A certain king kept a fool in his house, as some rich men did in olden times for their amusement. This king gave a staff to his fool and charged him to keep it until he met with a greater fool than himself, and if he met with such a one to deliver it over to him.
Not many years later, the king fell sick. His fool came to see him and was told of his master’s fatal illness.
“And where shall you go?” asked the fool.
“On a long journey,” answered the king. “And when will you come back, within a month?”
“In a year?”
Again the king replied, “No.”
And the king replied, “Never.”
“And what provision have you made for the place you are going?” asked the fool. “None at all.” answered the king.
“So, you are going away forever and have made no provisions for your departure? Here, take my staff,” said the fool, “for I am not guilty of any such folly as that.”
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