Once upon a time, and fairy stories like this always start with “once upon a time”, there was a King who loved to go fishing.
One day, he really fancied going fishing with his wife, the Queen, and so he called the royal weather forecaster and enquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours.
The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days.
So, the King, together with the Queen and his entrourage, embarked on a journey to his favourite fishing hole.
On the way, they met a farmer on his donkey.
Upon seeing the King the farmer said, “Your Majesty, I think you should return to the palace at once, because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area”.
The King was polite and considerate, and he replied to the farmer: “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. Besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way.”
So, the King, the Queen and their entourage continued on their journey to the King’s favourite fishing hole.
Well, a short time later, black clouds sprung up from nowhere, and torrential rain fell from the sky.
The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.
Furious, the King returned to the palace, and gave the order to fire the weatherman at once!
Then, he summoned the farmer, and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.
The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.”
So, the King hired the donkey as the new royal meteorologist.
And thus began the practice of hiring asses to work in the government, and to occupy its highest and most influential positions.
Image used under a Collective Commons License from: https://pixabay.com/vectors/king-crown-beard-insignia-power-306448/