I know this story sounds like a fairy tale, but I swear, it’s real history! King You of Zhou ruled China in 780 BC. Everything was fine until he met a girl. King You was already married, but he fell head over heels for Bao Si, and he brought her into the palace and kicked out the queen.
The king’s new girl was hard to amuse, but he tried and tried. One day he pulled a prank by sending smoke signals to call his nobles to arms. The nobles thought they were under attack and they rushed to the palace armed for battle. The king’s girlfriend thought it was hilarious!
The king repeated the prank a couple more times – he wanted to keep his girl in a good mood. Soon, though, King You’s father-in-law, angry that his daughter had been kicked out of the palace, mounted an attack. (You can see where this is going.)
The king called his nobles and, of course, they didn’t come.
And guess what happened next!