The ancient Babylonian ritual of humbling the king happened every year during the New Year festival called Akitu. On the fifth day of the festival, the Babylonian king would surrender his crown and scepter to the head priest. The priest would then drag the king by the ear in front of an image of the Babylonian god. The king knelt to pray for forgiveness. Then the priest would slap him in the face as hard as he could. If tears fell from his eyes, it was a sign that God still favored the king. If the king failed to cry, it was a sign that God was angry.
The Treaty Oak tree was an old and cherished member of the community. For 600 years, it had stood proudly over the spot where the city of Austin, Texas would one day be. The tree was revered by the native people who predated the city. According to a legend, the tree stood as a witness when European settlers made a treaty with the Native Americans. It was a magnificent tree with branches stretching over 130 feet. The Treaty Oak was loved by all… except for one deranged man, who tried to kill it.