Many folk tales in Sri Lanka are connected to the daily lives of the people, which go back to about 500 years. Most of the time, a folk tale is woven around a prominent figure such as the king, a wise man in a village or sometimes the “gamarala” (farmer). The story which is described below is about a man called as “Andare”, who was a court jester employed to amuse the King, and his Ministers. Although books on history do not mention about such a position during the reign of Sinhala Kings, there could have been such a position to take away the tension of the daily work of the King and his ministers. Therefore, the stories of Andare are quite popular. Even if there’s no direct moral expressed in these stories related to Andare, one could learn how to use wit and brains in combination to get out of certain situations.
One day, since Andare used to play pranks on the king, the ministers and sometimes even the queen, the ministers decided to play a prank on Andare for a change. So they went to the king one day and requested His Majesty to order everyone to dive in to the Royal pond and resurface with an egg in their hands. The king too agreed to this and was curious to know what Andare would do.
Therefore, when the next day, the king, his ministers and Andare went to the Royal pond to take a bath, the king announced that before he took his bath, everyone should dive in to the Royal pond and bring an egg each when they come up again, and if he’s unable to do it, that man ashould admit that he’s a fool. By this time, each of the ministers had an egg with them which was unknown to Andare. At the order when the signal was given, the ministers immediately dived in to the pool. Although Andare was quite surprised at this request, he had no alternative but to dive himself.
After a while, each minister came back to the surface holding an egg in his hand, and everyone including the king was waiting for Andare. Finally, he too came up and realized that he was set up and that this had been planned before to make him a fool. However, he did not want to accept that he was defeated. Therefore, as soon as he came up, Andare cried “Cock-a –doodle doo ….! All of you are hens and I am the only cockerel over here! Cock-a doodle doo…”
The King was impressed and amazed at how Andare was able to use his brain and wit to outmaster the ministers and how he made the prank rebound on them and had a hearty laugh. (Inosha, 2015)