Profiting by the Labour of Thieves
One night Tennalirama came to know that six thieves were in the back part of his house and that they were only waiting for a proper opportunity to enter in and rob. He soon went into the several rooms and safely secured all the money, jewels, silk clothes and other things. He then called his wife and said loud enough for the thieves to hear:- “As there is now much feat of thieves in this city we shall keep all our property in a big box and take it out again after the fear is over.” Then he filled up a big box with stones and blocks. Then he himself, his wife and his son, all the three, carried the box to a well which was in a garden outside the house and threw it into the well with a heavy splash. The thieves, who had carefully observed all this and were thoroughly taken in, said to themselves: “It is not necessary for us now to get into the house. We shall descent into the well and carry away the box. How easy they have made it for us!” And with great eagerness one of them got into the well, but on examining, found the water very deep and said that if some of the water was baled out they could easily take up the box. They all agreed to it. There were two picottahs with watering pots in that well. They divided themselves into two parties of three each, and went to work at the picottahs. And Tennalirama got into the garden unobserved and went on opening or closing the mouths of the small channels which converted the water to the several patches of land in which plantain, arecanut, lime, orange, citron, coconut and other trees were planted and saw to the proper distribution of the water. And as the water in the well never went down the thieves went on baling out water throughout the night. When the day was about to dawn Tennaliraman cried aloud:- “The whole garden has been well watered. You may leave off the picottahs now.” On hearing it, the thieves ran away, glad to be left off so easily.