The royal painter decorated the palace walls with Mahabharata murals. Tenalirama scoffed. "Where's the rest of Arjuna?" he asked, pointing to one figure.
"That's a profile!" replied the painter. "You have to imagine the rest."
"I will decorate the summer palace with scenes from the Ramayana!" boasted Tenalirama.
A month later, he was done. The king came to see... and there were only noses. Everywhere! Noses painted all over the walls!
"What is this?" he shouted angrily.
"Well, this is Rama, of course. And Sita, Lakshmana..." Tenalirama pointed out each nose one by one. "You have to imagine the rest."
Inspired by: The Wit of Tenali Raman by Devika Rangachari
Notes: This story is on p. 34 of the book. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are the two great epics of ancient India. In the original story he painted noses and legs and arms and various body parts; I changed it to just noses in honor of his encounter with Kali: Tenalirama and Kali.