The Village Headman

The village headman was certainly a brainless individual. A peasant came to him one day and complained. “Sir, the sacred village bull has strayed into my cornfield. It will ruin my crop, so please do something about it.”

“Do not worry, man,” the headman quietly reassured the peasant. “I will send a man to drive away the bull.”

“But Sir,” objected the peasant, “The man you send will probably trample my ripe corn into the ground.”

“I will prevent that,” declared the headman with a knowing smile. “I shall carry the man into your cornfield on the shoulders of two other men.”

The peasant went home scratching his head, somewhat be- wildered.

Another time, a delegation of the villagers called on the headman and pointed out that the temple of Lord Shiva was in danger, as the water of a nearby tank had overflowed and was already lapping against the temple walls.

The headman had a ready answer for such an easy problem. Telling the villagers not to worry, he explained that he would arrange to move the temple to a higher ground that day.

As soon as the villagers had departed, he sent for one hundred workers and marched at

their head to the temple. When they arrived at the temple, the headman told them they would all push against the temple wall and move the whole building back a few feet when he gave the word.

Before they started to push, the headman ran round to the back of the temple and estimated that if they made the building back ten feet, it would do. So he measured the ten feet and put his ornate turban on the ground to mark the spot. Then back he went to start his workers pushing the building.

They pushed, and they went till they were covered in sweat. And the head- man sat on a nearby stone to watch this engineering marvel.

Meanwhile, a greedy villager saw the lovely ornate turban on the ground and decided that this must be a gift from the gods.

After the workers had been pushing for over an hour, the headman decided to go and see how far they had moved the temple.

When he went to the back of the temple, he was amazed to see that his turban could no longer be seen.

Running back, he shouted to the men. “Enough, you fools! You have pushed the temple back more than ten feet, and my beautiful turban is now under the temple!”

The tank’s water still laps against the temple’s walls. “Jump, Rajah!”

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