“Prince Kassardis knew his three wives were cunning and vicious in equal measure, and the journey ahead would be hard and grueling. Therefore the very first thing he did was to seek out the Very Wise Frog, which lived on a nearby hill known as King’s Rock. The road to the Frog was well worn by pilgrims, so it was not a hard climb for Kassardis, who wore his fine leather boots, but it was steep.

“Very Wise Frog,” said Kassardis, when he reached the summit, “This brutal life is like a steel cage. My father’s kingdom is built on the stacked bodies of his officers. He sups on blood. His surviving wife picks his gray hairs and pushes toy soldiers around from her sedan.”

“Your father’s kingdom is very large,” said the Very Wise Frog.

“I will escape my own blood,” said the resolute Kassardis, “And flee to the land of Samura, where their cities are built on covenants of peace and no blood is shed unjustly. The journey is long and hard, so please give me some advice, as my family has treated you well.”

“Samura is a myth told to small children to comfort them,” said the Very Wise Frog, “Your wives are much faster than you and will catch up to you, then beat you savagely before returning to the time honored ritual of trying to murder each other.”

The Prince was aghast. “I refuse this life of violence!” he said.

“Violence is inescapable,” said the Very Wise Frog.

“Don’t gloat at me, frog!” said the Prince, “My trial is only just beginning. Surely you have some other advice for me?”

“No,” said the Very Wise Frog.

“Frog!” said Kassardis, growing panicked, “What do you mean by ‘violence is inescapable’?

“It is,” said the Frog.

“You’re a liar!” said Kassardis.

“No, I am not,” said the Frog, “Nor have I ever been. Violence is inescapable. Inseparable from life itself. Permanent. It is fixed in your cosmology. Forever. I could go on, but that’s besides the point.”

At this Kassardis was so enraged that he threw the Frog off the summit of the mountain. It bounced of a cliff and split like a wet melon, dying instantly, and posthumously proving its point to Kassardis.

Kassardis, for his part, wept.