Advice: Best Financial Advice Ever Given

in Advice

My parents have been accommodating in my life, both financially but also with sage advice, and with that in mind, I’d like to share with you a story my father told me (kind of a parable):


Jesters are Wild

There once was a court jester who enjoyed a good joke, usually at the expense of the King, which got the Jester into deep trouble. The Jester was having a particularly “devilish” day and insulted the Queen in a large public forum. The King was OUTRAGED by this and ordered the Jester executed for insolence, and the guards dragged the Jester off to the dungeons.

Hours passed, and the Jester (who was a quick-thinking man) thought, how can I get myself out of this mess? Finally, the door to his dungeon opened, and the guards dragged him back to the King. The King said, “I have enjoyed your buffooneries over the years, so I will give you one wish before I put you to death for your crimes.”.

The Jester thought, what could he wish? Then he came up with a plan. He knew that the King adored his horses, so he came up with the following, “Sire, all I ask is that you give me a year’s reprieve, and during that time, I will teach your horses to Sing! This will make you the envy of all other monarchs. If at the end of this year I am unable to get your horses to Sing, you can execute me in any gruesome fashion you wish.”. The King looked perplexed and then confused, but finally, he thought that he had nothing to lose. He would either be the envy of Europe, or the Jester would be executed. Either way was acceptable to him.

The guards then took the Jester towards the Royal stable when one of the Guards asked the Jester, “Why would you make such an impossible deal? Surely you know no one can get a horse to sing?”

The Jester smiled and whispered to the guard, “Many things can happen in a year, my friend, I could die, and thus I have cheated the executioner… the King could die, and I might get a reprieve… or the horses could sing!”

My Dad told me this story after discussing payments schemes for money he was loaning me to buy my first house. What was he telling me? I’ll leave that to you, gentle reader, as usual with a story from my Dad. You get from it, what you think, not necessarily what he says you should.


  • Loan Reviews May 25, 2006, 2:26 AM

    Its always good to get a message across using humour, riddle or rhyme. Especially when the subject can be dry like finance and such.

  • Big Cajun Man April 11, 2006, 11:56 AM

    … and if you read the follow on posting on my site, you have my interpretation of it, but as a parable or a riddle it is a useful tool as well.


  • The Unknown Professor April 11, 2006, 6:18 AM

    Great story. As a teacher, I think riddles and/or parables are often much better than statements, since they prompt more thought.

  • Seun Osewa April 10, 2006, 5:32 PM

    I can’t believe you submitted an obscure riddle with no explanation or reader comments to the COTC and it got accepted.


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