Three men who were ploughing on the
outskirts of a forest were mistaken for bandits and taken before the king. While
they were being tried a woman came to the palace and with loud lamentations
begged for "wherewith to be covered." The king ordered a shift to be given to
her but she refused, saying that that was not what she meant. The king's
servants came back and reported that what the woman wanted was a husband. When
the king had her summoned and questioned, she admitted that it was so. Being
pleased with the woman, the king asked in what relationship the three prisoners
stood to her. She answered that one was her husband, one her brother and one her
son. When the king asked which of the three she wished to have released, she
chose the brother, because, she said, the two others were replaceable. Well
pleased with her, the king released all three.
The story was related in reference to a
woman in a village in Kosala who obtained, from the king of Kosala, the release
of three men in similar circumstances and in the same way. J. i.306-8.