Tuesday 30 August 2016

The Clever Brothers – Adapted From Rama Raju’s Folk Tales Of Andhra Pradesh

The King’s court was full of people who had assembled to witness the trial that was to take place that day. Four young men were brought to the court. A traveler with his wife had also been brought before the King.


‘Why were you chasing these travellers, young men?’ the king asked.

‘O, King please excuse us. We were not following them with any bad intention. When we saw the footprints of a camel on our way we thought we could make guesses about the travelers. One of my brothers said the prints were of a female camel. Another brother said her left eye was blind. The other one said one of the riders was a woman and I said she must be pregnant. We wanted to find out whether our guesses were right and so we followed the travelers,’ the eldest of the four young men said.

The Four Clever Brother Children Story

The king turned to the traveller and asked him whether his camel was a female. The astonishing traveller and his pregnant wife said that this was true: they also admitted that she was blind in the left eye. The King became curious and asked the young men how they guessed that the camel was a female and that it was blind in one eye.

‘Oh, it wasn’t difficult’ said one of them, ‘I noticed that it was a female camel.’
And she had eaten the leaves and creepers only on her right side and so I guessed her left eye must be blind,’ said the other man.

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‘And you?’ asked the king, looking at the other two.

I noticed that two of the footprints where the riders had alighted were smaller than the other two and thought that they must be women’s said the third man.

The fourth man said, ‘I noticed that those footprints were not only smaller but deeper and so I concluded that the woman was pregnant.’

The king ws surprised at the intelligence of the four men and asked them to stay on at the court for some days. The king wanted to test them. He asked them whether there was any at in which each of them excelled. The eldest brother said, ‘Sir, no one can remove me from my place and insult me wherever I sit in court. I can always choose my place with great care in any assembly. The second brother said, ‘O king, I can judge the quality of the food very precisely. No one can excel me in it’.
The third one said that he was an expert in distinguishing the quality of any bed or pillow. The fourth one said that he could unite parted couples however quarrelsome they might be.

One day the king saw the brothers sitting with a few courtiers on a carpet and chatting. The king immediately ordered his men to remove the carpet. All those who were sitting on the carpet had to get up and move when it was rolled up and removed. The king thought that the oldest of the four men who was sitting on the carpet would also have to get up. But the young man had chosen the place on the edge of the carpet and so he was able to push the carpet away without getting up. The carpet was rolled up while he was sitting where he was, without being disturbed in the least.

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Days passed. One evening after dinner was over the second brother came to the king and said.
‘O king, pardon me. “Did you notice that the rice served for lunch smelled of cow’s urine?’
The king became angry and sent for the chief cook. The chief cook came running.

‘This gentleman says that the rice served today smelt of cow’s urine. Is this true?’

The cook replied in a trembling voice. ‘O king! When I returned from the market with the rice bag the other day, it rained heavily. For fear of drenching the rice I went into cattle shed nearby. It could have happened when I left the rice bag there. Excuse me, Sir, I didn’t mean to do it. Further, I washed the rice several times before I cooked it.’
The king was indeed most impressed, for no one else had been able to detect this smell, in order to test the third brother, one day he sent him a pillow. Next morning, the young man complained that there was a hare’s tail inside the pillow. When the pillow was torn open in court, to everyone’s surprise, there was indeed a hare’s tail in it.
At last the king devised a plan to test the youngest brother. He arranged with the queen that she should go to the royal rest house outside the city and pretend that they had quarreled and parted from each other. He also told her not to budge from there even if someone tried to persuade her to return. The queen agreed and left the palace. The king sent for the fourth brother an told him that his wife had quarreled with him and left him. He asked him to go to her and bring her back to the plalace.
‘O, King, please do ont worry. Only give me two days, and I ‘will bring her back.’

‘Take as much time as you want,’ said the king, fully convinced that he would not succeed.
The young man made all the necessary preparations for arranging a royal wedding. Then he summoned the royal band of musicians and went past the rest house where the queen was staying. The queen saw him and called him and asked him who he was finding a new bride for. The young man laughed and said.

‘Don’t you know this, madam? for our king. Why do you think he sent you away from the palace?
The queen got alarmed she said, ‘Why is the king playing this dirty trick on me? I will ask him in your presence. Come, let’s go to the king.’

‘O, King, the queen is coming back to join you. She will be here soon.’

The queen hurried in, before he had finished. She cried, ‘Is it for this that you sent me away? Do you need such a cunning plan to marry again?’

The king was puzzled at her words. He looked at the young man and he said.
‘O King! This is just a trick I played to bring her back to you.’

The king admired the cleverness of the young man and showered him and his brothers with all kinds of gifts.


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