Tenali Rama was known for his sense of humor. In fact, king Sri Krishnadevaraya used to enjoy his witty remarks even when they were targeted at him. Here is one such story.
Sri Krishnadevaraya was said to be fond of horses. He used to have a fine collection of them in his stables and would always look to add rare breeds from across the world to his collection.
One day, an Arabian horse trader visited the king’s courtroom and informed him that he had brought the finest horse from Arabia. He requested the king to see the horse.
Sri Krishnadevaraya examined the horse, and it was indeed a magnificent creature! He immediately expressed his interest in buying it. The trader then said, “Your majesty, I have two more such horses with me in Arabia, and it would be my pleasure to bring them to you.”
The king, who was much impressed by the horse, agreed to buy the other two horses as well and paid the trader 5,000 gold coins as an advance for the rest of the horses. The trader took the money and promised to return with the horses.
Months passed, but there was no sign of the trader. This began to trouble the king. To ease his mind, he went on a walk in the royal gardens. There, he spotted Tenali Rama sitting under a tree and scribbling something on a piece of paper. The curious king asked Rama what he was writing.
Tenali Rama stopped writing and showed the king the paper. It was a list of names with the king’s name at the top. On the top of the list was written “List of the Biggest Fools in Vijayanagara Kingdom.”
The king became furious and asked Rama for an explanation. Rama replied, “Apologies for adding you to the list, your majesty. Unfortunately, it is true! How could your highness trust a stranger, give him a huge sum of money, and expect him to return?
To counter his argument, the king asked, “What if he really comes back?” To this, Raman replied, “Then he will be the first name in the list…” and laughed.
The king laughed at this witty remark and embraced Rama for easing his tension with his humor.
Moral of the story
Do not blindly believe strangers.