Ye magickal asse
Will granteth thy wish,
For a bag full o’ cash,
He’ll maketh thee rich!
The King didst decree long agoe that the ways of wizardry and witchcraft are to be used only in direct service to The Crowne. Howe’er, from tyme to tyme, a treacherous scoundrel doth see fit to employ the dark arts for his own selfish ends. The story that follows tells the tale of one such man, who didst try to employ magick for personal profit, and in the end didst suffer the consequences of his duplicitous ways.
Dearest friends, as thou knows, there is in our Kingdom a great market city by the name of Godanza wherefrom all of the cunningest merchants of the realm doth ply their wares and ware their pliés. There lived in this city not long agoe a particularly wily fellow by the name of Bertuccio LaSagna, who was in possession of a fyne magick asse. They say this magick asse couldst grant the wish of any person who didst clap him on the arse.
Clap the asse on the arse
And thy wish shall be grant’d.
For a wee bit o’ gold
Thou wilt be enchant’d.
Or so went the saying.
Bertuccio, being of a clever disposition, believed not in magick, but nonetheless knew he could take monetary advantage of the situation. By paying some poor peasants and varlets to spread all manner of rumours about how the asse cured this and that a sickness, or brought this or that family member back from the dead, word of Bertuccio’s magickal asse spread far and wide. Eventually, its reputation grew to such a level that Bertuccio was able to charge ten golden Bilges, or twoscore silver Hoofla, per wish. Nobles and lowborn swine alike travelled from the far reaches of the Realm to tap Bertuccio’s asse, and over tyme he became quite a wealthy man.
But had Bertuccio LaSagna paid closer attention, perchance he wouldst have noticed that the wishes his asse didst grant were coming true. Alas, his avarice got the better of him, and he was too concerned with his money to believe his asse couldst actually be magick.
Thus he continued
To amass many riches.
And his asse, it continued
To grant many wishes.
Despite his wealth, Bertuccio ne’er did share a dyme with his asse, and for this Fortune wouldst eventually catch him up, along with the fact that he had stopped paying his taxes to The Crowne.
When Bertuccio heard that the Royal Tax Collectors were coming to imprison him for the crymes of tax evasion, skullduggery, and practicing magick without a permit, he became desperate. Not knowing where to turn, and hearing that the magistrate’s men at arms were en route to his estate to arrest him, he decided for the first tyme in his lyfe to ask his magick asse to grant him a wish. Overcome by the fear of what would happen to him and his fortune, he clapped his asse on the arse and said as follows:
“Oh, magick asse, thou hast helped me acquire great wealth and fame these past years. But now I am afraid ‘tis all coming to a bitter end. I believe not in magick, for I am a practical man of the trade, but I have grown desperate. If there be any magick in thee, or if destiny sees fit, please granteth mine wish to be pardoned of these crymes, so that I may retire to the islands to live out the rest of my days in luxury.”
His wish being complete, he slouched back in his chair to await his arrest, unhopeful the wish would be granted. But just as his last hopes were about to give way, the asse turned to him and spoke, in the words of a wise and knowing man, as follows:
“Bertuccio LaSagna, many a year I have strived under thee to help thee amass great riches. I have used my powers of magick to grant thousands of wishes, and from this thou hast profited. But not once hast thou shared any of the spoils of our endeavor with me. For, while I do the majority of the work, thou reaps the majority of the reward. Even while I humbly toil away to make these people’s dreams come true, thou treats me like slave, paying me nothing and confining me to the stables at night like some non-magick asse. Well, thy tyme of glory is o’er, and my tyme hath begun. For whilst thou was busy swindling customers and evading The King’s taxes, I was busy transferring all of our money to an off-shore bank account under the name Jacques Le Baudet. I have already built an estate on an island paradise and have married a beautiful young she-asse who awaits me there. Upon thy arrest, it will be me who retires in luxury, not thee. There was a tyme, my friend, when things couldst’ve been different between us, but thou didst treat me with such disdain for so long that I now see no other way. I have left in the cupboard enough gold to payeth the taxes owed to The Crowne (for paying taxes is a noble act), but thou wilt still be imprisoned for thy chicanery and various other crymes. Fare thee well, old friend, and may this be a lesson to thee!”
With these parting words, the magick asse, now under the name of Jacques Le Baudet, didst don his waistcoat, tippeth his hat to Bertuccio, and taketh his leave, whereupon he lived the rest of his days in bliss with lots of money and his she-asse wife. Not minutes later, the magistrate and his men-at-arms came to Bertuccio’s estate and hauled him off to prison, where he remains to this day a broke, miserable wretch.
Thus, the moral of our story, goode friends, is that if thou art a wily merchant in possession of a magickal asse, be sure to give him an equal share of the profits of thy wish-granting enterprise. This lesson hath been learned many a tyme before, and thou wouldst be wise to heed it. And, perhaps more importantly, don’t practice magick without a permit and always payeth thy taxes.
The merchant got rich,
But his end, it was tragick.
For ‘tis best not to swindle
An asse that is magick.