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I have been trying to remember a short story I heard some time ago. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on the name of the story.

I know very little of its origin. I'm not sure if it was originally a book and the narrative and details provided are very vague so I will preemptively apologize. I have put parts of the story that I am (even more) unsure of in parentheses.

The story went something like this:

There is a king (who is paranoid of losing his power?) who gradually divides his kingdom into smaller and smaller sections (this may have been contrasted with a (previous king or king in another kingdom?) who is kind and wise). Eventually everyone is contained in their own one person cell (to stop a rebellion?). (Something happens with an old man? or some young child that has only know life in one person cells?). The citizens are then freed (can't recall how).

I can't remember the punchline of the story.

I know it's a bit of a long shot but any help is much appreciated.

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