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The Prince & the Wild Man

Meanwhile he was sent to the waiting room with the servants, and was treated by them with all familiarity as their equal in rank.

After having some time enjoyed to his heart's content the luxuries and hospitalities the king lavished upon him, the false servant began to be afraid that his master's patience might soon be wearied all the indignities he needed to endure. For what if, he worried, one day the real prince were tempted to forget his promise and proclaim himself the true prince? Filled with these fears, the wicked man thought of all possible ways he could do away with his betrayed master without any danger to himself.

One day, he thought of a way to do this.

Now you must know that the king at whose court this unhappy prince and the false servant were staying, kept in his gardens a great number of fierce wild animals fastened in large cages. One morning, as the pretend prince was walking in these gardens with the king, he said suddenly, "Your Majesty has a large number of very fine beasts, and I admire them very much. I think, however, it is a pity that you have to spend so much money on their food. Why not release them from their cages, send them to the forest with a capable servant, and let the beasts find their own food in the daytime? Your servant will have only to bring them back by nightfall."

The king asked, "Do you really think, prince, that such a man exists who could bring back wild beasts after they were running free in the forest all day long?"

"Of course," the imposter replied without hesitation. "Such a man is now in your Majesty's court. I mean, of course, my own servant. Savage beasts are but pets to him, and he can easily control them to do his bidding. I dare say he may try to excuse himself and say the thing is impossible, but only threaten him that if he refuses to obey or fails to carry out your order, that he will lose his head. For my part, if he does disobey, I am willing enough that your Majesty should have him put to death, for he would certainly deserve that fate.

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