On the day of their punishment the Sheikh who was going to whip them announced: “It’s my wife’s birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping.” The German was first in line, he thought for a while and then said: “Please tie a pillow to my back.” This was done, but the pillow only lasted 20 lashes before the whip went through.
When the punishment was done the German had to be carried away bleeding and crying with pain. The Frenchman was next up. After watching the German in horror he said smugly: “Please fix two pillows to my back.” But even two pillows could only take 35 lashes before the whip went through again and the Frenchman was soon led away whimpering loudly.
The Englishman was the last one up, but before he could say anything, the Sheikh turned to him and said: “You are from a part of the world I really like. For this, you may have two wishes!”
“Thank you, your Most Royal and Merciful highness,” the Englishman replied. “In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 50, but 100 lashes.” “Not only are you an honorable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave,” the Sheikh said with an admiring look on his face. “If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it.
The Englishman smiled and said, “Tie the Frenchman and the German to my back.”