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In China, there was a prince who made a show of his compassion by setting doves free. Once a year, the air was filled with beating wings. But a tear shone on the cheek of his bride, and the prince asked her why.

“Dearest,” she said, “the doves are freed because they are caught, and they are caught for you to set them free. But in the nets, wings and necks are broken. Many doves die.”

So the prince ruled that doves were never more to be captured in his land. Every year they came freely, in a splendor of beating wings, to coo in peace upon the palace roof.

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