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The Scribe’s Warning
A great and powerful empire needed the wood from its western areas to build palaces and homes for the emperor and his friends. However, the empire had depleted many of its forests. The trees were important to the western areaگs economy. With no trees to sell, the commerce in that area was reduced. Citizens could no longer purchase the goods that they needed to survive. Their life became difficult.
A poor scribe from the area wanted to help. He hitchhiked to the capital to ask the emperor for charity. He was invited to the palace. It was large and cozy. Tables were loaded with food, and fires burned warmly in every fireplace.
The emperor sat upon his throne, and the scribe stood in front of him. “I’ve come to ask for help,” the scribe said. “We’re all very poor and hungry. You’ve used up all of the forests, and now we have nothing to sell” Then he added a warning. “If we don’t receive help, I’m afraid that the entire empire will suffer. We must establish some unity.”
Upon hearing the scribe’s request, the emperor’s bad temper surfaced. He mocked the scribe. “You think I should help,” he said and laughed.”You should just be happy to belong to this great empire. You will get nothing from me!’
The emperor felt no pity for the citizens of the western area.They were condemned to starve. The scribe returned home with nothing.
Not long after, an enemy invaded the empire from the west.They were marching to the capital. Because the citizens felt persecuted by the emperor, they remained neutral.They didn’t fight the invaders but allowed them to march freely to the capital.
The emperor was defeated. If he had heeded the words of the scribe, then the citizens might have been the victors. But because he had treated them badly, they treated him badly in return.
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