Once upon a time, there was a peasant who, in spite of his poverty, had a small farm, a vegetable garden and a single ox. His very ramshackle farm was made of old boards of wood which mildewed. It had two rooms. The first one was where, formerly, there was the shed which could receive about ten oxen. Now there was only one left because the peasant sold them all but one for a few pennies. The second room was where the peasant slept, ate and washed. There weren’t many vegetable in the kitchen garden because the soil was not fertile.
But the peasant made a living of it by selling them to the neighbouring village. This house was located in the middle of a swamp filled with odd animals (it was said that trolls lived in there), and six meters deep mud holes or moving sands which were difficultly spottable. Was the swamp gloomy? Most especially at night. In summer, the swamp was empty and let appear dried seaweeds from fresh water. As it was summer, one could see how this farm floated on water. This house and its vegetable garden did not float, but were arranged on a ground and stone slope which had been built by the peasant.
This farm which looked like a cut off house was connected by a pontoon which led to a squeaking gate which acted as a bell. One could also see that the banks of the swamp were surrounded by bushes and trees.
But this house was not free, there were many charges and taxes; the peasant found it difficult to do his accounts. Although his farm was on a cheap ground, he spent almost all his money in food. So, no more money was left to pay for the grounds.
One day, by a beautiful summer day, the king, accompanied by his certified public accountants and his escort, paid him a visit. The peasant told him about his financial standing and his pitiful life.
- I see, I see... But you forgot something; accountant! said the king.
One of his accountants walked towards the peasant and said:
- Indeed you forgot to pay the taxes on the food, those on the ground and those on the right to cultivate the grounds; which gives us a total of eleven thousand crowns!!!