The Cunning Hare and the Witless Lion

There was once a powerful lion called Bhasuraka who ruled the jungle. He was merciless and killed other animals indiscriminately. One day, all the animals went together to the lion to surrender. They said, “O Master, you kill many of us every day without necessity. One animal a day is enough to satisfy your hunger. Please come toan understanding. Starting from today, we promise to offer one amongst us to you every day. In this way, you will not have to hunt and many of our lives will be spared.” Hearing this, the lion agreed, “It is true, but I warn you, if I do not receive an animal every day, I shall proceed to kill every one of you.” In accordance to the understanding, the animals drew lots, and the unlucky animal that got chosen was sent to the lion. The others roamed about the jungle without any fear of being attacked by the lion. One day, a hare was chosen. Unwilling to become the lion’s food, he started for the lion’s den. He walked as slowly as possible. On the way, the hare came across a well. It peeked down from the edge and when it saw it’s own reflection, he hit upon a plan. He thought, “I have a plan that will not fail. I will deceive the lion and lead him to his death.” On this, the hare walked towards the lion’s den, even slower than before. Finally, when the hare reached the lion’s den, the lion was hungry and furious. He had been waiting for his food for the entire day.He licked his lips in hunger, and thought of killing as many animals the next morning as he could. While he was thinking so, the hare approached the lion and humbly bowed. The furious lion began to shout,”You are a miserable animal. You are not only late, but also very small. I will first kill you and satisfy my hunger, and then kill all the restof the animals for doing this to me”. The hare replied humbly, “O Master, It is neither my fault nor the fault of any other animal. Please allow me to explain before you kill me”. The lion roared, “Be quick. Give mean explanation fast for I am very hungry.” The hare started, “Today it was my turn to be offered to you. But because I am small and would not be able to satisfy your hunger, four more hares were sent along with me.” On the way, we met a lion who came out of his den and roared, and got ready to eat us. We pleaded to him that we were going to fulfil our master’s hunger as promised every day. He roared, “I am the master of this jungle. From today, you will offer yourselves to me and none other. The other lion is an imposter. If not, let him accept my challenge to a trial of strength. Whoever proves to be stronger, will rule the jungle. I will allow one of you hares to carry this message to him, and hold the rest of you as hostages.” The hare humbly continued, “This isthe reason only I, among the five ofus, am here. I have arrived late for the same reason. Please take actionthat you think will be best”. On hearing this, the lion grew even more furious. He roared, “Take me to this pretender at once. I will destroy him. Only after that will my anger be quenched.” The hare quickly replied, “O master, I must warn you that this lion stays inside a very strong den. It is difficult to attack someone who takes shelter in a stronghold. Furthermore, I have seen him myself, he seemed very strong”. The lion roared, “That is not your concern. Take me to him at once”.The hare then led the lion to the well he had come across on his way. On reaching, the hare pointed towards the well and said to the lion, “O master, we have no doubt on your powers. The lion has hidden himself inside that stronghold”. The witless lion stood at the edge of the well, and saw his own reflection in the water below. He thought it to be the lion who had challenged him. He roared at his reflection with all might and fury. The roar sounded back, re-echoed from the well. On hearing this, the lion got furious and leapt inside the well to attack his own reflection. He got drowned. The hare was very happy that his plan had worked successfully. He danced his way back to the other animals and told them what had happened. The other animals gave the hare a hero’s welcome and praised his cleverness. From then onwards, the animals roamed about the jungle happily.
##The wise indeed say:
Deceive the wicked and destroy them without mercy.

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The Brahmin and the Cobra

There was a Brahmin called Haridatta who had a farm in a certain town. He was hard-working. But despite his hard work on his farm, his farm did not produce enough for him to prosper. One day, while working in the farm, he could not bear the heat anymore and decided to rest underthe shade of a tree in his farm. Beside the tree, there was an anthill. While he was resting there, a cobra emerged from the anthill with his hood raised.Observing this, he thought, “This cobra must be the deity of the farm. From today, I will worship and offer oblations to the cobra. Perhaps, the cobra will bless the farm with a rich produce.” The Brahmin brought milk on a plate and offered it in front of the anthill and said, “I was not aware ofyour presence, O protector of my farm, please forgive me and accept my offering.”As was the tradition, he went home after he made the offering. The next day, when he came to the anthill, he saw a gold coin on the plate he had offered milk in. He accepted the gold coin as a blessing from the cobra. This went on for a long time. Every day, the Brahmin would offer milk to the cobra and received a gold coin in the plate he offered the milk in. He started growing rich. After some time, the Brahmin needed to visit another village. In order that the worship of the cobra was not hampered, he instructed his son to offer milk to the cobra every day, and keep the blessing the cobra gives in return. Following his instructions, the Brahmin’s son did offer milk to the cobra in due time and went home. When he returned next day, he was astonished to find a gold coin lying in the plate. He thought, “If the cobra gives a gold coin every day, there must be lots of gold coins inside the anthill. I can take out all the gold coins if I kill the cobra.” The next morning, instead of offering milk, the Brahmin’s son waited for the cobra to emerge from the anthill and hit the cobra with a stick in an attempt to kill him. The cobra fought back angrily as it was not a deadly blow, and bit the Brahmin’s son. He died from the poison, and his body was cremated in the very farm by their relatives. When the Brahmin returned, he heard what had happened and that his son had died. His relatives wanted to kill the cobra for revenge. The Brahmin was indeed aggrieved for his son’s death, but did not favour his behaviour that led to his death. He did not blame the cobra, and defended the cobra’s action.The next morning, the Brahmin went to offer milk to the cobra as usual. He stood near the anthill and started praying. On hearing this, the cobra came out of the anthill and confronted him.The cobra said, “Look at yourself. You have even forgotten your son’s death and have come here out of the greed for a gold coin! You do not come here out of respect, but for greed. Our friendship cannot last any longer now”. The cobra continued, “I bit your son in retaliation to his attack. He got greedy for gold and died. What he did was out of his youthful rashness, but how can you forget his death? Take a look at the funeral pyre, and take a look at my injured hood.” The cobra gifted the Brahmin with a diamond this time, and said,” Shattered love cannot be restored with a display of affection. Never come here again!” The Brahmin went home with the diamond, and grieved his son’s foolishness and his death, and did not return to the cobra again.
## The wise indeed say:
Greed crosses all borders of reasoning and ends in disaster.

The Old Man, his Young Wife and The Thief

There lived an old but rich merchant named Kamatura, who was a widower.Ever since his wife had died, he wasvlove-sick and wanted to re-marry. He somehow convinced another merchant, and gave him a lot of money, to marry his young daughter.The young wife was very unhappy with the marriage, and hated her husband because he was an old man. She did not even look at her husband.The old merchant understood her reason for being unhappy, but would do everything to impress her. One night, as they were sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, a thief crept into their house. The new wife awoke by a sound, and realized that there was a thief inside the house. The young wife was terrified, and turned to her husband who was sleeping. Out of fear, she clasped her husband tightly. She did all this without making any sound, so that the thief’s attention is not drawn. The old merchant awoke, to find his young wife hugging him. He thought, “I am very delighted at this, but there must be a reason that my wife hugs me so tightly.” As he glanced around, he realized that there was a thief in their house, and his wife was hugging him out of fear of the thief. He shouted at the thief, “O stranger, I want to thank you! I have tried everything, but my wife kept avoiding me. But, it is because of you that she hugged me so lovingly. I am a happy man now, please take anything you like.”
## The wise indeed say:
Sometimes, even your enemy can be beneficial to you.

The Lioness and the Young Jackal

A lion and a lioness couple lived in the jungle. They were very happy, as they had given birth to two male cubs, and had newly become parents. The lion was responsible for hunting and providing food for the lion and the two cubs. So, everyday, he would go out in the morning and would come back within evening with food, and provide it to the lioness, who fed the cubs and herself. One day, it was nearing sunset and but the lion had not found any prey after wandering throughout the jungle.He thought of returning empty-handed. On his way, he found a baby jackal. He would finally be able to provide food for his family. But he took pity on the jackal, because it was just a baby. So, instead of killing him, the lion carried the baby jackal home and presented him to the lioness. The lioness said, “My dear, He is only a baby. How can I kill and eat the jackal that you have not killed yourself. Let us then raise the jackal with our own cubs. They will soon like each other and play together as brothers.” And so, the lion and the lioness started caring and raising him as their own, without making any differentiation or partiality towards any of them.However, as they grew up, they behaved differently and often fought among themselves. This was because the jackal had different traits of his species. But the lion and the lioness overlooked their childhood actions.One day, as they were playing near their den, a wild elephant approached them. While the young jackal prepared to flee, the young lions rushed forward to attack. The young jackal said, “He is a natural enemy. Come with me, let us go home.”The young lions followed him back, but they were amazed by their brother’s cowardice. They laughed at their brother, and made fun of him. They even mocked and told the story to their parents. This made the jackal very angry. When the mother lioness talked to the young jackal later, the jackal said, “I am not inferior to them in any action. May it be bravery, or looks or education or intelligence. Look at how they ridicule me! I have promised myself that I will killthem as my revenge!” When the lioness heard these words, she knew immediately what to do. She said, “My son, what you say is true. You are not inferior, butyou are a jackal and behave like your species. Many years ago, I took pity on you and raised you among by cubs as my own son. But, now that you talk of revenge, I must ask you to leave.” The lioness roared, “Go away, and do not return again, or I shall kill you myself. Return to your clan where you belong.” When the jackal heard this, he fled immediately to find his own clan and live among them.
## The wise indeed say:
Know the truth about yourself and act accordingly.

The Tale of Two Snakes

There was a king called Devashakti who was very frustrated on his son, who was very lean and weak. He grew leaner and weaker every day. Well-known physicians from far off places could not cure him, because there was a snake inside his stomach. They tried all sorts of treatments, but in vain. The young prince was also frustrated to see his father sad for him, and he was fed-up with his life. One night, he crept outside the palace and went to another kingdom. He started living in a temple, and ate from whatever alms he collected from kind people. This new country was ruled by a king, who had two young daughters. They were raised with the best of learning. Every morning they would bow at their father’s feet to seek his blessings. One of the daughters said, “O Father, all joys of the world is bestowed upon us, with your blessings”, and the other daughter would say, “O King, one only gets the fruits that are destined for one’s actions!.” The comments of the second daughter made the king very angry and one day, he summoned his ministers, “Let her enjoy the fruits that are destined for her actions! Take her and marry her off to anybody you meet outside the palace.” The ministers did so, and were unable to find anybody when they saw the young prince who was livingin the temple. The two were married. The princess was a religious girl, and considered her husband as her God. She was very happy and content with the marriage. They decided to travel to a different partof the country, as it would be improper for them to make the temple as their home.On the way, the prince became tired and wanted to rest under the shade of a tree. He was getting weaker every day, and could not walk long distances. The princess decided to buy some food from a nearby market.When she returned, she saw her husband fast asleep and a snake emerging from an anthill nearby. As she was about to caution, she saw another snake emerging from her husband’s mouth. She hid herself, to keep a watch. The snake from the anthill said to the other snake, “Why do you torture this handsome prince? You risk your own life, too. If the prince drinks soup of cumin seeds and mustard, you would die for sure!” The snake from the prince’s mouth said, “Why do you guard two pots of gold which you do not have any need of? You risk your life, too. If someone pours hot water and oil on the anthill, you would die for sure!” After a heated argument, they went inside their respective places, but the princess had already known their secrets. She acted accordingly and fed her husband with a soup of cumin seedsand mustard. Within hours, the young prince began to recover and regained much strength. After that, they poured hot water and oil on the anthill, and dug out the two pots of gold that the snake was guarding. Now, that the young prince had started recovering, and they had two pot full of gold, they lived happily ever after.
##The wise indeed say:
When your enemies quarrel, you are the winner.

The Story of the Potter

Yudhisthira was the name of a poor potter who lived in a certain kingdom.One night, when he was returning after drinking more than he should, he stumbled and fell over some pots. When he got up, he saw blood was oozing out of his forehead. There was a deep cut due to a broken piece of pot.Poor that he was, he did not go apply any medicine on his wound, which is the reason that the wound did not heal for a long time. After along time, the wound finally healed by itself, but it left a big scar on his forehead. Soon afterwards, there was a famine in the country, and he decided to leave his place and travel to another part of the country. On his way, he joined a group of people, who served at the royal household. Along with them, he started serving at the royal household.One day, the king noticed the big scar on his forehead and thought,”This man must be a great warrior. The scar on his forehead is evident that he has received such wound in some battle. He must be very brave.” Thus, the king promoted him as a warrior and he was honoured with aplace amongst the best warriors of the kingdom. The other household workers knew that he was no warrior, and became jealous of the fact that the king favoured him, although he did not deserve it rightly.Soonafter, a battle was impending and the king summoned all his warriors. He wanted to speak to all the great warriors personally and gift them with precious items as an encouragement. The king addressed the soldiers with encouraging words and inspected the equipments, and weapons, and even the elephants and horses. On the other hand, the potter was no real warrior, and he feared going into the battleground. All the preparations for battle made him tense. But he was resolved to prove himself as a warrior in the battleground.While inspecting, the king noticed the potter. He took him aside and asked, “O Warrior, fighting which battle did you get this deadly scar?” The potter replied, “O king, this scar was not caused by any wound by any sword. Being a potter by profession myself, my home was full of pots. One night, I tripped after drinking more than I should have, I tripped over them that caused this wound. Due to improper attention, the wound left this big scar.”When the king heard the truth, he felt embarrassed for his earlier decision. He asked his soldiers, “He is a potter, who has deceived me by pretending to be a warrior. Drive him away from the army!” The potter fell on his knees, and pleaded to the king, “O King, please do not do this. Have mercy on me, for I am sure I will be able to provemy bravery on the battleground. Please give me a chance to prove my worth.” The king replied, “You may have excellent qualities, and you may be brave. But you do not possess the qualities required on the battleground. When the other warriors will come to know that youare only a potter, they will ridicule you. You will get yourself killed on the battleground! It is better if you leave, and return to your home.”The potter understood the king’s advice, and left the palace immediately.
##The wise indeed say:
Continue being what you are, else you pay for it.

The Donkey and the Washerman

Shuddapatta was a washerman, who had a donkey to help him with his chores. But he could not take proper care of his donkey. The surroundings where he lived, lacked grass; and the washerman did not have enough to offer the donkey to eat. As a result, the donkey had grown lean and weak. Even Shuddapatta was worried with his donkey’s health. One particular day, Shuddapatta was wandering in the jungle, where he came across a dead tiger. He at once struck an idea.He thought, “It is my luck that I have a dead tiger. I will skin the tiger and take the skin home. I will cover the donkey with the tiger’s skin and let him graze in the nearby barley fields after sunset. The farmers will not dare to come near him fearing my donkey as a tiger. This way, he will be able to eat as much as he wants.” The washerman did so after sunset, and the donkey returned unharmed after he had eaten to his heart’s content. From then onwards, the washerman would cover his donkey with the tiger’s skin every night and lead him to the fields. The farmers did spot him, but mistook it for a tiger. They did not even venture out of their homes in fear. All the time, the donkey ate as much as he liked and returned home. In the morning, he would stand in the washerman’s stall without anybody suspecting anything. As time passed, the donkey regained his health, and the washerman did not have to worry about his food. One night, as he was feeding on the fresh barley crops in the fields, he heard a sound. It was a female donkey braying from a distance. Hewas attracted and brayed in return. The farmers, who were watching him from inside for fear of the tiger, heard this and realized that itwas a donkey and not a tiger. They came out to observe, it was indeed a donkey dressed in tiger’s skin. They chased the donkey with sticks, and killed him.

## The wise indeed say:
Do not pretend to be what you are not.

The Jackal’s Strategy

There was a wide jackal called Mahachaturaka, who lived in a jungle.One day, as he was wandering about in the jungle in search of food, he saw a dead elephant. He knew that the dead elephant will provide him food for many days. But his happiness soon turned into frustration, as he was not able to tear the elephant’s thick skin. He went round and round, trying his luck from all side, but in vain. As he was still trying to figure out, the jackal saw a lion approaching. He quickly bowed, and said, “O King of jungle, I found this dead elephant and was keeping a watch over it so that you can have it. Please be kind to eat to your heart’s content.” But the lion refused, “I eat a prey only when I hunt it myself. That is my nature. Thank you for your offer, but you can have the elephant for yourself.” The lion departed after being thanked by the jackal. But his problem remained. He wondered how he can tear apart the elephant’s thick skin. At the very moment he saw a leopard approaching. He thought, “I got rid of the lion by being humble, but I have to be cunning in order toget rid of him!” At once the jackal climbed on top of the elephant and raised his shoulders proudly. He said to the jackal, “O Uncle! You have come here to the very jaws of death! This elephant was hunted by the lion. He asked me to guard it and call for him if anybody was to approach it.” The leopard noticed the lions tracks nearby, and believed him. He began to tremble in fear. He pleaded, “O Nephew! Please do not tell the lion I was here. I must leave and look for food elsewhere.”With this, the leopard ran away, after assuring the jackal not to tell the lion that he was here. But his problem remained. He wondered how he can tear apart the elephant’s thick skin.Now, he saw a tiger approaching. He thought, “I fooled the leopard, but the tiger is not a fool. Besides, he has sharp teeth. If I can have him tear the elephant’s skin, I can finally eat.”He shouted to the tiger, “Hey Tiger, It is a long time since I have seen you. You look thin and starved. Be my guest. You can eat this lion while I keep a watch for the lion. He killed the elephant and asked me to look after it till he returned. Eat, and don’t worry, I’ll keep a watch.”The tiger was convinced by the jackal, and delighted. He at once jumped and tore apart a big chunk of the elephant’s skin. Just as he started eating, the jackal jumped,”Here comes the lion, quick! Hide or run away. Here he comes.”The tiger ran away as fast as possible. The jackal was finally ready to eat. The tiger had provided him the opening that he needed. Just as he was about to eat, another jackal arrived. He fought with the other jackal bravely, and chased him away. Thus, he was finally able to eat the elephant.

## The wise indeed say:
Bow before the mighty, throw something before the low and fight the equally powerful.

The Price of Indiscretion

Ujjwalaka was a cart-maker, who was very poor due to lack of orders for cart-making. One day, he was fed-up with his poor condition, and thought, “I languish in this poverty, when all other people have some work or the other that pays them. I don’t have a proper home, or proper clothing, or proper food. There is no point in staying here; I shall go somewhere else to seek success.”Thus, the cart-maker took his family and left the town. As he was going through the jungle, he saw a female camel in pain. He noticed that the female camel was left behind by a caravan due to her labour pains. He gave her water, and grass and she recovered. She also gave birth to a baby camel. Next morning, he took the camel and the baby camel under his patronage, and took them to his home. This became the new home for the camels. The camels were very happy. Over time, the baby camel grew taller, and the cart-maker locingly tied a bell around the young camel’s neck. He started selling the female camel’s milk, and the earnings were enough for him to support his family. He realized that this business was profitable, and he did not require to seek any job. One day, he said to his wife, “I can support the family by selling the milk of one camel. This profession is too easy, and yet profitable. I shall borrow some money from a wealthy merchant and buy another camel. During the time that I am gone, please take proper care of the camels.” His wife agreed with him, and he started the journey. After a few days, he returned with a young camel. He was fortunate, and within a few years he owned many camels. He even employed a servant to take proper care of the camels. He would reward the servant one baby camel every year. Thus, the cart-maker became rich, and led a happy life. He took care of the camels, and the younger ones, but his favourite camel was the baby camel who wore a bell around his neck. The jingling sound she made, made the cart-maker very happy. Every afternoon, the camels would graze in the nearby jungle, and ate tender grass. They would also drink water from a big lake, and bath and play games there. They would return before sunset. The young camel that had a bell around his neck always trailed behind the others. Due to this, the other camels always advised him to keep up with them, leat he stray away and get lost. Despite numerous advices, scoldings, and warnings, he remained conceited, and wandered about on his own. Being their master’s favourite, he was proud of himself. One day, as the camels were grazing about, a lion came wandering. He was attracted by the sound of the bell from a distance, and cautiously observed the group of camels. As he waited for an opportune moment, he noticed the young camels with bell around his neck trailing behind and straying away from the group. The lion followed him, and overtook the camel. Before the camel could raise his voice to alert the others, the lion jumped on him and killed him instantly.

## The wise indeed say:
A foolish person who refuses to follow a good advice surely comes to grief.

The Dog who went Abroad

Chitranga was a dog, who lived in a certain town which was affected by a famine. People had no food to eat, and they cared not to give any to the dogs or cattle or any animal. Due to lack of food, along with other animals, the dogs were starving. Some of them even died. Chitranga was not able to bear the hunger and realizing that the place did not offer conditions to live, he decided to leave for a foreign land in search of food and better conditions.After travelling a long distance, he came to a certain town. I saw a door open in one of the houses due to the negligence of a rich lady householder. He went into the house, and found abundant food. He had not eaten for a long time, and ate to his heart’s content. Then he thought of leaving silently. No sooner had he come out of the house, he was spotted by other dogs of the neighbourhood. The realized he did not belong to their community and chased him. Since, he had his stomach full, he could not run fast, and they bit him all over with their sharp teeth. He somehow escaped, and thought,” It is better to live in peace in one’sown country, be it affected by famine. I will rather return home.” When he returned to his country, the starving dogs there were curious. His friends and relatives gathered around him to enquire about his findings, “Please tell us about the foreign country you visited. How is it like? How are the people? Is there plenty of food?” The dog said, “O friends and relatives! What can I say? In the foreign country, the women are careless. They leave doors and windows open. There is lots of foodto eat. But, your own kith and kin will not show any sympathy. They will torment you to death.”

## The wise indeed say:
The outsiders may tolerate your lapses but not your own kith and kin.