drink the water. Once you finish drinking, you will be hanged."
The jester said, "All right." Then again he started to take a drink. Once again his whole body started trembling.
The king said, "Why are you not listening to me?"
The jester said, "Now, King, tell me, until I finish drinking, will you allow me to remain alive?"
The king said, "Yes. I am telling you the truth. Finish drinking. Then only will you be hanged."
The jester said, "Until I finish drinking, you will not hang me?"
The king said, "No."
The jester held up the glass, but he was only sipping a little. He was not finishing it. This went on and on for one hour, and then two hours. Still he did not finish it.
Finally the king pardoned the jester because he was taking so much time to drink the water.