172. Tenalirama and the Executioner

Tenalirama's latest prank infuriated King Krishnadevaraya.
"Take him away!" he said to the executioner. "Cut off his head with one slice of your sword!"
The executioner grabbed Tenalirama.
"Let me pray in the holy river first," the jester begged.
They waded into the river. Tenalirama prayed quietly and then yelled, "CUT!" The executioner swung his sword, but Tenalirama had plunged into the water. The sword whooshed through the air.
The executioner chased Tenalirama onto the bank and prepared to swing again.
"Stop!" Tenalirama yelled. "The king said 'one slice of your sword' — one only!"
So Tenalirama escaped punishment again.

Inspired byThe Wit of Tenali Raman by Devika Rangachari
Notes: This story is on p. 35 of the book. For more stories of Tenalirama escaping punishment, see Tenalirama and the Washerman and Tenalirama and the Twenty Lashes.

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