KING Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar used to take a round of his kingdom every now and then to see for himself if all was well. One evening while walking with Tenali Raman, he said, “Tenali Raman, do you think all is well in my kingdom? Is there anything more I can do to keep my people happy or is there something lacking in my efforts?”
Tenali Raman preferred to remain quiet and continued to walk. Suddenly the king’s eyes fell on two boys fighting with each other and a group of children playing with mud and building a castle near the river. One young boy was wailing loudly, “You have broken my castle. I no longer want to play with you. I will go and complain about you to my mother.” He began to cry still more loudly on seeing the king.
The king and Tenali Raman went closer to the child and tried to pacify him. The king offered, “Do not cry. Tenali Raman here will build a still better castle for you.”
Tenali sat down in the mud and built a beautiful castle for the boy. But the boy continued to cry and say, “No, this is not what I had made. I like only the one that I had made.”
Tenali Raman tried making a number of castles but the boy did not like any. At last the boy who had broken the wailing boy’s castle came forward and made a castle out of the mud for him. On seeing this castle, the boy was very happy and said, “Yes, this is what I like” and stopped crying. Then both of them held each other’s hand and went walking away.
The king was surprised to see this strange world of children and exclaimed, “What a beautiful world it is of these children!”