King Tewodros and the Thief
Narrated by Worku Mersha
During the period of King TewodrosKing Tewodros II (or Theodore II) was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 to 1868. there were many thieves who used to steal cows and domestic animals.
And the inhabitants went to His Majesty and said, “Thieves are increasing in numbers and we are suffering very much from them.”
So King Tewodros made this proclamation: “You don’t have to worry about it. Whenever you see a thief stealing something, tell him to stop and wait, in the name of the Lord Tewodros.”
One day, a thief was about to steal cows and sheep from someone’s home and the owner woke up while the thief was there.
The owner said, “Stop and wait, by the name of the Lord Tewodros!”
So the thief stopped and waited, respecting the proclamation. However, the owner threw a spear and it went into his back and the thief was severely wounded. After treatment he was completely cured.
Later on he went to His Majesty and complained, “You see, Your Majesty, all wild animals and humans are governed by your proclamation, but I was just stopped by the householder calling, ‘Stop and wait, by the name of Tewodros!’ Despite my respect for your proclamation, the owner took his spear and wounded me. Otherwise I would have escaped.”
The king called all the family members of the spear thrower, and he sentenced him to be an exile and a beggar, and he divided the property among the wife and children, and the thief.
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