Also called ‘Othoral and Hiadmath’
There were once two people, by the names of Othoral and Hiadmath, who lived in a small house in the countryside. The house stood on a slight rise in the land, and was surrounded on all sides by field after field of tall crops grown by Othoral and Hiadmath.
Every day, Othoral made a cake for Hiadmath.
‘I am looking forward to this.’ Hiadmath would say as the cake was in the oven. ‘I do so like cake. I could happily eat the whole thing in one go.’
Once the cake had been baked, Othoral would take it out of the oven, and place it on the table. Once the cake had cooled, Othoral said to Hiadmath ‘Here, the cake is made. …
There was once a great empire.
This great empire was vast — reaching from the pine-covered mountains of Arennia in the west, to the golden beaches and azure reefs of Marcanne in the east, from the freshwater lakes of Belgamon in the north, to the apple orchards and apiaries of Arganza in the south. It was so vast that evening on one side of the empire was morning on the other. And at its centre stood its Capital — a limestone and marble metropolis that was the seat of power for a hemisphere.
This great empire was also extraordinarily wealthy. Though it had started as only a small city state, it had fought many wars over the years against the kingdoms and principalities along its borders, and it had won most of them. With each new territory it had conquered it had stolen all the riches it contained, fuelling yet further expansion of the empire. And with each monarchy that fell before it, ever more convinced did the subjects of the Emperor become that they were the only truly civilised people in the world, and that all those beyond the empire’s borders were barbarians. …
There was once a great city.
Hundreds of thousands of people lived in this city. But the people were divided into two groups: the Many, and the Few.
For the Few, life in this great city was wonderful, for the Few were very wealthy. They lived in grand houses on the banks of the river that meandered through the city. Each marble mansion was filled with drawing rooms and dining rooms and more than forty bedrooms. Each grand hallway was filled with gold-framed oil paintings and fine china vases. The baths were made of burnished bronze and the toilet seats were solid silver. Every house had an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a glasshouse. …
The Emperor had an enormous penis.
That’s what he said, at least. Only the Empress and the Emperor’s concubines — all eighty-eight of them — had ever actually seen it, and they dutifully repeated the Emperor’s own claims about it. And the Emperor himself repeated his claims every chance he had — he would shout it from the walls of his palace — sometimes three, four, five times in a day. He claimed that it was twenty-four and a half inches long — longer than that of any emperor ever before — longer than that of anyone else in the world. …