KING Krishnadeva Raya was seated in his court, cursing the hot weather. He saw his courtiers show concern at their ruler’s discomfort. Out of curiosity, the king asked them, “Which season is the best one in our kingdom?”
Some of the courtiers replied that it was spring, some said winter and still others said summer. The king turned to Tenali Raman to seek his view. Tenali Raman replied, “I think the rainy season is the best one when there is a slight nip in the air and when nature is at its best, looking lush green.”
Now the king thought of another question and asked, “I want you all to tell me which is the worst season?”
Some of the courtiers replied it was summer, some said autumn and a few said winter. Before the king could turn to him, Tenali Raman replied, “I think the worst season is the rainy season. Due to rain, you cannot go out anywhere and neither can you walk on the road with puddles of water forming all along.”
The entire court bust out laughing and the king too asked, “Tenali Raman, how can a season which you said is the best become the worst also? Is something wrong with you?”
Tenali Raman promptly replied, “Your Majesty, let me be given a few days and I shall prove it to Your Majesty very soon that I am right.”
A few days later, the king and some of his soldiers went out on a hunt. As it was cloudy weather with no sun breathing down their neck, the king and his team enjoyed the outing. So engrossed were they in the hunt that they did not notice that night had befallen. The king decided to set up their camp near a dried up stream, which was now a trickle of water.
At night, they all went off to sleep. Soon it started to rain and rain and by the next morning, they all found that the thin trickle of water had become a full-blown river and they needed a bridge to cross it. They turned around to look at the trees in the forest and saw a bearded woodcutter felling trees, one after another. The king walked towards him and said, “We have to cross the river and we do not want to make our clothes wet. Could you please make us a temporary bridge with these logs so that we can cross over to the other side?”
The woodcutter immediately agreed and soon he and the king’s men began to tie and place one log over another and a temporary bridge was ready in no time.
The king was very happy and said to the woodcutter, “I am grateful to you for your help. Do come to my court and I shall reward you accordingly.”
At this, the bearded woodcutter removed his beard and said, “I shall take my reward as soon as I reach the kingdom.”
The king was happy with Tenali Raman and rewarded him adequately in the court.