The Clever Astrologer

Once upon a time, there was a king who was very fond of knowing his future from the astrologers. A good astrologer happened to stop at his capital on his way to Benaras. The king called on him to know his future and the astrologer said something unpleasant. At this, the king got furious and condemned him to death saying, “Men like you should not live to spoil the peace of the world.”

But another thought crossed his mind before the astrologer was removed for execution. “How long would you live?” asked the king. The astrologer mused for a while for some way of escape, as he was sure the king would prove him a liar putting him to death then and there if he would live longer than that day. With ready wit, he said, “The stars declare that I shall die only a week before your Majesty. So, good-bye. I shall wait to receive your Majesty where you have been sending me.” At this, the king turned pale as death and shouted, “Drive this wretch away, let him not come again.”