And so the condemned man was brought before the King to hear his sentence for it was indeed to be death, swift and sure. Yet the condemned man knew the King, for all his power, all his glory, was a vain and foolish man. So before the sentence could be spoken, he said, "My Lord! Give me a year and I will teach your horse to talk!"
The King, a bit puzzled yet intrigued, granted him that year and, should the condemned man succeed, a pardon to the service of the royal livery.
The jailer, a common man but clever in his days, said to the condemned man as he was being led back to the cells, "You can't teach a horse to talk."
"Ah," replied the condemned man, "But in a year, the King may die. Or I may die. Or the horse may talk."