Digital Dimdima

WITTY TALES

Battle of Wits

Subuddhi and Kubuddhi were always trying to get the better of each other. One day, in October, Kubuddhi saw a mango growing on his tree. He knocked it down, wrapped it in a cloth and waited for Subuddhi to come by. When he did he called out to him. "I have a riddle for you," he said. "Can you tell me what fruit is wrapped in this cloth? If you guess correctly you may take any one thing from my house that you can carry out with your two hands; if you fail I'll come to your house and carry away something."
"All right," said Subuddhi, always ready to match his wits with Kubuddhi. "It must be a guava."
"No," said the other man. "I'll give you two more guesses."
"It is the season for custard apples," said Subuddhi. "It must be a custard apple."
"Last guess."
"Pomegranate?"
"You've failed," said Kubuddhi and triumphantly uncovered the mango.
"I'll go home and prepare for your visit," said Subuddhi. "Come in half an hour."
Thirty minutes later, Kubuddhi was at the gates of Subuddhi's house.
A glint of metal caught his eye and looking up he saw there was a chest on the roof.
"Tell me truthfully," he said to Subuddhi, "does that chest contain anything valuable?"
"Yes," said Subuddhi, "all my money and most of my wife's ornaments. I thought I had concealed it well."
"You should've covered it," said Kubuddhi, gleefully, "Now though it is outside your house it is still part of your house and I can claim it."
"You have to lay your hands on it first. Remember, you may take only one thing from my house."
"One is enough," said Kubuddhi. He went boldly into Subuddhi's house, brought out a ladder and placed it against the roof.
"Yes, kindly take it down for me," said Subuddhi, "and I must thank you for sparing my valuables."
"Sparing your valuables?" said Kubuddhi, perplexed. "What makes you think I'm going to let you keep your valuables?"
"We had agreed you could take away one thing that you could carry out with your own two hands," said Subuddhi, grinning. "And you have carried out the ladder."

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