There was once a prince who dressed all in rags. Actually, other than the fact that he was a prince, he pretty much looked like a bum. Nobody believed that he was a prince, because, he had nothing, dressed in rags, and rode around the kingdom on an old scrawny ass, named “Lucky”.
At every town he stopped in it was the same story. He would say:
“I am a prince. Bring me your married grievances, your trade disputes, and your criminal matters and I will arbitrate and decree rule within my power as a prince. In return I ask only food shelter and a small tithe.”
The people scoffed at him, and said:
“How can you come to us and say you are a prince? You look like a bum! If you are a prince, than Old Fat Tom over there is the Sultan of Arabia.”
And they all laughed so hard Old Fat Tom nearly fell off the barrell he was sitting on.
“What gives you the right to decree, arbitrate, or pass judgement? You are no prince!”
The Rag Prince took out a small greening piece of copper with a royal seal stamped on it that he had carried on him since birth.
“This seal was given to me by my uncle, a proud wine merchant. It proves I was highborn to the King. I was hidden at birth to protect me from the enemies of the kingdom, but sworn to one day take my rightful place.”
They laughed even harder.
“A piece of copper! I could make one of those in my local forge; I could press that seal under the weight of Old Fat Tom’s behind! If you are a prince, how come you look like a bum?
“Because nobody believes that I am a Prince.”
And now Old Fat Tom really did fall off his barrell laughing.
“You will arbitrate nothing, and get no food or shelter here. You are no prince,” they said.
He left the village hungry, riding on Lucky, and holding his chin high with princely demeanor even though the villagers were tossing cabbages at his head.
(to be continued)