The King's Stilts
by Dr. Seuss
The King's Stilts Lies and Deceit Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Paragraph)
Lord Droon chuckled to himself. He had expected this to happen and was ready with his lie. "It was the townsfolk who did it," he said, peering into the stilt closet and pretending to be greatly shocked. "I have seen them every day, plotting behind the castle walls. 'A King,' they say, 'should behave like a King, and sit with pomp and dignity upon his royal throne. A King,' they say, 'should never walk on stilts!' It's too bad, Your Majesty, but you must try to do without them." (50)
Lord Droon's deceit is what brings the Kingdom of Binn to near-demise… not that he cares or anything. He just wants to cover his own butt. For Lord Droon, telling a lie is more of an act of cowardice than anything; he fails to express his own disapproval of the stilts and therefore has to invent the thoughts and opinions of the townsfolk (which sound eerily familiar).
"It's red," said Lord Droon, with the sly look he always had when he lied. "It's awfully, awfully RED. MEASLES!" he shouted. "Ho, guards… take him away! Lock him up!"
"I haven't measles any more than you have," shouted Eric. "It's a trick – a nasty, Droonish trick! Let me talk to the King!" (71-72)
He's practically caught red-handed here, but Lord Droon continues to weave his web of lies. Instead of allowing Eric's declaration of the stolen stilts to restore the kingdom (which is obviously not doing too great, what with the water in the streets and all that), he lies and says that Eric is stricken with the measles. (How'd he even come up with that whopper, anyway?) In anger, Eric shouts back that the lord has pulled a "Droonish" trick. Thus, in this book, Lord Droon isn't just sneaky and deceitful; he becomes the very definition of that brand of dishonesty.
"Which way?" shouted the guards. "Which way did he go?"
"That way," said Eric and he nodded toward the sea. (99-100)
Of course, if we're gonna be hard on ol' Droony, it wouldn't be fair not to call out the other lie in the story—the moment when Eric dresses up in the tailor's clothes and the king's stilts and sends Droon and the guards on a wild goose chase to the sea. We're not sure how he pulls this off (wouldn't his head look extra tiny with all that extra height?) but he manages to divert the bumbling fools long enough to save the day. And that's just what makes Eric's lie different from all of Lord Droon's. He's not selfish, and he's lying for the good of the Kingdom of Binn.