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Updated: Oct 18, 2023

It is a pity when our weakness gets the best of us, even when it is ludicrous. It is these same ludicrous weaknesses that help our foes to win against us with ease.

“Greediness” by R. S. Chintalapati tells the story of a greedy king who is after a diamond even after his treasury is whole. It is this weakness that gets him into trouble.

Illustration by Nisha Yadav

Long time back there lived a King named Hashavardhan. He was so greedy that he taxed his people heavily irrespective of his accumulated wealth and never cared about his people’s sufferings. This wealth didn’t help anyone but earned the King many enemies.

These enemies were jealous of his riches and fought battles against the King but never succeeded. This was because the King had a wise minister who always planned his strategies which ensured his triumph.

So not intending to fail again, the enemies now planned to target the King on his weakness. They offered a lot of wealth to one of the King’s scouts to inform the King that there was a dangerous snake resting in the dark forest with a diamond on its head. They even demanded the scout to mention that this diamond seemed rare.

The scout not only did what was told to him but also added that the King’s enemies were fast hunting the snake to capture this diamond for themselves. The scout even declared that since it was the property of the King, it was his by right.

Promoting the scout as he agreed with him, the King commanded his minister to send soldiers to get him the diamond. Suspicious, the minister advised, “My King, aren’t we prosperous enough? This diamond wouldn’t make much of a difference.”

The King, however, didn’t heed the advice and sent twenty soldiers to fetch him the diamond. Anon, he was informed that not one soldier returned. Furious, the King decided to capture the diamond himself by going against the minister’s advice again.

Though the minister mentioned that it was suspicious that one snake could kill twenty soldiers, the King did not bother. Later when he reached the forest, the king was shot to death in the forest and his kingdom fell.



This contribution is edited by Sreekar Ayyagari & illustrated by Nisha Yadav.



This fable is available as paperback & ebook.

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