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The King who was Ruled by his five Wives

Once there was a great king who had five wives. But his wives never listened to him. He might have been a king to everyone else, but he was not lord over his own wives. And so he was suffering very much. He had a crown on his head, but inside his head there were only worries. 'I have become a slave of these wives and I am suffering very much,' he thought. 'Is there anyone in the world who is not afraid of his wife? If there is such a one, how does he control her? How does he manage not to be dominated by her?' To inquire into this directly by asking individual citizens would not have been considered proper, so he decided to hold a public meeting and invite all his male subjects to attend. There were two stadium-sized tents put up at the meeting-ground. One was erected on one side of the field, the other was put up on the other side.

The king announced that the first tent was meant for people who had controlled their wives, and the second one was meant for people who were controlled by their wives. All the male citizens of that country started pouring into the capital; they all went straight into the second tent. The king went there and found that this huge tent, the one that was intended for those who were controlled by their wives, was filled to capacity. He got a little courage from this for he realized that he was not the only one controlled by his wives. But before beginning the meeting he saw one lone person waiting in the first tent which was meant for those who had control over their wives. That mammoth tent was totally empty except for this one man. The king was overjoyed to see him there. He went to him and told him how glad he was to see that at least one person in his kingdom had gained control over his wife.

The king questioned him, "Tell me, good man, what is your secret in controlling your wife?" The man, trembling with fear, replied, "No sir! No sir! That is not how it is. I cannot control her. It is I who am being completely controlled by her." The king said, "Then why did you come into this tent?!!" With his knees shaking and stammering his words, the man replied, "My wife ordered me to come into this tent. She forbid me to go into the other. That is why I am here. My wife ordered me not to go inside the tent where the slaves of their wives are staying. She made me go into this one." The king got very irritated with the man and commanded him, "You must leave here immediately! Under no condition can you remain in this tent! Go and join the others in the second tent!" The citizen turned white with fear; the blood rushed out of his face. He got down on his knees and implored the king with his hands folded in supplication, "My lord, please listen to me! You may punish me. You may do anything you wish to me. But I am terrified of disobeying my wife. Please! Don't make me go to the other tent!" The king then realized that there were no people anywhere in his kingdom who were not slaves of their wives.