The King

This tale was posted to the groaners listserv. The author is not known.

An English king, notorious for disposing of his wives, had a scribe follow his wife and provide a written report on every activity. He would read the report each evening and schedule an execution, if there were anything that angered him. The morning after a scribe had accompanied the present wife to the ruins of an ancient fortress the king scheduled a beheading based on the notes he was provided.

The horrifed scribe begged for her life, having never witnessed any impropriety. “You wrote”, belllowed the king while waving the report, “that she was seen visiting an old fart“. The author scanned his scribbling and his eyes stopped on the last word. The execution was cancelled.


When he saw the last word, the scribe turned to the king and said, “That’s an O, Henry.”

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