Once there was a village doctor whom everybody liked because he was always able to cure his patients. He was very smart and he also knew all about medicine.
One day a young man came up to him and said he wanted to be his assistant. The doctor said, “No, no, no, I don’t think you are smart enough.”
The young man said, “No, I will be able to please you. Please let me learn from you.”
The doctor finally agreed, and soon the man began learning how to use medicine. After two years he started begging the doctor to let him come along to see some of his patients. The doctor said, “All right. Since you have been with me for two years, you may come with me today.”
So they went to see a patient. The doctor felt the pulse of the patient and said, “I can see your fever has gone high.”
The patient said, “Yes, I know that my fever has gone high.”
The doctor asked, “Do you know why? It is because you have eaten some candy.”
“Candy!” exclaimed the patient.
“Yes,” said the doctor. “I can see that you have eaten a few pieces of candy.”
The patient said, “It is true.”
The doctor said, “I know, I know. When I feel the pulse, immediately the pulse tells me.”
So the patient confessed that he had eaten candy. The doctor told him not to eat candy until he was totally cured and his fever had gone down.
When the doctor and assistant were coming back, the assistant said he was so amazed at how the doctor could tell what someone had eaten just by feeling the pulse. “How could you do it? How could you do it?” he asked.
The doctor said, “You fool, I saw at the door a few candy wrappers. I said to myself, ‘Who else could have eaten the candy?’ So immediately I challenged the man and he confessed. Otherwise, do you think that by feeling the pulse one can say who has eaten candy? But don’t you do this kind of thing. You will be in trouble.”
The doctor was a smart doctor, but he was also sincere. He told his assistant what he had done. A few days later, when the doctor was supposed to see another patient, it happened that he himself was sick. By this time he had a little faith in his assistant, so he told him, “Today I am feeling very sick. You go and see this patient. But be very careful, because this is the first time you are going to see someone.”
“Definitely I will be careful,” said the assistant. “When I come back, you will be very proud of me. You can rest assured that I will do everything correctly, and you will get a good report. The patient will say nice things about me.”
When the assistant arrived at the patient’s house, he saw that the patient had a very high fever. The assistant said, “I know why you have got such a high fever. I can see that you have eaten mangos.”
The patient said, “No, I have not.”
The assistant said, “Your pulse tells me that you have.”
The patient said, “My pulse tells you? Those mangos I have kept for my wife and children. They eat mangos. I have got such a high fever. How can I eat mangos?”
The assistant said, “Your pulse tells me that this morning you ate four mangos. That’s why your fever is so high.”
The man got so furious that he asked his sons and servants to beat the assistant black and blue. He also got mad at the real doctor for sending such a horrible assistant, and he sent one of his servants to insult the doctor.
The assistant never returned to the doctor again. He was so badly beaten that he said, “No, no, I am not going to be a doctor anymore. It is too dangerous a profession.”
The real doctor was very happy that he did not have to deal with that kind of idiot-assistant anymore.