One summer night, Tenali Raman and his wife were about to go to sleep. Suddenly there was a sound. It was the rustling sound of leaves coming from the garden.
However, there was not breeze blowing at the time. The sound must have been made by a person. Who would come and hide in the garden late in the night? There was only one possible explanation. There were some thieves hiding in the bushes. He understood that the thieves must be planning to rob his house.
He thought of a plan and shouted to his wife, “My dear, the King gave me 1000 gold coins today. We must keep it safely. Any thief can come and steal it if we keep the gold in our house. Let us hide all the money in a box and put it into the well.”
His wife yelled back, “Yes dear. We can take the money out tomorrow. We only need to keep it safe tonight. 100 gold coins is a lot of money.”
One hour later, Tenali Raman and his wife came out of the house carrying a big trunk. They dropped the trunk into the well. They went back inside the house and pretended to be asleep.
The thieves waited for a while and then started drawing water from the well and pouring it into pipe next to the well. The thieves hoped to draw enough water from the well and get the treasure.
The thieves kept drawing out water for the next two hours.
Tenali Raman’s wife suddenly shouted, “My dear, how will we take out the money in the morning?”
Tenali Raman yelled back, “It is easy dear. There is a hook in the shed, next to the well. We can use the hook to pull out the big money chest.”
The thieves were very happy and managed to pull out the money chest. When they opened it, they were extremely shocked. There were only some big stones in it. They understood that it was Tenali Raman’s plan to outsmart them.
Tenali Raman came out of his house and said, “Thank you friends, for watering my garden. I must pay you for your labour.”
The thieves fell at Tenali’s feet and asked for forgiveness. They promised not to steal or rob anyone ever again. Tenali gave them 2 silver coins for their work and let them go.