“Have you got the lollipops ready?”
The Chief of Police bowed respectfully indicating gaudy chests behind him, brimming over with sweet confectionary. Today was the day of the King’s Procession where in much pomp and pageantry he appeared in person before the people. Money would be distributed. Also sweet cakes, but the greatest crowd pleaser were the sweets flung into the crowds for the children. Children who lived on crusts all year stuffed their face with sweetness.
The highlight of the day was the King lifting a specially sanitised urchin and personally giving the child a lollipop.
The King smiled at his Chief. “You didn’t know I liked children”.
The Chief of Police shifted imperceptibly and considered his reply carefully. The King’s dungeons were packed to over flowing and spine-chilling screams emanated day and night.
“Never mind” the King laughed. “Dirty, smelly things. But they are my best allies”. He lifted a lollipop and licked it thoughtfully. He turned to the Chief and his eyes laughed.
“The children and the simple-minded see sweets. The parents see I have their children in my hands, and can do with them what I will. How convenient to have a populace of dumb beasts who grow their own hostages”.