Digital Dimdima

WITTY TALES

A Hundred Faces

A king riding through the countryside, met a peasant and ever concerned about the welfare of his subjects asked him how much he earned.
"Four coins each day, your majesty," replied the man.
"And how do you spend the four coins?"
"One on myself, one I give in gratitude, one I give back and one I give on interest."
The king, puzzled, asked him to explain.
"A part of the money I spend on myself," said the man, "a part on my wife in gratitude for all she does for the house, a part on my aged parents to pay them back for all that they did for me and a part on my children who I expect will pay me back with interest by looking after me and my wife in our old age."
"You have provided me a fine riddle," said the king. "Please keep the answer a secret for some time, at least till you've seen my face a hundred times."
"I will," said the peasant.
That very evening the king put the riddle to his courtiers. He told them what the peasant had said in reply to his question about how he spent his money and asked them to explain what the peasant had meant. The courtiers did not know but one of them said he would have the answer in twenty-four hours.
He searched out the peasant whom the king had spoken to and asked him the answer to the riddle. The man, at first, refused to tell but was eventually persuaded to do so with a gift of a bag of coins. When the courtier returned to the palace and told the king the answer to the riddle the monarch guessed that the peasant had broken his promise of silence.
He sent for the man and asked him why he had betrayed his trust.
"Didn't I tell you not to reveal the answer till you had seen my face a hundred times?" demanded the king.
"And I did see your face a hundred times before I told him the answer, your majesty," replied the peasant. "He gave me a bag of hundred coins and each of them had your face on it."
The king was delighted with his wit and rewarded him handsomely.

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