The Boy Emperor said loudly, “I rule all that I can see” to his generals who were scurrying behind him to keep pace. “Of course, you do your lordship,” said one very subservient military commander. “It is divinely inspired,” said another who wanted to top the obsequiousness of the other general. “Your father’s lineage goes back to the gods themselves.”
“But, I have a question,” the Boy Emperor asked. “Why is my jungle here so sparse and open, while the one to the south of us is lush and full of bananas and grapes? My fellow monkeys deserve to have an abundance of food and foliage.” Another general, not to be outdone by the first two said, “Sire, your followers do not need luxuries. They appreciate what they have and would be spoiled if they had too much.” Another general added, “Plus our surveys show your followers adore you and wish you could be their leader forever. Our monkeys are happy with what they have. They do not want more.”
“However, I have all of these hand grenades and am more powerful than the leaders of the south forest. I am even more powerful than the monkeys who live across the sea,” said the Boy Emperor. “I want to be feared and respected by everyone! I want the lush forest to the south. How did they get so much by the way?”
“Oh, you don’t want to go down that path, as they let business trade freely with others.The leaders do not have as much control as you do. They are a spoiled lot,” said one of the generals. “We even let them do some work with our monkeys in our forest to show them whose way is better. I think together we make bunches and bunches of bananas together for our monkeys.”
The Boy Emperor said, “Well, I will show them. I don’t want them making bananas for our monkeys. If our way is better, let them suffer. I want to throw my grenades at them and let them see who is boss. They will fear me and respect me. Then, I can have their lush forest for our monkeys.” There was silence.
One of the generals who is not quite so subservient finally spoke up. “Sire, yours is obviously the better way. However, we cannot make war on someone who occasionally helps us get more bananas. They need us to see what greatness looks like. Why don’t we just threaten them and see if they will just hand over more bananas? We also have to be mindful of the monkeys across the sea and the monkeys up the road. The monkeys up the road have been on our side, but they may not like us fighting someone unless we have to. Plus, the ones across the sea have many more monkeys than we do. And, I think they have more hand grenades, too.
The Boy Emperor was obviously put out, but heard the last general. “Well, is it OK if I threaten the one across the sea as well? I will tell them I will hurl my hand grenades at them. We have many of them, too. Maybe they will give us some more bananas to honor my greatness. They did this with my father. Am I not great like he is?” The other generals nodded their head in agreement. The less subservient one grinned a sly grin as he knew he may have helped avert a bad war with the monkeys across the sea. Plus, he did not want the monkeys up the road to be less friendly.
The moral of the story is beware of a monkey with a hand grenade. He may just be a young foolish monkey, but it is a hand grenade. And, he appears to be foolish.