The Just Judge

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NARRATOR:  Once upon a time Bauakas, King of Algeria, wanted to see for himself if it was true what people said about a just judge who was able to find out the truth , and who punished burglars with justice.  He disguised himself as a merchant, and went on horseback to the city where the judge lived.  When he arrived to the city a young boy approached him.



YOUNG BOY:  Excuse me, can you take me to the square?.



BAUAKAS:  Certainly, you can ride my horse with me.



NARRATOR:  When they arrived to the square the young boy didn`t want to get off the horse.



BAUAKAS:  Why don`t you want to get off the horse?.  We have arrived!.



YOUNG BOY:  Why should I?. The horse is mine.  If you don`t want to give me the horse, let`s go see the judge!.



BAUAKAS:  Let`s go, then.



NARRATOR:  Hearing their quarrel, people gathered around them shouting.



CROWD:  Go to the judge!. He will decide between you two!.



NARRATOR:  There were other people in court.  One of them was a butcher and an oil merchant.  The butcher was covered with blood, and the oil merchant with oil. Both had a small purse.



BUTCHER:  I was buying oil from this man, and when I took out my purse to pay him, he took me by the hand and tried to take all my money away from me. That is why we came to see you.   The money is mine, and he is a thief.



OIL MERCHANT:  That is not true.  The butcher came to my store to buy oil.  When I filled a jug, he asked me to change a gold piece for him. When I took out my money and placed it on the counter, he took it and tried to run off. I caught him by the hand, as you see, and brought him here to see you.



JUDGE:  Leave the money here with me, and come back tomorrow.



NARRATOR:  The butcher and the oil merchant left the court, and Bauakas told what had happened.  The judge listened to him, and then asked the young boy.



JUDGE:  Now, you tell me what happened.



YOUNG BOY: He is not telling you the truth.  As I rode through the city he asked me to let him ride with me to the square.  I agreed, but when we arrived he refused to get off and he said that the horse was his, and that is not true.



JUDGE:  Leave the horse here with me, and come back tomorrow.



NARRATOR:  Bauakas and the young boy left the court.  Next day many people gathered in court to hear the judge’s decisions. The judge called the butcher.



JUDGE:  The money is yours.



BUTCHER:  Oh, thank you judge!.



NARRATOR:  And pointing to the oil merchant he said.



JUDGE:  And you will be punished.  Guards, take him to prison!.



NARRATOR:  Then he called Bauakas and the young boy, and asked Bauakas.



JUDGE:  Would you be able to recognize your horse among twenty others?.



BAUAKAS:  Yes, I would.



NARRATOR:  Then he asked the young boy. 



JUDGE: And you?.



YOUNG BOY:  Me too!.



JUDGE:  Then follow me.



NARRATOR:  They went to the stable. Bauakas instantly pointed out his horse among the twenty others. Then the judge called the young boy to the stable and told him to point out the horse. The young boy recognized the horse and pointed to it. Then the judge told Bauakas.



JUDGE:  Take the horse, it`s yours.  Guards!  Take the boy to prison!.



NARRATOR:  Then the judge said to Bauakas.



JUDGE:  Why are you looking at me like that?.  Aren`t you satisfied with my decision?.



BAUAKAS:  I am satisfied. But I would like to know how you knew that the money belonged to the butcher, and that the horse was mine and not the boy`s.



JUDGE:  I knew about the money because I put it into a cup full of water, and in the morning I looked to see if any oil had risen to the surface. If the money had belonged to the oil merchant it would have been soiled by his oily hands. There was no oil on the water; therefore, the butcher was telling the truth.  It was more difficult to find out about the horse. The young boy recognized it among twenty others, even as you did. However, I did not take you both to the stable to see which of you knew the horse, but to see which of you the horse knew. When you approached it, it turned its head and stretched its neck toward you; but when the young boy touched it, it laid back its ears and lifted one hoof. Therefore I knew that you were the horse’s real master.



BAUAKAS:  I have to tell you something.



JUDGE:  What is it?.



BAUAKAS:  I am not a merchant.  I am King Bauakas, I came here in order to see if what is said of you is true. I am convinced now that you are a wise judge.  If you need anything, just ask for it, and I will give it to you.



JUDGE:  Thank you, but I don`t need a reward.  I am happy to know that my king is satisfied.






Author:  Leo Tolstoy from Fables and Fairytales.



Adapted by: K I D S I N C O



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