Krishna Raya was very fond of collecting rare objects. One day, a courtier had an idea. He asked a painter to color a peacock red. The painter did his job so well and the peacock really looked naturally red.
The courtier took the peacock to the king’s chamber and after presenting it to him, said: "Sir, this is the rarest red peacock available only in the dense forest. I have spent a large amount on it, so that you can add this rare bird in your precious collection."
The king was surprised on seeing the peacock and observed the peacock. He was confused. But the peacock looked naturally red so the king said "Yes, It is the rarest peacock. I am glad to have."
The king gave 1000 gold coins for red peacock.
Tenaliram was present there when that peacock was presented to the king. While the king was talking to the courtier he smelled a faint smell of paint.
Tenali left the court and asked his servant to find the good painters of the town. Tenaliram asked him to paint five peacocks with red paint.
Next day, Tenaliram took the painter and five peacocks with him to the court. Tenaliram said, " Sir, Yesterday you received one red peacock today I have five more peacocks. And while you gave twenty five thousand gold coins for one I ‘m ready to sell five for only 1000 gold coins."
The king again found them naturally red. And the king gave an order to Tenalirama "You can take 1000 gold coins from the royal treasury"
On hearing this Tenali said "Sir you should give award to this painter as he painted the peacock so beautifully as to make them look naturally red."
King asked "Are they not naturally red?"
"No. You smell them closely and you would get the faint smell of the paint," said the Tenalirama.
The kind did so and awarded the painter handsomely. But that courtier was punished.