Precis of
De koning van Tirania (The king of Tirania)
from
Verhalen van de tweelingbroers (Stories of the twin brothers)
by Tonke Dragt

There's this country with two political parties, the farmers and the fishers, and they disagree so much that no-one can agree who ought to be king, so they've agreed to invite the first stranger to take the crown. This turns out to be one of the brothers, who's been washed ashore in a shipwreck. Believing his twin dead, he agrees. His advisors turn out to be all from the farmers' party, and change a load of laws in their favour while telling him "don't worry about the politics".

The second twin then arrives a bit later, and happens to be found by some fisher people, who go "Hey guess what, you look just like our new king" and offer to bump off the current king and install him instead. He tells them, any bumping off he'll do himself, and they smuggle him into the palace.

The twins get together (everyone else believing there's still only one king) and invent some laws of their own - such as that, if anyone gets into a fight with someone of the other party, they go to prison and they're not allowed out until they're good mates. A happy ending ensues as everyone discovers that the people from the other party aren't so bad after all, and the brothers sail off to their next adventure.

And that's just one of the twelve stories in the book - the others are similarly densely packed with incident.
Some of them use versions of myths or other folk stories - I'm not sure if this one's based on one or not.

Back to Jennifer's Bookshelf