I rule with an Iron Fist. I sit on a black throne in a black, curtained hall. The courtiers are all dressed in black because they are mourning the people I put to death.
An intruder has been brought before me. He says he is a king. I demand to know what he is doing in my country. He says he stepped across the border by accident and if he escapes my clutch, he’ll treat his subjects in a manner different from mine.
The insolence! I send him off to Little Ease. What is Little Ease, you ask? It’s an iron cage hung by four thick chains in the middle of a vaulted room. The prisoner is unable to sit, stand, or lie down, and suffers unbearable extremes of heat and cold.
That is how a king with an iron fist rules his subjects. He keeps them ill at ease.
The Iron King in Princess Minon-Minette, Pink Fairy Book. Illustration by Kay Nielsen.