There was once a hare-brained King who greatly lacked common sense. But in his very kingdom there was a Pundit who was extremely wise. The King had a beautiful white horse and he was very proud of him. While the Pundit was respected and revered by all in the kingdom, the King carried little or no respect at all, on account of his foolish conduct always. The King, noticed this discreetly, and slowly became jealous of the Pundit’s popularity. So, he thought of destroying the Pundit.
One day the king sent for him. The Pundit came and prostrated in front of the King, who said,
‘I hear, you are an extremely learned and wise man. I want you to teach my white horse to speak. I will allow you a week to consider the proposal, at the end of which time you must give me your decision. And, if you cannot teach my horse to talk your head will be chopped off.’
The Pundit replied, ‘as you wish My Lord.’ Post which he left for his home in very low spirits.
The Pundit lived with his intelligent daughter, who was a grown-up girl. When he returned, she observed, he had a melancholic look on his face. She asked for the reason. The Pundit narrated his conversation with the King. He told her about the King’s unjust command, and confessed it was impossible to teach a horse to speak. Therefore, he must place his life in order and prepare for his death. The intelligent girl heard her father, and said.
‘Do as I say if you want to save your life. When you go to the king this time on the appointed day, and when the king asks, about your decision, to teach the horse to speak. Say I can do it, but the work will take a long time. Say I’ll require seven years to teach him, and you must allow the horse to be with me at all times, so that I can train him daily, and My Lord, you’ll have to provide food for him. The King will surely agree to this suggestion of yours, and in seven years God will find a way to save you?
The Pundit, pondered for a while. Since he had no choice he accepted his daughter’s advice. Soon, he appeared before the King at the end of the week, and prostrated before the him.
The King asked,
‘So learned man what have you decided. Will you teach my white horse to speak?’
‘Your majesty! I can, but it’s a difficult job and will require long hours each day, and a total of seven years. Also the horse during this phase has to be with me at all times so that I can train him continuously, and my lord since I’m a poor man you’ll also have to provide the required diet for the horse which I cannot afford.’
The king was delighted to hear the offer and couldn’t wait for his white horse to speak. He immediately sanctioned everything that the pundit had asked for including hundred gold coins as bakshish. The pundit thereafter walked back to his house happily.
Before the lapse of seven years the king died. The pundit not only saved his life but even enjoyed the gold coins and the horse remained with him.
Moral of the story: Don’t panic in difficult moments. Think of a solution to a problem like the pundit’s daughter.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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