One day, King Krishnadevaraya was discussing in his court about cats. King Krishnadevaraya loved cats and he had many cats in his palace.
King Krishnadevaraya said, “Cats are the most intelligent animals in the world. They can climb trees, run very fast, do tricks and even catch the fastest prey by tricking them.”
The ministers agreed. One minister said, “That is true, my King. My cat can do a flip without its back touching the ground.”
Another minister said, “That is nothing. My cat can climb a wall which is over 12 foot tall!”
Another minister said, “That is easy. My cat can swim across the river to catch fish!”
Each of the ministers started boasting about their cats. King Krishnadevaraya said, “Let us have a completion. Bring me a cat which can do something which no other cat can. I shall give you a 100 gold coins.”
There were many ministers and each brought a cat. Each cat did a variety of tricks but it was repeated by some other cat.
Tenali Raman brought his cat and said, “My King. My cat will do something which no other cat in the world will do. Just give me one bowl of milk.”
The servant brought one bowl of warm milk. Tenali Raman put his cat in front of the milk. The cat smelled the milk and ran away and hid under Tenali Raman’s clothes.
The King and the courtiers started to laugh, “How did you train your cat to be afraid of milk? Every cat loves milk. You cat must be the only cat which runs away from milk!”
Tenali Raman said, “I wanted to give my cat only the best milk. I used to boil the milk, cool it down and then give it to the cat. When she was a kitten, she was very greedy and tried to drink the boiling milk directly. Even before I could stop her, she burnt her tongue on the milk. Since then, she has been very afraid of milk. ”
The King gave Tenali Raman the 100 gold coins.