Escaping from the Punishment of being trampled by an Elephant
One day Tennalirama incurred the extreme displeasure of the Rayar for overdoing his part. The Rayar was much enraged and condemned Tennalirama to be trampled by an elephant. The servants of the place took him to an open plain outside the city, dug a deep pit and buried him in it, leaving only his face projecting above ground. They then returned to the city to fetch an elephant for treading over the criminal’s head. In the interval a hump-backed washerman happened to pass that way, and he asked the jester “Why, sir, do you stand thus buried?” Tennaliraman replied:- “I have had a bad hump-back for a very long time. To make my body straight, a doctor left me buried here thus. I have lost my curve and become straight now. You can dig me up and see for yourself whether it is so or not.” The washerman did accordingly, and not seeing any bend in the man’s body, begged to be buried in the pit, so that his body might become erect too. Tennalirama was not slow to comply with this request, and returned to the Rayar with the washerman’s bundle. The Rayar asked:- “How now! Tennalirama here! Did I not order you to be trampled to death?” The jester replied with a cool obeisance:- “So it was ordered, but an honest washerman has obligingly taken my place, and left this bundle in my keeping.” The Rayar laughed heartily and excused his jester.