One day, on his return journey to Vijayanagara, Tenali Rama spotted a group of people sitting around a campfire and talking. He wanted to rest for the night, and so, sat comfortably near the fire.
After some time, Rama realized that the men were war veterans. They were narrating tales of their bravery. One soldier described how he single-handedly killed ten rival soldiers; another told the group how he kept an entire enemy regiment at bay during a battle. This continued until their stories got exhausted, and they did not have anything to boast about.
Just then, a retired soldier turned towards Rama and said, “I do not think you would have any such adventurous tales to narrate?”
Rama replied, “Ah!, But I do have one.” Everyone was surprised and remarked sarcastically, “You have one?”
“Yes,” replied Rama. He continued, “Once, when I was traveling, I happened to spot an unusually large tent. Out of curiosity, I cautiously stepped in and found the largest man on earth lying on the mat. I recognized him as the dangerous dacoit who had been terrorizing that part of the country for decades.”
“What did you do then?” Asked the soldiers who were dying to know what happened next.
To this, Rama replied, “I took out my sword, cut off his toe, and ran for my dear life.”
“Just the toe?” Sneered one of the soldiers. “If I were you, I would have cut his head.” another soldier remarked.
Rama smiled and said, “Someone already did that; his head was lying next to his body.”
Moral of the story
We might have done great things in life, but cannot underestimate others.