Retold by R. S. KARUNARATNE
A young man who claimed himself to be a giant entered the Kandyan kingdom and threw up a challenge to anybody who wished to fight with him.
The people who knew of his bodily strength did not come forward to challenge him. Instead they went to the palace to complain of the new problem in the kingdom.
"Your Majesty, we are not safe now in our own kingdom. A giant has come here and he is challenging everyone of us to go and fight with him. We dare not accept the challenge as we know of his strength.
The king gave his humble citizens a kind hearing. Then he summoned his ministers and asked them for their advice.
The ministers too were mortally scared of the giant and did not know what to do in such a difficult situation. As usual the king looked at the court jester. Without so many words from the king Andare understood the gravity of the situation.
"Your Majesty, I am prepared to challenge the giant, if I'm permitted to do so."
"By all means, fight with him and save the dignity of my kingdom. I'll give you anything you ask."
"Your Majesty, please put me and the giant in two adjoining rooms without allowing him to see me. You may also feed the giant and me with the choicest foods for one month. At the end of that period I'll fight with the giant and defeat him."
The king was so pleased that he made arrangements to keep the giant and Andare in two adjoining rooms separated by a wall. He also ordered his ministers to provide the best of foods to the fighters.
While spending his time in isolation, Andare used a small instrument to remove the plaster around one brick in the wall that separated him from the giant's room. As the wall was very strong he had to remove the plaster for a number of days.
At the end of one month's in isolation Andare called his rival and asked for a small favour.
"Brother can you give me some betel and lime because I've finished my stock?"
"Yes, I can give you what you want. But the problem is that we are separated by a strong wall."
"Don't worry about it. I'll now break, the wall with my fist and you can pass the betel and lime through the hole."
Andare pushed the brick he had earmarked and the giant gave him what he wanted.
On the following day, the king's men announced that Andare would fight with the giant at the royal park. They also sent out a drummer asking the people to witness the event.
On the appointed day Andare came out of the room and proudly walked to the royal park. The king, his ministers and the people were waiting impatiently to see the fight.
Andare waited for a long time but his rival did not make his appearance. Then a security guard came running to the royal park and informed the king that the giant had vanished.
The king thanked Andare profusely and showered him with many valuable gifts.