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Tenali Raman's Secret

Children's Story - By Lakshmi Menon

Have you heard about Tenali Raman? He was appointed as the court Jester by the king of Vijayanagara. Tenali Raman was very clever and known for his wit. He was always successful in pleasing the king.

Children, I invite you to listen to an amusing story about Tenali Raman's secret.

Tenali Raman spent much of his time in pleasing the king. Because of this every day he reached home late in the evening. His wife even reminded him about watering the fields. Every time he had thought that he would reach home early next day, but invariably he came late every day.

One day, when he reached home in the night he saw the shadows of two persons moving outside the house. He soon guessed they were thieves. His guess was correct. They had come to rob him in the night. They were hiding near the wall so that when everyone slept in the night could enter the house and take away the cash and gold.

Tenali Raman guessed their plan. He thought he should make use of these thieves in a proper way instead of fighting with them. “Opportunities won’t come always. Whenever an opportunity knocks at your door you should make use of it”. He told his wife. His wife did not understand what he had meant. He whispered his idea to his wife. When she understood it she held back her laughter, and acted accordingly.

Children, can you guess what he had said? You will know it later...........

“I think keeping the gold and the cash inside the house is not at all safe these days. There is no security in the home. I have a brilliant idea. Let us keep our valuables in a trunk and lock it up nicely. Then we should throw it into the well. No thieves will ever think of finding the valuables inside the well. So even if any intelligent thief comes he won’t find our valuables. So dear, hurry up,” said Tenali Raman to his wife loudly.

Both Raman and his wife quickly packed the trunk with a heavy stone and threw it into the well, and went to sleep.

“Oh, now we can sleep peacefully!” said Tenali Raman loudly enough for the two thieves outside to hear. They put off the light and went to bed.

Soon the two thieves came out of their hiding places and moved happily towards the well with the idea of taking away the gold and cash from the trunk.

“How nice we knew where Raman has kept his valuables! It saves our time searching his house,” whispered the tall thief.

“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Be careful. Nobody should hear us. Poor Raman! He didn’t know how much easier he has made our work.” The shorter thief joined him.

The two thieves exchanged a victorious smile and began to draw water from the well. They did not even realize the time as they were too engrossed in their work. Both the thieves did their work tirelessly. The well was almost empty when it was nearing dawn and still they did not get the trunk. They were disappointed.

“Hurry up. Don’t waste time,” said the taller one.

“We have drawn so much water, friend. Still we have not got the trunk,” said the shorter thief sadly.

“Didn’t you see him throwing it into the well? So hurry up. There’s no time left to waste.” The taller one kept encouraging his friend without losing his heart.

Hearing a sound they looked back startled. It was Raman standing there with his morning coffee and a mischievous smile. “Thank you friends, for watering my field the whole night. The plants were almost dried without water. You saved my plants.”

Only then the thieves realized that they were fooled. Within seconds they ran away with their lives.

Now I am sure you know what Tenali Raman had whispered to his wife!


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