In the Middle Ages people did not have nearly as many ways of amusing themselves as we have now. As a way of keeping themselves entertained, the kings and queens of those days often had jesters. The jesters were supposed to say funny things and go through amusing antics.
   Jesters were sometimes called court fools. Some of them were really fools. For in those days people thought that the sayings of idiots were funny. Some jesters were hunchbacks. The people of the Middle Ages thought that being deformed was funny, too. But many jesters were really clever. The rulers often asked them for their opinions. Sometimes a jester said very daring things. A king might let his jester say things which he himself wanted to say but did not dare to.
   Jesters wore costumes a little like the costumes some circus clowns wear now. The costume of a jester was called "bells and motley." A cap of a special kind and shoes of a special kind were a part of the costume. There were little bells on both the cap and the shoes. "Motley" means "many-colored." The cloth of the jester's costume had patches of many colors.
   A jester carried a "fool's bauble." The bauble was a rod with a fool's head at one end. A jester often made people laugh by pretending to be a king and waving his bauble as if it were his scepter.