The Astrologer And the King/The Clever Astrologer/Ready Wit of an Astrologer/The King Fond of Knowing Future

Once there was a king. He was fond of knowing his future from the astrologers. Very often, he called in the astrologer to his palace and had known from them what was in store for him.

Once a good astrologer happened to stop at his capital on his way to Benaras. The king called for him to his palace. Upon king’s curiosity, the astrologer predicted something unpleasant about his life. At this the king got furious and instantly condemned him to death saying, “Man like you should not live to spoil the peace of the world.”

However, the astrologer was about to be taken to the place of execution. At that time, a thought crossed through king’s mind, “How long would you live?” asked the king. The astrologer was standing at the point of sword to be executed. He thought that the king would prove him a liar putting him to death. He readily hit upon a plan to escape death as a drowning man catches at a straw. With his ready wit, he answered, ” The stars declares that I shall die only a week before your death! I shall wait to receive your majesty where you have been sending me.” At this the king turned pale. He instantly ordered his men shouting, “Drive this wretch away and let him never come again.”

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