King Krishnadeva Rai had some superior quality brinjal or aubergine plants growing in his private garden. No one was allowed to view the garden without the king's permission, let alone taste the brinjal.
Once the king invited his courtiers to a feast in which the brinjal was served. Tenali Rama enjoyed the vegetable so much that he talked to his wife about it on returning home - so much so that she insisted on tasting it. "How can I get them for you?" Tenali Rama asked.
"The king is so possessive about the vegetable that he can detect the theft of even one brinjal from his garden. And, I'm sure that he would want the thief's head chopped off right then, if he caught him red-handed. But Tenali's wife begged him to allow her to taste the brinjal.Tenali Rama was helpless.
After much deliberation, he agreed to his wife's demand.
One night he quietly jumped into the king's garden and plucked a few brinjals from the garden. His wife cooked them with zeal and was all praise for the taste. She wanted to let their six-year-old son also taste the vegetable, but Tenali Rama asked her not to.
"Don't make such a mistake", he warned her.
"If he happens to tell somebody, we will be in deep trouble."