175. Tenalirama's Finger

King Krishnadevaraya was extremely fastidious.
"I see dirt under that fingernail," he shouted at Tenalirama. "Cut that finger off!"
"I'll clean it carefully," replied Tenalirama.
"No! Cut it off!"
Tenalirama disappeared for a few days. He made a pit filled with mud and covered with turf ... exactly where the king liked to walk.
When the king fell into the mud up to his neck, Tenalirama appeared with a sword. "I'll cut right at the neck!" he shouted.
The king understood and laughed.
"Just get me out of here!" he said. "And you can forget what I said about the finger."

Inspired byThe Wit of Tenali Raman by Devika Rangachari
Notes: This story is on p. 43 of the book. The original story is about some dirt that Tenalirama steps in, dirtying his toe. The story also goes into detail about just how Tenalirama uses roses to lure the king into the pitfall.

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