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The Very Silly Bankers

Once upon a time (and a very good time it was) there were some farmers who found a grove of money trees. At first they just exchanged the fruit of the money trees for things they needed – although you couldn\’t eat them, the fruits were very pretty. Some were gold and some were silver and everyone liked to play with them.
After a while you could just go into the marketplace with some moneytree fruit and buy things. It was great so they called it money and got on with it. Generations passed.
The people who owned the money trees got the name of bankers because they dug big banks of earth around their orchards to stop anyone getting in to steal their money. Kings did, of course. They had armies and cannon and so on.
However, the bankers knew that you didn\’t need a lot to make a money tree grow but it wouldn\’t be a good idea to tell anyone else. It was also very important to control how many money trees there were and how much fruit you used because for some strange reason, the more money you had in a kingdom the less you could buy with it.
Often the King would decide that he would look after the money trees and the bankers would have to do what he said because he had the cannon.
This always ended badly. Kings just couldn\’t be trusted with money trees because they always harvested too much money, gave too much away, had wars, decreed that the leaves were just as good and the kingdom would end up awash with money that you couldn\’t actually buy anything with.
The bankers felt they were the ones who understood about money trees and they did their best to keep the King out of their orchards.
Alas, sometimes life got a bit tricky. For instance, one time a lot of the bankers were caught out by the fertiliser sold to them by a nice young shepherd. It certainly lifted the moneytree yields at first (from which the bankers, as was their wont, naturally took a large percentage for all their hard work). Unfortunately, the next thing was that the fertiliser poisoned the trees.
After several particularly large moneytrees had crashed down causing a lot of damage to the other moneytrees in the orchards, the bankers found themselves looking at the business end of one of the King\’s cannon.
\”I\’m taking over to stop any more money trees going down,\” said the King\’s Favourite Minister.
He and his minions had a plan. They shored up the sick moneytrees by taking great wagonloads of money and heaping it up around the poorly-looking and bare moneytrees.
\”Where did you get all this?\” asked one of the chief bankers.
\”Oh we\’ve just collected up a lot of the money floating around the market, taxes and so on,\” said the King\’s FM, \”The peasants don\’t need it that much. Why?\”
\”It\’s just…\”
\”Yes?\”
\”What about our bonuses? We\’ve got to have them or people will think we\’re not clever or tough.\”
\”You\’re not,\” said the King\’s FM, \”You\’re bankers.\”
\”Yes well, if we don\’t get our bonuses we\’ll go off and look after the moneytrees somewhere else and nobody else knows how to do it as well as us.\”
The King\’s FM shrugged,\”I don\’t care…\”
One of the bankers who had been at school with the FM took him out for a pint and the whole thing was sorted.
The bankers could scoop up as much money they could carry away from the piles and piles of it still shoring up the sick money trees. They had half an hour to do it in. Naturally all the bankers arrived for work on the important day carrying big rucksacks and dungarees with huge pockets and massive hats. The piles of money around the poisoned money trees were so huge, they were sure nobody would notice as they staggered away with their bonuses.
Unfortunately, the peasants who were earning a lot less than the bankers could imagine and many of whom had gone bust, were waiting for them outside the money orchards. The bankers couldn\’t run fast because of all the money they were carrying. And the peasants seemed upset about something but none of the bankers could work out why or what the problem was before they were all lynched and left swinging from their very own moneytrees.

1 Comment

  1. That is a marvellous tale, I particularly liked the appropriate ending. Well if only some stories came true, that one would be the top of my list.

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