Four Wise Men

Four Wise Men :

Do you like riddles?
Tell your friend a riddle and see if he or she can solve it.
Here is a riddle for you to read.

Thirty–two white horses
On a red hill
Here they go… there they go,
Yet they stand still.
What is it? Try and guess.

Here is an interesting play. Divide the class into groups of six (one as king, one each as wise men, and one as a merchant; the dialogue of the two sentries can be read out by the students who play the role of the merchant or the king). Read the play in groups first. Then pick out one character each from the groups and ask the chosen students to act the play out for the class.


The King of Ujjain
Four Young Men - Ram Datt, Shiv Datt, Har Datt and Dev Datt
A Merchant
Two Sentries

[Four young men named Ram Datt, Shiv Datt, Har Datt and Dev Datt are walking on the road to Ujjain, looking for jobs. They are about a kilometre away from the city, which they can see clearly.]

RAM DATT : We've come a long way from home, but haven't yet been able to get any jobs.

HAR DATT : How long have we been travelling?

SHIV DATT : For more than a week, I think.

RAM DATT : For ten days exactly. If we could have an interview with the King of Ujjain, I am sure he would give us jobs.

DEV DATT : All of us think so and that's why we are going to Ujjain.

HAR DATT : It is not easy to get an interview with the King of Ujjain. We'll have to plan carefully.

SHIV DATT : Look, a camel has gone this way. Let's study the tracks it has made.

[The four of them go along the road, and as they go, they study the tracks made by the camel.]

RAM DATT : I've found one special thing about this camel.

SHIV DATT : I've found one, too.

HAR DATT : So have I.

DEV DATT : I have found something about it which, I think, none of you has found.

HAR DATT : As soon as we find a big shady tree by the roadside, let's sit down and talk about the things we've found about the camel. But here comes a man running! Who can he be?

SHIV DATT : He looks like a merchant.

RAM DATT : Yes, he is a merchant. I think he has lost his camel.

[The merchant stops near the four men and greets them.]

MERCHANT : Gentlemen, I've lost my camel. Have you seen it?

RAM DATT : Is it lame?

MERCHANT : Yes, it is.

SHIV DATT : Is it blind in the right eye?

MERCHANT : Yes, yes, it's a one-eyed camel.

HAR DATT : Its tail is short, isn't it?

MERCHANT : You're quite right. It has a short tail. You gentlemen have noticed everything about it. I hope………

DEV DATT : Wait a minute. Isn't it suffering from a pain in the stomach?

MERCHANT : You seem to be a vet. The poor animal has been suffering from a pain in the stomach for two weeks. I'm prepared to pay your fees if you treat it. Will you please tell me where it is?

RAM DATT : We don't know where it is.

MERCHANT : Has none of you seen it?

RAM DATT : No, we knew all about it from the tracks it made on the road.

MERCHANT : I don't believe you. You are thieves! You found my camel and sold it to someone. I'm going to complain to the King.

DEV DATT : Please yourself, sir. If the King wants us, please come back and let us know. [Pointing to a banyan tree by the roadside in the distance.] You will find us sitting under that banyan tree.

MERCHANT : I don't trust you. I must take you with me to the king.

ALL FOUR : All right. Let's go to the King.

[The four men follow the merchant to the King. At the gate, the merchant says something to one of the sentries, who takes him to the King. The sentry and the merchant bow to the King.]

SENTRY : Your Highness, this man is a merchant of Ujjain. He has come to make a complaint against the men who have taken away his camel.

[Bows again, and the merchant also bows.]

KING : Where are the men who have taken away your camel?

MERCHANT : They are at the gate, Your Highness.

KING : [to the sentry] Bring them in.

[The sentry bows and goes out. He comes back with the four men and all five of them bow to the King.]

KING : [to the sentry] You may go. [the sentry bows and goes out.]

KING : [to the merchant ] How do you know that these men have taken away your camel?

MERCHANT : Your Highness, they know everything about it and yet they say they haven't seen it. [to the four men] Is that right?

RAM DATT : Your Highness, each of us has found out one special thing about the merchant's camel, but none of us has seen it. I found that it was lame.

KING : How did you find this out?

RAM DATT : Your Highness, I studied the tracks which it had made on the road and saw that there were prints of only three feet.

KING : [to Shiv Datt] What did you find out about the camel?

SHIV DATT : Your Highness, I found that it was blind in the right eye.

KING : How did you find that out?

SHIV DATT : I saw that it had eaten the leaves of the trees only on the left side of the road, and so I knew that it was blind in the right eye.

KING : Excellent! [to Har Datt] What did you find out?

HAR DATT : Your Highness, I found out that it had a short tail.

KING : How did you know that it had a short tail?

HAR DATT : I saw a few very small drops of blood in the track, and I knew that they came from mosquito bites. The mosquitoes could not have bitten the animal so much if it had a long tail to brush them away.

KING : That's very good reasoning. [turning to Dev Datt] What did you find out about the merchant's camel?

DEV DATT : I saw that the prints of the camel's forefeet were deep and clear and the prints of the good hind foot were very light. From this I knew that the camel drew up its hind legs because it had a pain in the stomach.

KING : Very good! [turning to the merchant] I'm satisfied that these four gentlemen have not seen your camel. They are very wise men. You may go and look for your animal. [The merchant bows and goes out.]

KING : [to the four men] Gentlemen, I'm pleased with you. You are wise men indeed. I would like to make you my advisors. What do you say to that?

ALL FOUR : We're at your service, Your Highness!

Pleasure II - NCERT 1980

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