There is an old tale, and I'm not going to affiliate with any religion in this blog, so let's just say this old tale takes place in a land not too much like our own, but not so very different in essence.
There was once a great city in an even greater nation, ruled by an unusually cruel King. The King at times randomly practiced his cruelty at extreme cost to the people of his city.
One day, while strolling through the marketplace, he came upon a happy scene. A young woman was embracing her small son, and was surrounded by a circle of love, a family including her son, her brother and her beloved husband. Most Kings would be pleased by this scene of happiness and prosperity in his city, but this King was full of anger and jealousy. He ordered his guards to bring the family to his throne room, in front of his whole court, to be judged.
The family was shocked and afraid, but comforted by each other. They drew strens
gth from each other and bravely stood in front of King and his Court.
The King proclaimed, "One woman should not possess such a large and happy family while others are suffering and lonely. You will start to feel too comfortable and will fail as a citizen of this city. Therefore you shall be punished before this can happen to you".
Even the Court and The King's advisors were shocked by his words.
But the woman was not afraid, she deeply bowed in front of the King and replied, "Of course. We are at your mercy".
This of course angered the King even more. His face reddened, his voice booming, he handed down her punishment, "You have till this evening to choose one of your family members to live with you for your lifetimes. The rest shall be put to death before morning".
The whole throne room was shuddering with fear. But the woman had faith in her god(s) and in her family and she nodded in agreement to the King's fury.
That evening the family were brought in front of the King and all his court once again. The King could not hide his pleasure at the family's horrible predicament. With a sickening grin on his face he said, "Well, let us hear your decision...."
All eyes fell on her, some ashamed, some excited by the beating of their hearts. The woman clearly spoke, and though tears streamed from her eyes, she spoke loudly and clearly.
"I have had a son and husband, and although I love them dearly, I am young and I can marry again and bear other sons. But I can never have another brother. I trust my lord with all of my soul to care for my family in another life. So I choose my brother".
The room was lulled at first, then shocked by her decision. Even the King was taken aback.
I don't know the end of this story, and my guess is that it's not known because it's not relevant. The moral of the story is already told.
What do you think? What faith or ethnicity would you place this story in?