171. Tenalirama and the Washerman

Enraged by Tenalirama's pranks, King Krishnadevaraya shouted, "Bury him up to his neck! Let an elephant trample his head!"
So the guards buried Tenalirama and went to fetch an elephant.
A washerman walked by, carrying a heavy laundry-basket. "Oh, my arthritis!" the washerman groaned.
"This cure works!' shouted Tenalirama. "I buried myself, and my arthritis is cured. Try it! I'll bury you, and I'll deliver the laundry!"
The washerman agreed.
Tenalirama buried him and ran off.
Then the washerman saw the elephant coming.
"HELP!" he yelled.
The guards stopped the elephant just in time.
Tenalirama had outwitted everyone once again.

Inspired byThe Wit of Tenali Raman by Devika Rangachari
Notes: This story is on p. 18 of the book. In the original story, the washerman has a hunched back; I changed it to be about arthritis. The "take-my-place" motif is a famous one in world folklore.

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