One day a horse trader, a foreigner, came to the court of Krishnadeva Raya and told him he had some fine horses for sale.
The emperor offered to buy them. The man took an advance of 5000 gold coins and promising to return with the horses in two days, went away. That evening Krishnadeva Raya saw Raman writing on a sheet of paper.
“What are you writing?” he asked.
“I’m making a list of the greatest fools in the empire,” said Raman.
The emperor was astonished to see his own name on the top of the list.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded. “You think I am a fool!”
“Any man who would give 5000 gold coins to a stranger and expect him to return, is a fool!” replied Raman.
“Oh, so that’s what is troubling you,” said the emperor. “You think the man won’t return. What if he does?”
“In that case,” said Raman with a twinkle in his eye, “I’ll scratch out your name and put his there.”