This was posted by Blessing (AKA Linda Wilkinson) on alt.callahans. It started a cascade of punish responses that I can only describe as going downhill from there.

Long ago, as most stories start, there was a king who was adept at the art of politics. The monarchy was a game he played well even to the point of being a little bloodthirsty. He governed many large territories, and as a result his court was full of emissaries and ambassadors. Truth be told, they were actually being held hostage as earnest for their families’ good behavior.

The king loved the fiction that his court was full of friends, frivolity, and merrymaking. He employed a great many acrobats, musicians, and entertainers of all talents. The post-prandial merriment was legend.

Of renown throughout the kingdom were the mimes. Every evening, before, during and after dinner, the mime troupes would wend their way among the tables, amusing the guests with slapstick comedy.

The most famous character in the troupe was the chief jester who was dressed in rags to represent a common field mouse. The mouse-jester would cavort throughout the crowd, making the most outrageous anti-monarchial comments and behaving quite seditiously. The prime form of humor used by the jester was ridicule, and he employed it against prince and pauper alike. If anyone else had said the things the jester uttered, the charge would have been treason=92. But for the Mouse, the king just smiled.

The reason the king smiled was his well kept secret that the mimes and the jester were in reality a highly trained group of intelligence operatives. Nightly they eavesdropped for hints of traitors in the court.

One evening a junior member of the mimes overheard plans of revolt involving none other than the jester himself. Knowing that his life was in danger due to the information he held, the junior rushed to inform the king. Before he could enter the throne room, the Mouse intercepted him. There was a brief and bloody sword fight which ended in the death of the Mouse.

The king and his bodyguards rushed out to investigate the combat and found the junior mime leaning against the wall which was stained with his own blood. He gasped out the treacherous plot to explain the slain jester at his feet.

The king was so impressed with the young man=92s bravery and loyalty that he promoted him to the position of the slain enemy. It was with joy that the king announced to his court that the young fellow had been promoted

From the Sub-Mime to the Ridicule Mouse.

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