One day a king stepped out of the gates of his palace and found a man standing there.
The man had a plump chicken in his hands.
On seeing the king he bowed respectfully and said: ‘Maharaj, I gambled in your name and won this chicken. It belongs to you. Please accept it.”
“Give it to my poultry keeper,” said the king.
A few days later the king saw the man standing outside the gates again.
This time he had a goat with him. “I won this goat in your name, Maharaj,” he said after saluting the ruler. “It belongs to you.”
The king was pleased.
“Give it to my goatkeeper,” he said.
Some weeks later the man was at the palace gates once again.
This time he had two men with him.
“I lost 500 varahas to each of these men while playing in your name, Maharaj,” said the man. “I have no money to pay them.”
The king realised he had made a mistake in accepting the man’s gifts on the previous occasions.
Now he could not refuse to help him. He paid off the two men and warned the gambler never to play in his name again.