One Wish before Punishment

The Joneses were traveling with Mrs. Jones’s mother in a far away country when the mother-in-law made a careless remark, insulting the native royal family. They were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to fifty lashes with a cane. To show their magnanimity, the royal family granted the guests one wish before their beating. “Mrs. Jones, what is your wish?” “Before my beating, bind a pillow to my bottom.” “It is granted.” But the pillow was small, and the executioner missed it a few times, hitting her and causing great pain. Next they asked the mother-in-law for her wish. “Before my beating, bind a pillow to my bottom and a pillow to my back.” “It is granted.” She got her fifty lashes, but barely felt a thing. Finally, they asked, “And Mr. Jones, what is your wish before your beating?” Jones replied, “Before my beating, bind my mother-in-law to my back!”

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