The General

Once upon a time, a general led an army to invade the neighbouring country. The fate of the war was still uncertain when the general found himself separated from his army and on the run in a small town in the neighbouring country. Trying to escape from the enemy soldiers, he went into a shop where he told the shopkeeper to hide him in a safe place. The shopkeeper agreed to help the general and hid him in a small cellar below the shop.

A few hours later, the soldiers did indeed come in search of the general and as they searched through the town, they finally came to the shop. Now, this put the shopkeeper in a rather interesting position. He could tell the soldiers that the general was hiding there and they would immediately arrest him. However, the final fate of the war still wasn’t decided, and if the general’s army eventually won the war, they would surely come to take revenge on the shopkeeper.

The shopkeeper decided to say nothing about the general and the soldiers proceeded to search the shop. In the cellar, the general could hear the sound of the soldiers and his heart was beating faster and faster as he feared for his life.

But finally the soldiers gave up their search and moved on and the general was safe to come up. Shortly afterwards, his own army entered the town and it became clear that the shopkeeper had made the right decision because the general’s army were clearly now in a position to win the war.

The shopkeeper was honoured by the general for his brave act and he often talked with the general. One day, he asked the general, “How did it feel when you were downstairs in the cellar wondering if the soldiers would find you?”

Suddenly, the general’s mood changed completely and he shouted “How dare you ask such a question to the general of the victorious army?” and he ordered his soldiers to take the shopkeeper out to the firing range to be executed for his impertinence.

The shopkeeper was stood up against the wall and a cloth was bound around his eyes. The general ordered the soldiers to raise and ready their weapons. He waited a few moments and then came up beside the blindfolded shopkeeper. He removed the blindfold from the man’s eyes and said to him, “now you know how I felt.”

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