A rich man lived in a small town in Tamil Nadu. One day he brought home two large and juicy mangoes. He gave them to his servant and said, “ Here Ramu, take these to the kitchen and cut them. Make two cup of coffee too. A friend of mine will be coming soon. Make the mangoes and coffee when he comes,”
Ramu took the mangoes to the kitchen and cut them with a knife. Then, to make sure they were not sour, he put one piece in his mouth. Ah, how sweet it tasted! If I eat just one more piece, the master will never know,” he thought. He put one more piece into his mouth, one more… In a few minutes, the plate was empty!
Ramu felt a little frightened. The master was sure to beat him. Just then he heard his master calling, “Ramu, have you cut the mangoes ? Keep the coffee ready too. My friend will be here any minute.”
Poor Ramu. What was he to do now ? He had already eaten up the mangoes. He thought quickly, and got an idea. “Oh master,”he replied. “The knife is blunt. I can’t cut the mangoes with it.”
“You fool! Why didn’t you tell me earlier ?” the master shouted. “Bring the knife here. I’ll sharpen it for you.”
Ramu took a large and blunt knife from the kitchen and gave it to his master. While the master was busy sharpening it, Ramu quietly went out of the house. He saw his master’s friend coming up the road. Ramu ran to meet him,. “Sir, sir,” he said to the friend, “have you had a fight with my master ? He says that he will cut off both your ears !”
The friend stared in surprise. “Fight ?” he said. “We didn’t really have a fight. But yesterday when he came to my house, I put on his chappals by mistake. Now why should he want to cut off my ears for a little thing like that?”
“I’m telling you, Sir, he wants to cut off your ears.” Ramu said again. “If you don’t believe me. you can see for yourself. But mind, don’t let him catch you!”
The friend crept up to an open window and saw the master of the house sharpening a big knife. “My goodness!” he cried. “He really wants to cut off my ears! I had better run away before he sees me.” He turned round and ran back the way he had come.
Ramu then ran to his master crying, “Master, master, your friend has taken both the mangoes. There he is, running away!”
The master looked up and saw his friend running away at top speed. He rushed out and ran after his friend. “Stop! Stop!” he shouted. “Keep one of them if you like, but let me have the other one!” The friend looked back and saw the master running after him with a big knife in one hand. He screamed in terror. Doubling his speed, he vanished in the distance.
The master soon gave up the chase and went back to his house. Calling Ramu, he said, “I never knew how greedy this man was, and a thief too! Thank you for telling me.” He then went out and came out with two more large and juicy mangoes. Giving them to Ramu, he said, “Here Ramu, you eat one. And cut the other one for me.”