A Tale of Two Counts

Once there was a rich and well-respected Count who administered a large county. He had two sons. As his death grew near, he decided that less strife would follow his departure if he should leave his title and authority equally to both of his sons.

His foresight had failed him in this, however. It turned out the that two sons became all the more jealous and suspicious of one another once they were of perfectly equal station. Each young Count began to suspect the other of plotting to kill him.

Finally they resolved that they should have a food-taster with them at every meal, so that neither Count would be able to poison the other. For this new job they drafted a humble servant by the name of Noah. Noah was quite happy with his fortune, since it enabled him to experience delights that are normally inaccessible to men of his low social standing.

The other servants were jealous of Noah. Whenever they would walk by the dining hall and see him seated at the table and eating delicious foods, they would murmur to themselves: “Well… There’s Noah, tasting for Counts.”