In this case. I feel the king is at fault. Instead of offering free food, he might have shown a way to the people to earn their food. So the King should be punished.
People will become lazy if they are getting free food. People who have their own resources will also try to get free food. So the expenses for the king will be more and again he has to increase the taxes so that he will get more money.
Many state governments these days are doing this only. They are making vote politics by offering fee issues to people. It is not at all advisable. It will become very difficult for a taxpayer in the country.
That the King arranged the feast in open.
The Eagle which flown through the feast place
The dying of snake and being caught by Eagle
The serving persons not taking precaution
The old women who raised the alarm
K Mohan @ Moga
'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
Even this challenging situation would ease
Ofcourse,the old lady who is the gossip monger and the evil personified should be dealt with very sternly. Firstly,she is jealous of the king's popularity though she can never reach the royalty
Of the high and mighty king. Secondly,unwanted back biting about others leads to misunderstanding and under the guise of pretending to be innocent( the old couple belived her story) she had mislead them.
Therefore,my answer is give her back in her own coin. The king has the power to make her languish in prision throughout her life so that nobody would dare to behave like the old lady who can be compared to Saturn.
Knowledge is power.