Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tales of Tenali Raman - Tenali Raman and The Unusual Cat

Once a merchant visited the courts of King Krishnadevaraya, and brought some Persian cats with him. The king immediately bought all the cats as a gift to his queen. The queen was very happy to receive this gift of cute cats and gave few of them to some of her favorite people in the court including Tenali Raman. Before giving one to Tenali, she instructed, "Tenali Raman, since you are one of my favorites, I am giving you this cat. Take care of her properly and feed her well. I have instructed the royal cowherd to give you one cow, so that you can give your cat plenty of milk to drink. I wish to see this cat after a month to check her growth."

Tenali took the cat home and couple of months passed by. The queen seemed to forget about the cats, until one day someone reminded her. All the persons whom she had gifted the cats were immediately summoned to the court along with the cats. The king and queen inspected each one of the cats and were happy to see that the cat which was with Tenali was the plumpest of all. The queen ordered one of her servants to get milk for all the cats. Once the milk bowls were brought, all cats except Tenali's rushed towards it. One of the servants took the milk bowl and kept it in front of Tenali's cat, but the cat ran and leapt into Tenali's lap. Everyone was surprised to see this incident. 

The surprised king asked Tenali the explanation for the cat's behavior. Tenali answered, "Your Majesty, we all know that cats always drink their milk with eyes closed. It seems they do this out of fear. But I wanted my cat to be fearless. So I wanted to get rid of this habit of my cat. To do so, I put a bowl of hot milk in front of it. I repeatedly told my cat to keep her eyes open and drink the milk. But it still closed it's eyes and started licking the milk. Since the milk was hot, it burnt her mouth. I applied an ointment on it. But since then, my cat runs away whenever it sees milk. So I have stopped giving her milk."

The king then asked surprisingly, "So how come your cat is fattest of all the other cats present here?" To this Tenali Raman replied, "My Lord, There are many rats in my house, as well as the neighbor's houses. I allow my cat to roam freely, whenever it is hungry and relish on those rats. My cat simply enjoys this, and recently this has also become one of it's favorite pastime. This way not only she enjoys her food, but also enjoys her freedom. This is how it has put on weight. "

The queen then inquired about the cow that she had given to Tenali for the milk to feed cat. Tenali answered to her query, "Your Highness! The cow gives plenty of milk which is full of cream. My children and his friends enjoy the delicious treat and thank you everyday." The king and the queen roared with laughter on hearing this. They were as usual pleased with Tenali's intelligent and witty jester. 

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