The king who blinded the watchman

Posted on June 12, 2011


One night while looking out over the city walls, a watchman saw a man creeping about outside.  He fetched the captain of the watch, who recognized the creeping man as the agent of a neighbouring king.  He ran to warn the palace, but the king, suspicious and not liking what he was hearing, ordered the captain blinded on the grounds that he was trying to create trouble with the other kingdom.

The next night the watchmen on the walls saw robbers climbing over it, but were too afraid to speak and were themselves gone before the daylight.  The following morning the king arose to see a great caravan departing from his gates, and a crowd of merchants and their families leaving with it.

“Where are you going, friends?” the king asked them.

“A kingdom that blinds its watchmen has no watchmen,” came the reply.  “We are not safe here.”


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