The king wanted to go fishing, and he asked the royal weather forecaster the forecast for the next few hours.
The palace meteorologist assured him that there was no chance of rain.
So the king and the queen went fishing.
On the way he met a man with a fishing pole riding on a donkey, and he asked the man if the fish were biting.
The fisherman said, "Your Majesty, you should return to the palace! In just a short time I expect a huge rain storm."
The king replied: "I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an educated and experienced professional. Besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him."
So the king continued on his way.
However, in a short time torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked.
Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the meteorologist.
Then he summoned the fisherman and offered him the prestigious position of royal forecaster.
The fisherman said, "Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain."
So the king hired the donkey.
And so began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in influential positions of government.
The practice is unbroken to this day.
Hazy skies caused by the Australian bush fires are set to linger this weekend.
Northwesterly winds have blown a hazy plume of smoke across the Tasman Sea, and while it has mostly affected the South Island in recent weeks, it has moved up the country.
The "robust plume" is expected to head to the South Island late on Saturday.
The haze has been causing a yellowish-orange, hue at sunset, making for some sweet sunset photos. Share your photos in the comments!
(Our photo is of the sun setting over the Waitākere Ranges, taken by visual journalist Ricky Wilson.)
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