There once existed a treacherous jungle between two countries. To the west was the sovereign state of Wibble. To the east, the dignified nation of Wobble.
There was an ancient story, passed down for generations, that somewhere in the jungle lied a city of gold. Whoever could find it would bring great wealth and prosperity to their people.
For a long time people dismissed this story as a myth; no more than a fairy tale. Yet one day Lady Dibble, a great explorer from Wobble, announced in the local press that she would be the one to discover the city. Not to be outdone, Lord Dabble, Wibble’s most famous explorer, announced that his party would be first to claim the prize.
Both explorers spent many days preparing for their expeditions.
Dibble set off first followed by Dabble a few days later. After many difficult days and weeks of struggling through the jungle, the survivors of both parties arrived on opposite sides at the bottom a great waterfall. At the top, they could see great glimmers of gold shimmering in the sunshine.
Neither group could believe they had found it. Neither group could believe that the other group had arrived at the same time.
Hastily, desperately, they clambered up the rock face. Lady Dibble led her team from the front when a couple of her men refused to take on the dangerous climb. Lord Dibble meanwhile had a similar problem when his first climber fell to his death from a hundred feet.
Eventually, at almost exactly the same time, the two explorers reached the breath-taking climax of their journey.
“Ha!” Dibble cried as she touched the golden archway that led into the city just seconds before her rival.
But Dabble drew his pistol, smiling as he did so. Dibble quickly did the same and soon there were two lines of explorers pointing weapons at a standoff.
“We were here first!” Shouted Dibble.
“Who said they were the rules?” Dabble replied.
Lady Dibble tried again.
“The priests of our land say that God wants us to use this city to help our people. You would deny our holy rights?”
Lord Dabble laughed.
“Our priests say the same.”
“Anyway,” Dabble countered, “according to our charts, this city is closer to Wibble, so the gold should be ours.”
“Even if that were true,” mocked Dibble, “So what?”
There was then a pause, as the negotiation seemed destined for a bloody end.
Suddenly, Lord Dabble’s servant who had just made it to the top of the waterfall, carrying his master’s tea and biscuits, interjected:
“Surely we can share the gold amongst us and each can get their equal share? After all, hasn’t this whole situation just highlighted how arbitrary it is to claim rights and ownership? I mean, when you think about it, how does anyone decide where one kingdom ends and another one begins?”
Dibble looked at Dabble and Dabble looked at Dibble. Then they both raised their guns and shot the servant in the head.
In the chaos that ensued there was much bloodshed and eventually one group triumphed. Following victory, Lady Dibble had her team collect some gold as proof and some provisions from the other party in preparation for the return home.
One of her team, thoughtful after the carnage, turned to his team mate:
“You have to admit though, the servant kind of had a point…”
“…But he didn’t have a gun” Lady Dibble replied, interrupting.
And the locals, watching on as the strangers helped themselves to the bricks from the city walls, were inclined to agree.