There lived a washerman’s donkey, whose name was Uddhata. During the day, the donkey would carry the washerman’s bags, but during the night, he was set free to eat the green grass in a nearby field. However, instead of grazing in the nearby fields, he crept into nearby farms and ate vegetables of his choice. Before day-break it would come back to the washerman’s house. One night, the donkey met a jackal while wandering in a nearby farm. They became good friends, and started meeting every night. The donkey, being fat, was able to break the fences of the farms. While he ate on the vegetable, the jackal would enter through the broken fence and ate the poultry on the farm. Before day-break, they would return to their respective home to meet again next night. This continued for many days.
One night, the donkey said to the jackal, “Nephew, I feel like singing on nights like tonight, when the moon is full and beautiful. What Raaga(note combination) shall I sing?” The jackal cautioned, “Uncle, we are here to steal. Thieves should keep as quiet as possible. I may add, your voice is not as pleasant as you think, and sounds like conch being blown! Your voice can be heard over a long distance. It will awaken the farmers who are sleeping, and you will have us caught.” The jackal assured,”Please uncle, eat as much as you like, and forget about singing!” This annoyed the donkey and he said, “Dear nephew, it is because you are a wild animal that you don’t appreciate music. I shall sing a melodious Raaga. Wait till you hear it!” Observing that the donkey was determined to sing; the jackal did not risk staying there anymore. He said, “Uncle, if you must sing, please wait till I go outside the fence and keep a watch on the farmers.” He ran outside the fence, and hid himself. Then, the donkey started to bray at the top of his voice. When the farmers heard the donkey braying, they could see easily in the fullmoon-lit farm that the donkey was in their farm. The angry farmers chased the donkey with sticks, and beat him so hard that he fell on the ground. Then, they tied a wooden mortar around his neck and let him go.When the donkey was returning through the broken fence, the jackal laughed, “Musical uncle! That was a great Raaga! I see the farmers have rewarded you with this necklace!”
The wise indeed say:
There is always a proper place and time for doing anything.