The kingdom's worst liarThere was once a king’s minister who was very jealous of the court jester because the king used to pay much attention to the jester and everybody used to appreciate the jester. It pained the king that although the minister held such a high post, still he was so jealous of the jester. The king said to himself, “Why should he be so insecure and jealous of this man?”
One day the king wanted to play a trick on the minister and humiliate him. He said to the minister, “I would like to have some entertainment. I would like the court jester to bring me the worst possible liar in my entire kingdom.”
So the minister asked the court jester to bring the worst possible liar and said that the king would reward that person. The court jester went here and there and brought many different people to the palace.
One person told the king, “I have seen a lion flying in the sky.”
Another person said, “I saw the sun and moon fighting like cats and dogs.”
A third one said, “For the last few months my wife has not remembered my name. Many of my friends ask her what my name is, but she has totally forgotten, although she remembers everybody else’s name.”
The queen said, “I don’t like this kind of entertainment. Why do people have to tell these kinds of lies? It is not good. You are the worst liar. You have been telling me for years that you will give me a new crown, but still you have not given me one. So you are a true liar.”
The king said, “All right, I will give you a crown. But you can’t be the worst possible liar because you have just stated a fact.”
The queen said, “I don’t want to be the worst liar. Again, I don’t want to have such a stupid husband who enjoys trying to find the worst possible liar. This kind of game does not become you.”
So the king and queen were arguing and everybody was enjoying it. Then the jester said, “Still I am not satisfied. Let us ask the minister.” He turned to the minister and said, “You are the wisest of all. You don’t know how much I admire you. Do you think you could tell us a lie?”
The minister became furious. He said, “How dare you ask me to tell a lie. I have never told a lie. My father and mother never told lies. My grandfather and grandmother and my great-grandfather and great-grandmother never told lies. I come from a family where there were no lies — only the truth. How do you dare to ask me to tell a lie!”
The jester turned to the king and said, “Your Highness, now I have found the man you are looking for. If you have real faith in me, then I wish to say that there can be no liar worse than this minister. He says that he has never told a lie and that his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have never told a lie. Is it possible?”
So the king gave a prize to the court jester because he had discovered the greatest liar and another prize to the minister who had unconsciously proven himself to be the worst possible liar. One found the worst liar and the other unfortunately was caught.