Tenali Raman and the Hunchback

Tenali Raman once played a joke on the King Krishnadevaraya. The King was very offended and he ordered Tenali Raman to be executed. However Tenali Raman was very smart and the King wanted to make sure that Tenali Raman could not escape.

King Krishnadevaraya said to his guard. “Take him near the river and bury him in the soil up to his neck. Tenali Raman should not be able to move. Bring an elephant and crush his head!”

The guard took Raman to the river. The guard dug a deep pit and pushed Raman into the ditch. He filled it up with soil tightly so that Tenali Raman could not move. Only his head was visible above the ground.

The guard said, “I will go and get the elephant.”

The guard left to fetch the elephant. He knew that Tenali Raman could not escape or run away since he could not move.

Tenali Raman was not worried at all. He said, “I will wait. Some help will come soon.”

Tenali Rama Story: Tenali Rama Outwits the Guards

A washer man came carrying a big bag of washed clothes. He had a hunchback. He was startled to see Tenali Raman’s head on the ground.

The washer man said, “Amazing! This man is buried and only head is visible”

Tenali Raman said, “Hi, how are you?”

The washer man said, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”

Tenali Raman said, “I am also a washer man like you. Like you, I have a big hunchback. So I’m curing it.”

The washer man said, “What? You also have hunchback?”

Tenali Raman said, “I always carried heavy wet clothes on my back for years and hence I have a hunch back. A great doctor said that I can easily straighten my back if I stand buried neck deep for just 12 hours in this special pit.”

The washer man was very happy to hear that. He asked, “Did it really work?”

Tenali Raman said, “The doctor said it worked for all his patients. I have been under the ground for more than 12 hours. Maybe you can pull me out and we can check.”

The washer man dug the earth around Tenali Raman and pulled him up. Raman sprang up, standing straight. He pressed his back and said, “Wow, my hunchback has really gone! I am so happy”

Tenali Raman hugged the washer man. The washer man was very impressed. He told Tenali Raman that he also wanted to be cured

The washer man then said, “I have this bundle of clothes to be delivered to the palace. Can you deliver it for me? I will lie down in the pit.”

 

Tenali Raman said, “One washer man must always help another washer man. I will tightly bury you in this pit and deliver these clothes.”

The washer man gave the bundle of clothes to Tenali Raman and happily jumped into the pit. Tenali Raman filled and tightly packed the pit with mud.

On the way, Tenali saw the guards approaching on an elephant. He covered his face, bent his back and walked slowly. The guards thought he was a washer man and ran to inform the king.

Meanwhile, the washer man was standing in the pit dreaming of having a straight back. He saw the elephant coming straight towards him. As the elephant came near, the washer man became very scared and began to shout for help.

The guards were surprised to see the washer man standing in the pit. They pulled him out of the pit and asked him about Tenali Raman. The washer man told his story and the guards became very angry.

Raman delivered the clothes to the palace and went to the garden. He saw King Krishnadevaraya sitting in a chair and having his tea.

King Krishnadevaraya saw Tenali and became furious, “How did you escape?”

Tenali Raman told the entire story and they both laughed loudly. King Krishnadevaraya forgave Tenali Raman and asked him to always be his friend.

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