There once was a king who ruled his country long, wisely, and well. The king had a son whom he hoped would someday rule the land. He also wished in his heart that the son would be wise and compassionate. One day he said to the prince: "If you promised that you would give a certain woman anything, even half of your kingdom, and then she demanded the life of your best friend, what would your decision be, my son?" The young prince thought for a moment and then said, "I would tell her that she was my best friend, and then cut off her head." The king knew that his son would be a great king.