The King's Tongue September 15, 2021 on Kenneth Dodrill's blog

There was once a king that lived for many years. He was neither cruel, nor kind. He ruled in an average way. There was only one thing that could make him truly upset - “bad food”, or so the king called food with any sort of spice. In fact, any sort of spice or any food with spice was illegal to obtain, create, or consume.

Many of the townspeople did not care too much - except for one. This one, name of Yarow, was the king’s personal chef. In his humble shack of a home, he summoned complex aromas and conjured deadly red-hot soups - both of which aroused his hatred for the king and the law against spice.

After years of this, Yarow decided to serve the king food with spice. He crafted a special brew that had the tiniest touch of heat, one that would not burn, but would entice the eater to devour the entire meal. The king, having trusted his chef for his entire life, immediately stuck the food into his mouth - which ended up on the table. “Yarow, why have you betrayed me like this? Why have you given me bad food?”, the king said. Yarow came clean and told the king about all of concoctions and recipes for food with spice. “Spice gives food life.”, Yarow said. The king was deeply saddened by this, and ordered the guards to put Yarow in prison.

For a few days and nights, Yarow was angry at himself. He had done so much research, crafted so many recipes - now they are all gone. The guards would surely ransack his hut and all of his possessions would be destroyed. On the sixth night of his imprisonment, he received his usual meal and drink for dinner. When he put the first morsel into his mouth, his eyes widened. “Spice? Spice. Spice!”, exclaimed Yarow.

And so it was put into law that all food that was obtained, created, or consumed had to have some kind of spice.