A Shrewd Doctor

A daughter was born to a king. Besides being a fool, the king had an aversion to female children. He thought the baby would take too long to grow up, get married and live with her husband. So he announced a prize of a lakh rupees to any doctor who could make his daughter grow up at once into a woman with the help of herbs or drugs.

The doctors had a hearty laugh over the king’s announcement. Only one doctor did not laugh. He went to the king and said, “Sire, I can make the baby attain womanhood. Give me a lakh.”

“How long will you treat her?” the king asked the doctor.

“The requisite herb must be got from beyond the seven seas. It will take time to get it. But as soon as I have it in my hand, I can start the treatment,”

“All right,” said the king. “You can keep the child with you.” Some years went by. The king sent for the doctor and asked him, “Have you started treatment?”

“Sire, my men haven’t come back with the herb. I’m expecting them any day,” the doctor replied.

Some more years passed, and the king’s daughter attained womanhood. The doctor took her to the king and said, “Sire, my treatment is successful and here is your daughter, grown up!”

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