By Hovhannes Tumanyan
Once upon a time there was a king. This king declares all over his country: “Anyone who tells such a lie that I say it is a lie, I will give them half of my kingdom.”
There comes a shepherd and says: “Your majesty, my father had a cane and he could reach the stars in the sky with it.”
“There may be such a thing”, answers the king, “My grandfather had a pipe so long that he put one end in his mouth and lit it with the sun.”
The liar goes out puzzled.
There comes a tailor and says: “I am sorry for being late, my king, I was to come earlier. It rained a lot yesterday, lightning struck, the sky was ripped up, I had to go and mend it.”
“Well, good of you”, says the king, “But you didn’t mend it well. It rained a little this morning.”
This one goes out too.
There comes in a poor peasant with a pan under his arm.
“What do you want, man?”, asks the king.
“You owe me a pan full of gold, I have come for it”
“A pan full of gold?”, the king gets surprised, “You are telling a lie. I don’t owe you any gold.”
“If I am telling a lie, then give me half of your kingdom”
“No, no, you are telling the truth”, the king changes his word.
“If I am telling the truth, give me a pan full of gold”