The king was furious at Tenalirama, "Stay away! If I see you again, you'll get twenty lashes."
Tenalirama returned the next day. "You're not allowed in!" said the outer guard.
"But the king promised me a present," said Tenalirama. "I'll give you half!"
Tenalirama made the same deal with the inner guard.
He then entered the court and bowed.
The king yelled, "Bring my whip!"
"Wait," said Tenalirama, and he summoned the two guards.
"Ten lashes for him," said the jester, "and ten for him."
The king had to laugh at Tenalirama's ingenuity, and he even spared the greedy guards.
Inspired by: The Wit of Tenali Raman by Devika Rangachari
Notes: This story is on p. 25 of the book. In the traditional story, the king does whip the guards! The same story is told about Birbal in his king's court.