In the Kingdom of Fools


In the Kingdom of Fools is an interesting story by Indian writer A. K. Ramanujan. He has written stories in Kannada and English language.

This story talks about the Kingdom of Fools. The kingdom is ruled by a foolish king and he has a foolish minister. In order to create some change and make a Kingdom different from others, the king and his minister decide to complete all the day's work at night and vice versa.


One day a guru and his disciple visit this Kingdom and see how the people and even animals were trained to do work during the night and sleep the whole day. At night when they started roaming in the kingdom they were surprised because everything in the kingdom was cheap and of the same cost, that is a single duddu.

Guru was a vice person. He immediately left the kingdom but his disciple was a food lover. By seeing the environment of the kingdom and because everything was cheap and of the same cost, he decided to stay there even despite the warning of the guru.

One day a thief broke into a rich merchant's house. He was about to steal things but the wall of the house collapsed and he died. The brother of the thief pleaded to the King to punish the merchant for building a weak wall. After such demand the king tried the merchant. He heard the case and decided to punish the merchant but the merchant put the blame on the bricklayer for building such a weak wall. Then the bricklayer pleaded with the king to punish the dancing girl who distracted him during the building of the wall. The dancing girl put the blame on the goldsmith and the goldsmith blamed the rich merchant's father for ordering jewellery for the wedding ceremony in his family.

After all the trials, the king decided that the merchant is the real culprit and he decided to punish him. The stake designed for the punishment was not suitable for the merchant who was too thin so the King decided to let him go and punish the man who is fat and fits in the stake.

The king's men searched for the fat man for the punishment and he found that the guru's disciple who had become fat, fits for the punishment. That time he remembered his guru's wise words that these people are fools and unpredictable, it could be dangerous.

He remembers his guru who saw everything by his vision; the guru then arrived in the kingdom and created a drama. The guru told the king that this stake has some special power. Whoever punished first on this would be the king in his next life and the second one will be his minister so first punish me and then my disciple

After guru's words the king was surprised and decided to hold the punishment and later discussed all this with his minister. Later they secretly freed the guru and his disciple and executed themselves. The people now made the guru and his disciples their king and minister.

Questions and Answers

Q. What are the two strange things the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom of Fools?

Ans. The guru and his disciple found two strange things in the kingdom of fools: people of the kingdom used to work at nights and sleep during days even animals were trained to do like that. Moreover everything was cheap and of the same cost i.e. a single duddu in the kingdom.

Q. Why does the disciple decide to stay in the Kingdom of Fools? Is it a good idea?

Ans. The disciple was a foodie and he loves to eat food. In the kingdom of fools everything was cheap and at the same cost. That's why the disciple decided to stay in the kingdom. It was not a good idea to stay there because staying somewhere where people are fools and can behave unpredictably could be dangerous for him.

Q. Name all the people who are tried in the king's court and give the reasons for their trial.

Ans. In the king's court the merchant, the bricklayer, the dancing girl and the goldsmith were tried. They all were tried because a thief died by the wall collapsing of the merchant's house. The wall built was weak, that's why the merchant and the bricklayer were tried. During wall building, the dancing girl tried to disturb the bricklayer and the dancing girl was disturbed by the goldsmith. That's why all the people were tried in the King's court.


Q. Who is the real culprit according to the king? Why does he escape punishment?

Ans. The real culprit according to the king was the merchant who was the son of the man who was responsible for building the weak wall. He escaped from the punishment because he was too thin to fit the stake.

Q. What are the guru's words of wisdom? When does the disciple remember them?

Ans. The gurus' words of wisdom were, "they are fools this won't last very long and you can't tell what they will do to you next." The disciple was arrested by the king’s men and was about to be brutally executed and at that time he remembered guru's words of wisdom.

Q. How does the Guru manage to save his disciple's life?

Ans. At the time of punishment the guru arrived and told the king that it is not an ordinary stake and that whoever went to the stake first would be the king in his next life and the second one will be his minister. By creating such a drama guru manages to save his disciples life.

Q. What is the moral of the story?

Ans. The moral of a story is you should never trust foolish people and for a good administration smart people are needed.

Updated on: 11-Jan-2023

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