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Tibetan Folk Tales, by A.L. Shelton, [1925], at

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The Story of a Juggler

The traveler is delayed by the men who stop--to the incurable medicine is of no use.
                                Tibetan Proverb.

ONCE upon a time, in a mountainous country, there was located a big city, in which dwelt a king. He had under him in different parts of his kingdom several ministers. One day he sent word to them that they were to come to the city, so they left their homes and came at his bid-ding. As one of the head-men was returning home, a juggler who was his exact counterpart, passed along before him; he was dressed the same, his speech was the same, and in every particular he was as near his double as could be found. When he arrived at home all the servants thought their master had returned and showed him to his bedroom.

When the true master returned after finishing his business with the king and found this stranger in his rooms, he asked his servants who this was who had taken possession of his house. The juggler heard him say this and called out, "Who is that fellow or beggar out there claiming this is his house? Put him outside." Then the true man

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exclaimed, "Don't you know me? This is a juggler that has come into my home, and you are putting me, the real owner, out."

"What is the matter with you all?" the juggler said. "You get out of here, this house and servants are all mine. Put him outside, you know these things belong to me."

They quarreled and quarreled, but finally the true man was put outside and ran and told the king what had happened to him. They were both called before the king and there they were standing before him, alike as two peas. "Well," he said, "I can not tell one from the other. I can't tell who is the right man, but both of you sit down and write a list of things that are in the house." The true man sat down and began to write, but would stop and think and make additions, so that his list might be complete. In the meantime, the juggler created a third man whom he sent back to the house, and this third one was just like the two men, and he brought back a list written from the house as he saw it.

The king now said, "I'll now see who is the true man." In fact, the true man had forgotten to write some things, while the list made by the other man was much more complete. So the king said to the juggler, "Well, I think you are the right man;" and gave him the house and land. The true man was very angry and said, "Well, here I am a beggar with nothing at all." In a few days the juggler got tired of being a big man, went to the king and said, "I hope you won't be angry,

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but the other man is the right fellow. I took his place by juggling, and it is really all his."

The king was not angry, but was much pleased to meet him, as he had heard of such men but had never seen one before. He showed him many honors, while the other man was restored to his rightful property and home.

Next: Thirty-Seven: The Story of a Turquoise