The Thieves and the Well

One day, King Krishnadevaraya was surveying his prison. There he found two prisoners who begged for his mercy. The prisoners told him that they were expert burglars and they could help the King catch other burglars. Krishnadevaraya was a kind and understanding King. He said to them that he would release them and make them his spies on one condition. First, they had to break into the Tenali Raman house and steal all his valuables. The expert thieves agreed to this readily.

That night, the thieves went to Tenali Raman house and hid behind some bushes. Tenali Raman was strolling through his garden and heard a rustling in the bushes. He knew that there were thieves in his garden. He went inside and told his wife loudly to be careful about all valuables as two thieves were on the run. Tenali Raman told her to put all her jewellery and valuables in a trunk. The thieves who were hiding in the bushes overheard this conversation. After some time, Tenali Raman took the trunk and carried to his backyard. He threw it into the well.

As soon as Tenali Rama went to his house, the thieves went to the well and started drawing water. They fetched the water for the whole night only to discover the trunk in the water by morning. They happily open the trunk only to find stones in it. Tenali Raman came out and thanked the thieves for giving him a good night sleep and for watering his garden plants. The thieves knew that Tenali Raman had played the game on them and apologized to him.

Word Power:

  1. Survey (verb) – look closely at or examine 
  2. Mercy (noun) – compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm
  3. Burglars (noun) – a thief who enters a house or other building by force
  4. Spies (verb) – observe secretly
  5. Stroll (verb) – walk in a leisurely way
  6. Rustling (verb) – a soft, muffled crackling sound caused by the movement of dry leaves or paper


1. What did the prisoners tell the King?
Ans: The prisoners told the King they were expert burglars and that they can help him catch other burglars.

2. What did the King ask the prisoners to do first?
Ans: The King asked the prisoners to first break into Tenali Raman’s house and steal all his valuables.

3. Where did the prisoners hide?
Ans: The prisoners hid behind some bushes.

4. What did Tenali Raman hear when he was strolling through his garden?
Ans: Tenali Raman heard some rustling in the bushes when he was strolling through his garden.

5. Where did Tenali Raman ask his wife to put the jewelry and valuables?
Ans: Tenali Raman asked his wife to put all her jewellery and valuables in a trunk.

6. What did Tenali Raman do with the trunk?
Ans: Tenali Raman through the trunk into the well.

7. What did the trunk contain when the thieves found it?
Ans: The truck contained stones when the thieves found it.