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Funny Fairy Tales by Ambrose Bierce

The Bumbo of Jiam

THE Pahdour of Patagascar and the Gookul of Madagonia were
disputing about an island which both claimed. Finally, at the
suggestion of the International League of Cannon Founders, which
had important branches in both countries, they decided to refer
their claims to the Bumbo of Jiam, and abide by his judgment. In
settling the preliminaries of the arbitration they had, however,
the misfortune to disagree, and appealed to arms. At the end of a
long and disastrous war, when both sides were exhausted and
bankrupt, the Bumbo of Jiam intervened in the interest of peace.

'My great and good friends,' he said to his brother sovereigns, 'it
will be advantageous to you to learn that some questions are more
complex and perilous than others, presenting a greater number of
points upon which it is possible to differ. For four generations
your royal predecessors disputed about possession of that island,
without falling out. Beware, oh, beware the perils of
international arbitration! - against which I feel it my duty to
protect you henceforth.'

So saying, he annexed both countries, and after a long, peaceful,
and happy reign was poisoned by his Prime Minister.

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