I announced that my daughter was to be wed straight away, and a crowd of eager suitors assembled at the palace. As I tried to figure out how to select the most suitable partner for the spoiled girl, a farmer stepped forward.
“You will know that the tiger, who is king of beasts, hunts only in the forest,” he declared, “while the jackals hunt everywhere they can pick something up.”
Jackals and tigers? What the devil was he talking about? “The man must be mad,” I fumed.
“I would only remind your Majesty that there are plenty of jackals gathered here today to try and lay claim to your daughter, but, O king, do not pretend to mistake the howl of a jackal with the hunting cry of a tiger.”
I grew hot and pale. Many years ago, my wife and I had had an argument about jackals and tigers. I sent her away in order to maintain my position that a tiger was howling outside the palace that night, and not a jackal, as she insisted. I have regretted my foolishness ever since.
I cleared the court. I had much to learn from the riddle of this farmer.