Hair in the Mattress

There is no limit of the knowledge of a learned man.

Following him Vikram came to the same tree, got him off the tree, put him on his shoulder and started walking. Vikram was walking fast. Vaitaal said – “Vikram, I tell you a story just to pass time.

There lived a religious Braahman in Magadh Desh. He had two sons. Both were very learned. The first one could tell by touch only as what was the thing. He could tell what was in a safe box just by smelling it. This boy earned money by telling things inside the earth. He could tell by smelling the earth where the money was kept. People came, took him along with them. He took his fees and told them whatever it was. Thus he could tell by smelling the earth that whether there will be sweet or salty water if a well was dug there. Wealthy people dug their wells on his advice only.

His second son knew women. He could tell her nature just by looking at her, so people took his opinion while marrying. This boy also earned a fair amount of money by his this quality. Both brothers had extraordinary smelling power.

Vikram, Whoever has come in this world, has to go. Their father fell seriously ill. Both brothers served him very well. The Vaidya (traditional doctor) asked them to bring a tortoise so that he could treat him with that. Both brothers refused to bring tortoise because of its smell, so a servant was sent to bring it. The king’s servant took that servant away to the king. Both brothers went to get him freed. They pleaded their case.

The king asked – “What type of sons you are? Your father is so ill, and still you didn’t go bring tortoise yourself?” Both told him about their sensitivity to smell. The king got very surprised to hear this. He said to them – “I will treat your father, you be with me, in my service.” The king treated him and the Braahman got all right after a while. His both sons started serving the King.

One day two people came in the court quarreling on a valuable necklace. Both were claiming for that necklace. The king asked the second son to tell whose necklace was it.” The boy smelled hands of both the people and told that the necklace belonged to the fat man. The fat man jumped with happiness, the other man also agreed upon his judgment. The king asked the second man – “Why were you telling this as yours?” He said politely – “Mahaaraaj, We had only heard about these boys but we had never tested them, so we were just testing. We have no bad intentions, we are Braahman.” King got very happy and the respect of those boys also increased in his heart.

Time passed. Once a beautiful prostitute came in the city. The king also got the news about her beauty, so he asked the Braaman’s sons to find out how she was. Both went to that prostitute. At that time she was swinging in her garden. Both saw her, both went near her. The prostitute welcomed them. Braahman’s first son got attracted to her, and the prostitute also attracted to him. They came back after talking to her.

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Then they went to the king. The king asked – “How is she?” The first son said – “She is very beautiful.” “What about her qualities?” “She is of simple plain nature, of good character but is a Varnsankar child. Her father is Braahman and mother is Shoodra, that is why nobody is ready to marry her, and for the same reason she has taken this profession.” The king appointed her in his court as the royal dancer. When the king told her about her parents, she was shocked to hear. She asked – “How do you know about my father and mother? This is quite a secret, how did you come to know this?” Then he told her the quality of that Braahman’s son.

The prostitute started loving him more than before. She invited the first boy to her house and enjoyed with him in a very luxurious room. The boy said – “You are hurting me.” The prostitute said surprisingly, “How?” The boy replied – “There is a hair in your mattress, it is hurting me.” “Hair?” The prostitute’s mouth remained wide open. “Yes, Dear.” When the mattress was examined, they found a hair there. Her love became more intense towards him. Both started living together.

Vaitaal said – “Tell me, Vikram, Which one of them is more qualitative?” Vikram said – “Look Vaitaal, There is no limit of the knowledge of a learned man. Both are fine at their own place.” Vaitaal asked – “Why that hair in the mattress pricked the boy?” Vikram said – “It pricked him because it had a smell. It might have been of some dirty animal.”

Vaitaal said – “You are right, Vikram.” and laughed loudly. He again tried to run away, but could not escape. Vikram’s hold was very strong. Vikram was walking fast, he had to reach there in time.

Hair in the Mattress – Vikram Betal