TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

TALES OF HITOPADESHA

It is our endeavour to acquaint children all over the world with our Indian literature and Culture and vice versa. Surely one of the best ways to do so is through the medium of illustrated story books.

Hitopadesha Classic -Good Advice-is an ancient Sanskrit Classic written about animals: How they think, feel and act like human beings. It was originally written around 1675 A.D. by Sri Narayana Pandit. We have taken the authentic manuscript in Sanskrit from Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.

In Tales of Hitopadesha, we have selected 29 Tales from the above classic Hitopadesha and these Tales have been adapted to suit childrens' interests. We have tried to put these Tales in an interesting and simple form, though every effort has been made to keep very close to the Sanskrit text.
We have already published the Marathi version for which we are grateful to Prof. Dr. S.B.Hudlikar (Heidelberg) Germany.

We have translated 'Tales of Hitopadesha' for Children into English, German and Indonesian. We will also be translating Tales of Hitopadesha in French and other European and Asian languages including all the Indian languages. Each Tale has a moral. We hope that Children will find these Tales fascinating and shall benefit from them.

Tales of Hitopadesha : English version: Translated and Adapted by GL Chandiramani with the help of Prof. Dr. S.B.Hudlikar (Heidelberg).
Touched up by Sylvia Gidley, B.A. (Wales, UK)

Tales of Hitopadesha in German:Translated from English Version by G.L. Chandiramani Touched up by Ulrike Dorfmueller.

Tales of Hitopadesha in Indonesian Translated from English Version by Jyoti Daryanani and Chandiramani. Touched up by Hidayat.

We are interested in printing TALES OF HITOPADESHA in different languages of India and the world. Just send us the floppy or CD of the translated version and we will do the rest.

For Panchatantra Classic, Hitopadesha Classic Tales of Hitopadesha and Chandiramani Music of India Series Contact:Email Address:- mrchandiramani@yahoo.com

Other works of G.L. Chandiramani

English Panchatantra Classic: Originally written in Sanskrit in 200 B.C by Pandit Vishnu Sharma: Translated from original Sanskrit by G.L.Chandiramani with the help of Prof. Dr. S.B. Hudlikar (Heidelberg) Germany. Touched up by Sylvia Gidley (U.K.). Published and distributed by Rupa & Co. Gone into 15 editions.

German Panchatantra Classic: Translated from the English Version by G.L. Chandiramani with the help of Prof. Dr. S.B. Hudlikar (Heidelberg) Germany & Dr.A.Karl (Austria) 5000 copies printed by Eugen Diederichs, Muenchen, Germany.

Indonesian Panchatantra Classic: Translated from English version by Jyoti Daryanani and G.L.Chandiramani. Touched up by Sri Artaria of Dian Rakyat-Jakarta. 5000 copies published and marketed by Dian Rakyat ,Jakarta, Indonesia.

English Hitopadesha Classic: Hitopadesha was originally written in A.D 1675 by Sri Narayana Pandit. Translated from original Sanskrit by G.L. Chandiramani with the help of Prof. Dr. S.B.Hudlikar (Heidelberg) Germany. Touched up by : Dauphene Chauhan Printed and distributed by Jaico Publishing House Mumbai i.e. Gone into fifth edition.

Music: Chandiramani's Music of India Series: A set of 16 Cassettes and CD's available with Crescendo Music Pvt. Ltd., This series covers all aspects of Indian Music such as Bhajans (Devotional Music), Ghazals (Love Songs), Thumris (Light Vocal Classical), Vocal classical, Instrumental Music, and Rhythms on 7 major drums of India and Side rhythm instruments. Produced by Chandiramani Enterprises, Mumbai, India.

For Panchatantra Classic, Hitopadesha Classic Tales of Hitopadesha and Chandiramani Music of India Series. Contact:

Email Address:- mrchandiramani@yahoo.com

CONTENTS

VOLUME - I

1. The Story of A Crow, A Hunter, Some Doves and A Mouse

2. The Story of An Old Tiger and A Greedy Traveller

3. The Story Of A Crow, A Deer and A Jackal

4. The Story of A Blind Vulture, Some Birds and A Cat

5. The Story of A Rich Mouse and A Holy Man

6. The Story of A Hunter, Deer, A pig, A Snake and A Jackal

7. The Story of An Elephant and A Sly, Old Jackal

8. The Story of A Monkey Who pulled out A Wedge

9. The Story of A Washerman, A Donkey and A Dog

10. The Story of A Lion, A Mouse and a Cat

11. The Story of a Group of Monkeys, A Bell and A Brave Woman

12. The Story of A Family of Crows and A wicked Cobra.

13.The Story of A Lion and A Hare

14. The Story of the Tittibha Birds and The Ocean.

15. The Story of The Birds and The Shivering Monkeys

16. The Story of The Washerman and an Unlucky Donkey.

17. The Story of The Hares, A Lake and The Moon God

18. The Story of A Kind-Hearted Heron and A Wicked Crow

19. The story of A Cunning Crow and A Stupid Quail

20. The Story of A Jackal Who Fell into An Indigo Vat.

21. The Story of Two Swans and A Tortoise

22. The Story of The Three Fishes

23. The Story of A Foolish Heron, A Black Serpent and A Mongoose

24. The Story of A Sage and A Mouse

25. The Story of A Greedy Crane and A Clever Crab

26. The Story of A Simple-Minded Brahmin and Three Rogues

27 The Story of A Lion, A Crow, A Tiger, A Jackal and A Camel

28. The Story of A Wicked Snake and The Stupid King of Frogs

29. The Story of The Hasty Brahmin and A Faithful Mongoose



1. The Story of A Crow, A Hunter, Some Doves and A Mouse


On the banks of the river Godavari, stood a huge silk-cotton tree. At night, the birds from all around used to come to this tree and rest there.

Once at dawn, when the moon was setting over western mountains, a crow woke up and saw a hunter coming towards the tree.

He looked like Yama, the God of Death...

When the crow saw him, he was frantic and thought to himself, "This looks grim. I don't like the look of this at all."

Thinking thus, he started following the hunter.

After some time, the hunter stopped and looked around. He took out some grains of rice from his bag, scattered them on the ground and then spread out his net over the grains

When he had done this, he hid himself behind the tree.

Just then, the king of doves with his courtiers was flying around in search of food.

He saw the grains of rice and said to his followers, "How strange! Grains of rice in an uninhabited forest? Let's see what this is all about. I smell a rat!"

But being greedy, the doves didn't listen to their king and flew down to pick up the grains of rice. Whoops! In a trice, they were all caught in the net.

A terrific commotion broke out amongst the trapped doves.

Then the king cried out, "Friends, we are in great danger. Unless we pull ourselves together immediately and think of a way to get out, there's no doubt that we shall all be dead.

Now I propose that we all catch hold of the net at the same time and fly upwards together."

The birds agreed. They caught hold of the net and together flew away with it. When the hunter saw this, he was spellbound and didn't know what to do.

But he soon came to himself and began to run after them, thinking, "These birds have managed the escape because they are united. But when they come down, I'll have them in my power!"

However, the doves flew very fast and were soon out of sight. They then asked their king," What shall we do now?"

"I have a very dear friend," he said, "a mouse who lives on the banks of the river Godavari. We'll go to him. I know he will find a way to free us!"

So, they all flew to the place where the mouse lived. When the mouse saw the birds flying down towards him, he got frightened and ran inside his hole at the root of a tree.

But the king of doves called out, "My friend! Don't you know me? Come and set us free."

When the mouse heard this, he recognized his friend's voice and came out quickly. The king of doves told him all that had happened and the mouse immediately started nibbling at the strings of the net and set the birds free.

The crow, which had flown along and had been watching this from a nearby tree, was full of admiration for their friendship and said to himself, "Well, it's true what they say, a friend in need is a friend indeed".


2. The Story of An Old Tiger and A Greedy Traveller


Once upon a time, there was a tiger who grew so old that he could hardly go about hunting. So he thought of a plan.

One fine morning, he stood in a lake and holding a blade of holy Kusha grass in one paw and a gold bracelet in the other, shouted out, "Here you are, Ladies and Gentlemen! A gold bracelet! Yours for the asking."


A traveller passing by liked the look of the gold bracelet. He stopped and said to himself, "This looks like a piece of good luck.

However, when there is a risk involved, one must play it safe. So I'll be wary."

Then the man said to the tiger, "Where is this gold bracelet?"

The tiger opened his paw and showed it to him.

"But how can I trust you," asked the man, "Knowing that you are a killer?"

"Listen traveller, "said the tiger, "I admit, in my youth, I was wicked and killed many cows and human beings.

My wife and children died because of my evil deeds. Then I consulted a holy man who advised me to give alms.

So now I take a bath and give things for the sake of charity. Besides, I've gone old. My teeth and claws have fallen off. So what have you to fear from me?"

The traveller was taken in by this clever talk and went into the lake, but got struck in the deep mud.

When the tiger saw this, he comforted him. "Oh! Don't worry. I'll help you," he said, and slowly waded towards the traveller and seized him.

As he was being dragged out, onto the bank, the poor man gasped, "Ah! This Villain's talk of holiness completely took me in. A rascal is always a rascal. Like a fool I believed him and now I must pay for it."

Soon after that, the tiger killed the traveller and ate him up.

The traveller should have known that one's nature never changes.


3. The Story Of A Crow, A Deer and A Jackal


In a big forest, there lived a deer and a crow. They were great friends. The deer had grown plump and roamed about the forest without a care in the world.

One day, a jackal caught sight of the plump little deer.

"Hmmm!" said the jackal. "What a tasty dish the tender flesh of this young deer will make for me. Well, to begin with, I'II try to win his confidence."


The jackal thought it over and went across to the deer.

"Hello," he said. "How are things with you?"

"Who are you?" asked the deer.

"I am a jackal and I live in the forest here all by myself. I have no friends. Now that I've met you, I'd like to be your pal and will do anything you say to please you."

"Well, all right then," said the deer.

Afterwards, when the sun had set, the two walked to the deer's home.

The deer's friend, the crow, lived nearby on the branch of a tree.

When he saw the jackal, he called out. "Friend deer, who is that you're with?"

"It's a jackal. He wants to be friends with us and so he has come along with me," said the deer.

"Do you think it's wise to make friends so quickly with someone you know nothing about?"Said the crow.

"You don't know what his family is like or what sort of a character he has. How can you invite him to stay with you without knowing all that?"

"C-r-o-w!" shouted the jackal angrily, "When you first met the deer, did you know anything about him, his family or his conduct? Then how is it that you are such great friends today?"

"Oh please, let's not argue," said the deer. "Let's all be friends. You can only know a friend from an enemy by the way he behaves."

"Oh all right," said the crow," as you wish."

And so they all started living together...

In this way, some time went by.

One day, the jackal took the deer aside and said to him, "Friend! In another part of the forest, there's a field full of corn. I'II takes you there and shows it to you."

The jackal took the deer along and showed him the field.

The deer began to go there every day and eat to his heart's content.

When the owner of the field noticed that someone was eating his corn, he set a trap and the deer was caught.

"Oh no! I must now count on my friend He will surely free me from this trap," the deer thought to himself.

Meanwhile, the jackal arrived on the scene and thought to himself, "This is what I have been waiting for. When he is killed by the owner of the field, his flesh will last me many, many days."

When the deer caught sight of the jackal, he shouted, "Oh friend! Please help me out! Only a friend like you can save me from such a dreadful plight!"

"But buddy," said the jackal, "the noose is made of skin, so how can I touch it today, on my day of fasting? Please don't misunderstand me! I will bite it off first thing tomorrow morning!"

At sunset, when the deer had not returned home, the crow got worried. He set out looking for him until he reached the corn field.

Suddenly he spotted him. "Friend deer! What has happened to you?" said the crow in anguish.

"This is what happens when you don't listen to a friend's advice," replied the deer.

And then he told the crow how the jackal had shown the corn field to him to get him trapped.

"Where is this villain?" asked the crow angrily.

"He's hiding somewhere in the vicinity, waiting for an opportunity to kill me for his food," answered the deer.

"I had warned you never to trust strangers but you took no notice!" said the crow.

Then the crow sighed and shouted, "Jackal! Cheat! Rascal! What have you done? How could you trick someone who trusted you?

The crow decided to stay on to keep his friend company.

In the morning, the farmer returned with a stick in his hand.

When the crow saw him coming, he said to the deer, "Quick! Do as I tell you! Lie still without moving and pretend to be dead. When I caw, jump up and run for your life."

The deer lay down motionless on the ground and pretended to be dead.

When the farmer came very close to the deer, his face lit up with joy and said to himself," How nice! The deer is already dead."

Then, he set him free and started picking up the noose. At this moment, the crow signalled to the deer who jumped up and ran away as fast as he could.

The farmer taken by surprise, immediately aimed the stick at the deer but missed him. Instead, it hit the jackal who was hiding close by and killed him on the spot.

The deer learnt that it is better to have an open enemy than a false friend.


4. The Story of A Blind Vulture, Some Birds and A Cat


here was once a hill that sloped down to the banks of a river.

At the foot of the hill, there grew a tree and in the hollow of this tree, lived a blind old vulture.

Many other birds lived in the same tree and out of kindness shared their food with the vulture.


In return, he looked after their young whilst they were away.

One day, a cat came to the foot of the tree with the hope of catching and eating the baby birds.

But when the little birds saw her coming, they raised an alarm. The blind vulture heard them and shouted, "Who's there?"

When the cat saw the vulture, she got frightened and said to herself; "Heavens! I am as good as dead. But I must be brave and face danger. I must try to gain his confidence."

"I….I….I just came to pay my respects, oh wise one," said the cat loudly. "Who are you?" asked the vulture.

"I am only a poor cat," she replied.

"Go away or else I'll eat you up," shouted the vulture.

"Sir, listen to me first," said the cat, "then you can kill me. But do you kill someone just because he belongs to a particular race?"

"All right," said the vulture. "I am willing to listen to you. But tell me why have you come here?"

"I live nearby on the banks of the river Ganges," said the cat." I don't eat meat. I have a bath everyday in the river and I am doing great penance for my sins.

When the birds there came to know about this, they told me, "You must learn more about religion from the old vulture who is famous for his knowledge and wisdom." "They all praised you. That is why I have come to pay my respects to you. But what do I see? That you're ready to kill me, a poor cat.

You should treat me as well as a guest ought to be treated. Even if you haven't any food to offer me, at least say something kind to me."

"But you are a meat-eater and young birds live here. So how can I trust you?" said the old, blind vulture.

The cat touched the ground and her ears as a mark of her sincerity and said, "I've read all the holy books and learnt that's wrong to kill. The entire forest is full of herbs and vegetables. So why should I sin by killing birds?"

Thus the cat won the confidence of the old blind vulture and the latter allowed her to stay in the hollow of the tree.

As the days passed, the cunning cat started eating the young birds one by one and the vulture did not know what was happening.

But the birds saw that their young ones were missing and started looking for them.

When the cat saw that her game was up, she quietly slipped away.

After a few days, the birds found the bones of their young ones not far away from the tree.

"Ha!" said the birds, "the blind, old vulture has eaten our dear young children." The birds got together and killed the vulture. As for the cat, once a rascal, always a rascal.


5. The Story of A Rich Mouse and A Holy Man


Once upon a time, there lived in the city of Champaka, a holy man.

He used to support himself by begging for food.

He would eat a little and keep the rest in a begging bowl which he used to hang high up on a peg.

A mouse who had noticed this, used to jump up and help himself to the food in the begging bowl.


One day, a friend of the holy man came to visit him. The holy man welcomed him and offered him food.

They then retired to have a heart to heart talk.

However the holy man couldn't concentrate on the conversation and kept tapping on the ground with a bamboo stick to scare the mouse away.

The friend noticed this and asked, "What's this you're doing? Why don't you listen to me properly?"

"Oh please forgive me!" the holy man exclaimed. "It's just that dreadful mouse. Every day he eats away whatever food I manage to save."

His friend looked in the direction of the peg and said, "But how can a mouse jump so high? There must be a reason for his achieving such a feat."

The holy man's friend thought it over some time and said, "There can be only one reason.

The mouse must have put aside a lot of food and having so much food, gives him extraordinary energy to jump so high."

They began to look for the hoard of food that the mouse had accumulated. When they found it, they dug it up and took it away.

When the mouse returned and found that his hoard of food was missing, he was disheartened. He lost all his enthusiasm so much so that he could not even move about.

And so the holy man was free from the trouble of keeping watch over the food he saved in the begging bowl.

Thus it is wiser to strike at the source of an enemy's strength to destroy him.


6. The Story of A Hunter, Deer, A pig, A Snake and A Jackal


In a forest, there lived a hunter.

One morning, he set out from his house, hoping to hunt down a deer.

Luck was on his side and he killed one, slung him over the shoulder and in the evening, started for home.

On the way, he came across a fat pig.


When he saw the pig, he quickly dropped the deer on the ground and shot the pig with an arrow. The pig gave a fearful grunt and charged at the hunter with all his might.

He hit him hard in the stomach and killed the hunter instantly.

Hurt in the battle, the pig too died. During the fight, a snake who happened to be passing by, was trampled on and crushed to death.

Later on, a jackal arrived there looking for food.

When he saw the hunter, the pig, the deer and the snake, all lying dead on the ground, he was overjoyed and said to himself, "Ah! What luck! It looks as though I am going to have a feast, but I'II eat only a little at a time so it will last me longer."

Then the jackal picked up the bow and started biting the string. Suddenly the string snapped, the bow sprang out and pierced his heart. The jackal was killed on the spot.

And that goes to show that greed can have some nasty consequences.


7. The Story of An Elephant and A Sly, Old Jackal


Once upon a time, in a dense jungle, there lived an elephant.

A pack of jackals, passing by in search of food, noticed the elephant.

"Now if this elephant were to die one way or another," they said to themselves, "we would have enough food for several months."


An old jackal said, "I shall cleverly bring about his death."

The sly, old jackal went over to the elephant, bowed before him and said, "My Lord! Grant me the honour of your royal glance for a moment."

"Who are you and why have you come to me?" asked the elephant.

"I am only a humble jackal," he replied. "Recently all the animals in this forest got together and came to the conclusion that it's difficult to stay alive without the protection of a king.

And you, who are gifted with all the qualities of a monarch, have been chosen by us to be our king.

Our astrologers have informed us that today is an auspicious day for your crowning.
The day is fast slipping by.

So please follow me without delay, for the ceremony."

Then the jackal moved on.

The elephant was flattered by the jackal's talk and greedy for a kingdom, he followed the jackal.

The jackal walked across a lake full of mud. The elephant being heavy got stuck in the mud. He tried very hard to get out, but all in vain.

"Friend!" called the elephant in panic. "What shall I do? I'm sinking deep into mud. I am going to die."

"My Lord! Catch hold of my tail and I'll Help you out," said the jackal with a cunning smile. "You put faith in a person like me. Well, now - pay for it."

And he let the elephant sink into the mud.

Quite soon the elephant was dead and he was eaten up by the jackals.

A truly smart elephant would never have been taken in by the sweet words of a rogue.


8. The Story of A Monkey Who pulled out A Wedge


Once upon a time, a writer decided to build a temple in his city.

While the work was in progress, a carpenter sawed a log in half, put a wedge in between so that it would stay apart and went for lunch.


It so happened that a group of wandering monkeys came to this spot and began to play about, on and around the logs.

One of the monkeys sat on the half-split log, put both his legs into the gap and tried to pull the wedge out.

Suddenly, out came the wedge and the log closed in, trapping the monkey's legs and crushing them.

The monkey died in great pain while learning too late not to poke one's nose into another's affairs.


9. The Story of A Washerman, A Donkey and A Dog


Once upon a time, in the city of Varanasi, there lived a washerman.

One night, when he was fast asleep, a thief got into the house to steal anything he could lay hands on.

Now, in a corner of the washerman's courtyard, stood his donkey tied to a rope, while his dog sat nearby.

When the donkey saw the thief enter the house, he said to the dog, "Friend!

Surely it's your duty to wake the master up!"


"Don't talk to me about my duties," snapped the dog. "You know well enough that I've been guarding this house for a long time. And the master hasn't had to worry about anything.

But he hasn't fed me well enough lately, so I'm not bothered about what happens to him."

"Listen you fool!" brayed the donkey. "Surely this isn't the time to complain. This is the time for action. Do something! Wake up the master! Quick!"

"No," retorted the dog. "I'm paying him back for looking after his servants only when he is in need of their help."

"Evil-minded creature," shouted the donkey. "You are neglecting your duty just when you're needed most. Well, I will do your duty and wake him up."

Then the donkey brayed so loudly that the washerman woke up. The thief quickly hid himself. The washerman looked around and saw no one.

He got very angry and picking up a stick, went out into the courtyard and started beating the poor donkey. The donkey died wishing that he had minded his own business.


10. The Story of A Lion, A Mouse and a Cat


Once upon a time, in a mountain cave, there lived a mighty lion.

Whenever he went to sleep, a mouse used to come out of his hole and nibble at the lion's mane.

When the lion discovered this, he was furious. But he couldn't do anything about it, for the mouse would run away, the minute the lion got up to catch him and would slip off into his hole.

The lion thought the matter over and finally hit upon an idea. He went to the village nearby and brought a cat back with him.

He fed her on choicest titbits and let her loose in the cave.


When the mouse saw the cat, he was very frightened and would not come out.

So the lion was able to sleep in peace.

Whenever he heard the mouse moving around, he gave some food to the cat and then went back to sleep, while the cat stood guard over him. This went on for some time.

Then one day, the mouse was so hungry….. so hungry that he risked his life coming out to look for food. The cat instantly pounced on him and killed him.

When the lion realized that the mouse was killed, he relaxed and stopped feeding the cat. He left her on her own.

The poor cat, in due course, grew weaker and finally starved to death. "How true it is! One is treated nicely as long as one is useful," said the unfortunate cat before dying.


11. The Story of a Group of Monkeys, A Bell and A Brave Woman


Once upon a time, in the city of Brahmaputra, there lived a thief.

One day, he stole a temple bell and ran away into the jungle.

A tiger, who heard the sound of the bell, was curious to know where the sound was coming from.

When he saw the thief, the tiger pounced upon him and killed him. The bell, fell to the ground.


After a few days, a group of monkeys spotted the bell, picked it up and started playing with it.

Soon afterwards, the people from the city found the body of the thief and exclaimed, "Surely there is a demon around here who attacks human beings and then rings the bell joyously."

When the people heard this, they started moving out of the city in panic.

Then a brave and intelligent woman thought to herself, "I'm quite sure it's the monkeys who are ringing that bell."

She boldly went into the jungle and saw some monkeys playing about and ringing the bell.

Then she went to the king and said, "Your Majesty! I'm sure this demon can be overpowered by worshipping the Gods. But this will cost money."

The king, who was only too anxious to get rid of the demon, was prepared to part with a large amount of money.

The woman made a big show of worshipping the Gods. She drew a circle on the ground, placed some fruits inside it and began to worship the God Ganesha. Then she picked up the fruits and went into the jungle.

She kept the fruits under a tree and waited nearby.

When the greedy monkeys saw the juicy fruits, they dropped the bell just as she had expected and rushed down to enjoy themselves.

She picked up the bell and hastened back to the city. The king was very pleased with her and everyone admired her courage.

Truly, intelligence and courage succeed against all odds.


12. The Story of A Family of Crows and A wicked Cobra


On a huge tree in a forest, lived a pair of crows. A black cobra lived in the hollow of the same tree.

Whenever the crows had young birds, he would eat them up.

One day, the female crow who was about to get babies, said to her husband, "My dear, please let us go away from here. I'm certain the black cobra will eat my children again."


"Don't be afraid!" said her husband. "I'm not going to put up with him any more."

"But how can you fight him? He is so strong!" she said.

"I am intelligent," replied the male crow, "so I am stronger."

"Well, can I do anything to help?" asked the female crow.

"Yes, you can," said her husband. "Listen to me carefully. Every day the king comes to bathe in the lake nearby. He removes his gold necklace and leaves it at the edge of the lake, while he bathes.

You must pick up the necklace and drop it in front of the hollow of our tree, where the black cobra lives.

When the servants of the king follow you to recover it, they will certainly see the black cobra and kill him."

And so the female crow did exactly as her mate had suggested.

The king's servants chased the female crow who cleverly dropped the necklace in front of the hollow of the tree.

When the servants arrived at the spot, they saw the black cobra and killed him.

Indeed, what the wise say is right, that what cannot be achieved by force can be achieved through wisdom.


13. The Story of A Lion and A Hare


Once upon a time, in a mountain cave, there lived a lion. He killed animals even when he was not hungry.

One day, all the animals got together, went up to him and pleaded, "Lord Lion! What is the use of this senseless killing? If you agree, we will present you with one animal everyday for your food."


The lion thought it over and said, "All right! That's a good idea."

From that day onwards, the animals drew lots and sent one animal every day to the lion.

One day, it was the turn of an old hare.

Much against his will, he walked slowly towards the lion's den. On the way, he thought of plan to kill the lion. As part of the plan, the hare arrived very late at the lion's den on purpose.

"Why have you come so late?" roared the lion, licking his lips hungrily.

"Your Majesty," said the hare, "it wasn't my fault. On my way here, I was stopped forcibly by another lion who wanted to eat me. He let me go only after I swore that I would go back to him after seeing you."

"Show me this villain and I'II kill him," roared the lion, furious with rage that another had challenged his authority.

The hare led the lion to a well and cunningly showed him his own reflection in the water and said, "Master! There, see for yourself!"

Thinking that it was his enemy, the lion leapt into the well to fight the other lion but was drowned.

The hare returned home convinced that brains are mightier than brawn.


14. The Story of the Tittibha Birds and The Ocean


On the shores of an ocean, lived a pair of Tittibha birds.

In due course when the female Tittibha bird was expecting babies, she said to her husband, "My dear, please find me a suitable and quiet place where I can lay my eggs."


"My dear woman! This is the right place!" said her husband.

"Oh no!" she replied. "When the tide is high, this place is completely flooded."

"What! Do you think I'm so powerless that the Ocean would dare do such a thing?" her husband shouted.

"My dear," said the wife with a smile. "There is a great difference between you and the Ocean. You should recognize your weakness. You may pay for being so proud."

But the male Tittibha was adamant and so the poor female had to lay her eggs on the shore.

The Ocean was amused to hear their conversation and carried off the eggs at the first opportunity.

"Husband!" cried the female Tittibha. "A terrible thing has happened. Our eggs are gone!"

"My dear wife," replied the male Tittibha, "don't worry. I'll get them back."

Then the male Tittibha called an assembly of birds.

They all went together to their King, Garuda (In Hindu mythology, he is referred to as the Lord of the Birds whom Lord Vishnu uses to ride on) and the Tittibha said to him, "Master! We were living peacefully at home, not harming anyone and yet the Ocean has tormented me and my wife and made us terribly unhappy by taking away our eggs."

Then, Garuda told Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of the World, all that had happened.. Lord Vishnu, immediately ordered the Ocean to return the eggs to the Tittibha.

The frightened Ocean quietly obeyed Lord Vishnu's order and returned the eggs.

Thus, a determined little bird proved to be a match for the mighty Ocean.


15. The Story of The Birds and The Shivering Monkeys


On the banks of the river Godavari, there stood a huge tree. Some birds had built a nest in the hollow of this tree and were living there happily.

One day, during the rainy season, when the sky was overcast with dark clouds, it rained very heavily.

Some monkeys who were around, got soaked and ran for shelter under the tree. They were shivering and feeling miserable due to the cold.


When the birds saw this, they felt sorry for the monkeys.

To encourage them and to make them feel better, the birds said, "Listen monkeys! We've made our nest with twigs and blades of grass which we picked up with our beaks.

You have hands and feet, so why should you sit miserably out in the rain? Why don't you make yourselves a nice shelter?"

When the monkeys heard this, they got angry and said to themselves, "These birds are not afraid of the rain or of cold wind. Living comfortably, they feel that they can criticize us. Just wait. When the rain stops, we'll show them!"

After some time the rain stopped and the monkeys clambered up the tree. They broke the birds' eggs and destroyed their nests.

The poor birds regretted their words and felt that they should not have given advice that was unasked for.


16. The Story of The Washerman and an Unlucky Donkey


In the city of Hastinapura, there lived a washerman named Vilasa. Vilasa had a donkey who, carrying loads that were too heavy for him, grew weaker every day.

It looked as if he would die soon if he didn't get a good meal.


To feed the donkey without expense, the washerman covered him with a tiger's skin and let him loose in a nearby corn field.

As soon as the owner of the corn field spotted the animal, he mistook him for a tiger and terrified, ran away.

He told his watchman and a few others about what had happened.

Some days later, the watchman, who looked after the corn field, covered himself in a grey blanket.

Then taking his bow and arrow, he hid himself and lay in wait on all fours for the tiger.

When the donkey in the tiger's skin, who had by now become strong by eating corn to his heart's content, saw a dusky, white figure in the distance, he thought it was a female donkey. Braying loudly, he made a dash for her.

The watchman quickly realized that it was a donkey and not a tiger and shot him dead without much ado.

The watchman with a satisfied smile said, "That's what happens when people pretend to be something they are not."


17. The Story of The Hares, A Lake and The Moon God


Once upon a time in a forest, there lived a herd of elephants. They used to go to a nearby pool to quench their thirst and to have a bath.

One year, there was no rain, not even during the monsoon and the pool dried up.

The elephants began to feel very thirsty.


So they went to their king and said, "Master! We feel very thirsty. How can we live without water? What shall we do? Where shall we go?"

The king of elephants led them to a clean, deep lake not very far from where they lived.

As the days passed, whenever the elephants went to the lake, a few hares would get crushed under their feet.

When one of the hares saw what was happening, he thought, "If a few hares get trampled every time the elephants visit the lake, our race will be wiped out."

An old hare called Vijay said, "Let's not worry! I shall think of a plan to get rid of them."

Promising this, he went for a walk.

On the way he thought to himself, "What shall I say to the elephants when I meet them? I must not go too close to them or I'll be killed. So I'll climb up to the top of the hill and address their king from there."

And that's just what he did.

"Who are you?" asked the king of the elephants. "And where have you come from?"

"I am a messenger sent to you by the Moon God," said the hare.

"Please tell us why have you come here," said the `king of the elephants.

"A messenger speaks nothing but the truth," said the hare, "even when it's dangerous to do so.

This is what the Moon God says to you. "These hares are the guardians of my lake and they are being driven away or crushed to death by your elephants.

They have been protected by me for a long time. By killing them, you anger me. So beware and go away from here."

After Vijay, the old hare had said this, the king of elephants who was now afraid said, "Ah, that was done in ignorance. It won't happen again, I promise you."

"Well, if that's the case," said the old hare, "then you can go in peace, but only after you've paid your respects to the Moon God who lives in the lake and is now trembling with fury!"

At night, the old hare led the king of the elephants to the lake. The king looked into the water and saw the swaying reflecting of the moon.

When he saw this, he thought that the Moon God was indeed angry with him. He bowed to him in fear.

Vijay, the old hare, said tactfully, "Oh Lord, Moon God! The king of the elephants, in ignorance, has done wrong in bringing his herd to this lake.

Please forgive him. He is taking away all the elephants with him right now and will never come back here again."

As soon as the old hare had finished talking, the king of the elephants led his herd away.

So you see, as in Vijay's case, a weak person with a bit of wit can overpower the strongest of enemies.

And the hares lived happily ever after.


18. The Story of A Kind-Hearted Heron and A Wicked Crow


In a huge fig tree, outside the town of Ujjain, lived a kind-hearted heron and a wicked crow.

On a very hot summer's day, a traveller, tired from walking in the sun, stopped for rest under the cool shade of the fig tree.

He put his bow and arrows down beside him and went to sleep.

After some time, the shadow of the tree moved leaving the traveller's face exposed to the sun.


When the kind-hearted heron saw this, he spread out his wings to protect the traveller from the sun.

The wicked crow was watching all this. It annoyed him to see the traveller sleeping comfortably.

So when he saw the traveller wake up and yawn leisurely, he could no longer control his irritation. The crow relieved himself right into the man's mouth and flew off.

Enraged, the traveller sprang to his feet. Looking up to find the culprit, his eyes fell on the heron. He picked up his bow and arrow and shot the bird dead.

If only the unfortunate heron had known that the company of the wicked often brings trouble and sorrow to the good, he would have stayed alive.


19. The story of A Cunning Crow and A Stupid Quail


Once, on the feast day of Lord Garuda, the king of the birds, all the birds went on a pilgrimage to the seashore.

Along with the others went a crow and a quail who had been friends for quite some time.


On the way, the two birds saw a cow-herd, with a pot full of curd on his head, walking ahead of them.

The wicked crow, true to his nature, went after the man and kept dipping his beak into the pot and eating the curd.

When the cow-herd noticed what was going on, he stopped, put his pot on the ground and looked around. He saw a crow and a quail nearby.

When the crow saw this, he got frightened and immediately flew away. The slow quail was caught by the cow-herd and killed.

The quail should have known that the wisest thing to do is to shun evil company or one may come to grief.


20. The Story of A Jackal Who Fell into An Indigo Vat


Once upon a time, a jackal while roaming around in search of food on the outskirts of a town, fell into a large wooden vat of indigo dye.

All his efforts to get out of it failed.

The next morning, when the jackal heard the dyer's footsteps, he lay very still and pretended to be dead.


When the dyer noticed the jackal, he indeed thought he was dead. So he picked him up and threw him out on to the ground.

No sooner had the dyer thrown him out of the vat than the jackal sprang to his feet and ran for his life into the forest.

When the jackal saw his new blue colour, he thought to himself, "Now I took different. Why shouldn't I make the most of it?"

He invited all the other jackals to come over and then said to them, "The Goddess of this forest has anointed my body with her own hands. Look at my colour! So, from this day onwards, I am the master of the forest and you will carry out my orders."

The jackals looked at his peculiar colour with awe, bowed respectfully before him and said, "We will do as your Majesty commands!"

As time passed, other animals, living in the forest, came to recognize him as their king as well.

In due course, even the lion and the tiger became his followers.

This added to the jackal's pride. He became so arrogant that he refused to allow his kith and kin to be a part of his retinue.

When an old jackal noticed that his fellow jackals were sad, he said to them, "Don't feel dejected. We are clever and yet we have been put to shame by this so-called king jackal.

You'll see, he will pay for this! The lion, the tiger and the other animals don't realize that he is a mere jackal and so they've accepted him as their king. We must act in such a way that they come to know the truth.

I know how to do that. Let's get together this evening and start howling at the same time. This king is sure to join in and howl, because after all, he is a jackal."

That evening, the jackals got together and began to howl.

True to his inborn nature, the blue-coloured jackal also started howling and his game was up.

Immediately, the lion, the tiger and the other animals knew that they had been taken for a ride.

They pounced on him and killed him. When the old jackal heard the news, he nodded and said, "It doesn't pay to deceive, for truth will triumph in the end."


21. The Story of Two Swans and A Tortoise


Long ago, in a lake in the country of Magdha, there lived a tortoise. Two swans also lived nearby. The three were very good friends.

One day, some fishermen arrived there and said, "We'll come here tomorrow morning and catch fish and tortoises."

When the tortoise heard this, she said to the swans, "Listen to what the fishermen are saying. What can we do? What in the world am I to do?"


The swans replied, "We'll see what's the best thing to do."

"I've been through some dreadful times here in the past," said the tortoise, "so can you help me get to another lake today?"

"But it won't be safe for you to crawl to another lake," replied the swans.

"Well, you can carry me there between yourselves," replied the tortoise quite pleased with herself.

"How can we do that?" asked the swans.

"Each of you could hold one end of the stick in your beaks while I catch hold of it in the middle with my mouth. Then, when you fly, I can go with you," said the tortoise.

"What a good idea!" said the swans. "But it is very dangerous because if you open your mouth to speak, you'll fall down."

"Do you think I'll be so stupid?" asked the tortoise.

Later, when the swans flew up, carrying their friend, the tortoise on a stick, they were spotted by some cow-herds below.

Surprised, they began to shout, "What a strange sight! Look at that! The swans are carrying a tortoise off somewhere."

"Well, if the tortoise falls down, we'll roast it," said one of the cow-herds.

"I'll cut it into small bits and eat it," said another.

Hearing these unkind remarks, the tortoise forgot where she was and shouted in anger, "You'll eat ashes."

The moment she opened her mouth, she lost her grip and came hurtling down. She was pounced upon and killed by the cow-herds.

The swans sorrowfully saw the end of their friend the tortoise and wished she had listened to them because good advice is beyond any price.


22. The Story of The Three Fishes


Once upon a time, three fishes lived in a pond.

One day, a couple of fishermen passed by the pond. They said to one another, "We'll come here tomorrow morning and catch all the fish."

On hearing this, one of the fishes said, "I am off to another pond," and swam away through a canal to another pond.


The other fish said, "How do I know what's going to happen tomorrow? When I see danger, I'll face it."

"Why bother!" said the third fish. "What will be, will be."

The following morning the fishermen arrived there and cast their net.

The second fish was caught in the net and pretended to be dead.

Just as she was going to be picked up from the net, she gathered all her strength together and jumped back into the water and swam away to safety.

The third fish was caught in the net and killed by the fishermen.

When they had gone, the second fish, though sorry for her friend, felt happy to be alive and thought to herself, "It's a mistake to leave things to chance. At the first hint of danger, one must act quickly."


23. The Story of A Foolish Heron, A Black Serpent and A Mongoose


Near the mountains in the north, on a fig tree on the banks of the river Amravati, lived a pair of herons who were husband and wife.

In a hole, at the foot of this tree, lived a black serpent. He used to slither up the tree and eat the herons' young ones.

Once, when the female heron was lamenting over the loss of her babies, another heron living in a tree living in a tree hereby, advised, "Do as I tell you.

Scatter some bits of fish from the mongoose's burrow to the black serpent's hole.

The mongoose is greedy for fish. While following the trail to eat the fish, the mongoose is sure to reach the hole.

And when he sees his enemy, the black serpent, he will surely kill him."


As foreseen, the mongoose followed the fish trail, happened to see the serpent and killed him.

However, the mongoose also heard the cries of the heron's newly-born young ones. He quickly clambered up the tree and ate them all.

The neighbouring heron felt miserable and guilty for giving advice unthinkingly.

He said to himself, "When one thinks of a plan, one should also think of its consequences."


24. The Story of A Sage and A Mouse


Long ago, in a hermitage, there lived a great sage.

One day, as he sat down to have his lunch, a mouse fell from the beak of a crow, on the ground near him.

He picked the mouse up, took him inside the ashram and fed him some rice.

One day, the sage saw a cat chasing the mouse around the ashram. He was afraid that his pet mouse would be killed by the cat.


By the power of his penance, he turned the mouse into a cat so that it could defend itself against other cats.

Soon a dog appeared on the scene and started barking at and chasing the cat.

When the sage saw this, he changed the cat into a dog.

One day his dog was frightened by a tiger.

The sage immediately changed his dog into a tiger, again by the power of his penance.

However, the sage always treated the tiger as if it was still his little mouse.

Whenever the villagers who passed by the sage's ashram saw the tiger, they would say, "Ha! That's not a tiger! It's just a mouse that the sage changed into a tiger. He won't eat us or even scare us."

When the tiger heard this, he was furious.

"As long as the sage is alive," he thought, "the truth about my real nature will never die. I must get rid of him for good."

The tiger decided to kill the sage.

But as soon as the sage saw him coming towards him, he knew what was going on in the tiger's mind. He shouted, "Get back into your form of a mouse."

No sooner had he uttered these words than the tiger shrank and became a little mouse once again.

The sage looked at him with pity and said, "Whatever one is, large or small, it's good to be humble."


25. The Story of A Greedy Crane and A Clever Crab


Long ago, an old crane lived near a lake in the country of Malwa. He had grown so weak that he had no energy left to catch fish.

He thought of a plan to get his food, fish and crabs, without going through the trouble of catching them.


He went to the bank of the lake and stood there lifeless as if overcome with grief.

A crab, who noticed the crane standing sorrowfully there, asked him, "Why are you standing there and doing nothing about catching fish?"


"My dear friend, as you know, I live on fish," explained the crane. "Tomorrow morning, a fisherman will be coming here to catch all the fish in the lake.

I heard this news on the outskirts of the city. Without the fish, I am sure to die. The news has upset me so much that I don't feel like eating anything today."

When the fish heard this alarming news, they began to discuss the matter and said, "This crane is our enemy, but in this hour of need, perhaps, he may help us. Let's ask him what to do."

The fish swam up to the crane and asked, "How can we stay alive? What shall we do? Can you give us some advice?"

Pretending to think over their problem and feeling pleased that his plan was working out well, the crane replied, "Indeed, there is a way out! I'll take you one by one to another lake, not far from here."

The fish were relieved and accepted the crane's plan. Each day, the crane carried several fish one by one on his back to a place not far away from the lake and ate them up.

The crane lived comfortably for some time without having to exert himself to catch his food.

One day, the crab said, "Oh crane! Please take me to the safe place too!"

The crane immediately agreed, thinking to himself, "Well! Well! I will have crab for a change."

Next morning, the crane carried on the crab on his back to the place where he had taken the fish and eaten them.

The crab noticed a heap of bones of the dead fish.

In a flash, he realized what the crane had been up to. He sighed and said to himself, "Oh dear, a bit of bad luck! It looks as though I'm a goner. Anyway, I'll be as brave as I can and see what I can do."

The crab put his claws around the crane's neck and strangled him.

The crane fell down on the ground, dead. "Well, well," said the crab, "you can't get away with your wicked deeds. Someday they are bound to catch up with you."


26. The Story of A Simple-Minded Brahmin and Three Rogues


Once upon a time, there lived a simple-minded Brahmin.

One day, he bought a plump goat from his village to offer as a sacrifice to the Gods. He placed it on his shoulders and started off for home through the jungle.


On the way, he was seen by three rogues.

When they saw the fat goat on his shoulders, they said to one another, "How can we get this goat away from him? It would make a delicious meal."

They thought it over and hit upon a plan.

Unnoticed by the simple-minded Brahmin, they ran through the jungle and waited at some distance from each other on the way leading to his home.

When the Brahmin came up to the first rogue, the man bowed to the Brahmin pretending to show him respect and said, "Oh holy man! Why are you carrying a dog on your shoulders?"

"Dog!" said the Brahmin looking surprised, "Why, it is a goat which I'm taking home to offer as a sacrifice to my Gods."

As the simple-minded Brahmin continued on his way, he kept mulling over the rouge's remarks.

After he had crossed some distance, the second rogue stopped him.

The man bowed, making him feel that he was showing reverence to him.

The rogue said, "Holy man! Why are you carrying a dog on your shoulders?"

This time the simple-minded Brahmin was so amazed that he put down the goat on the ground and looked at it with searching eyes to make sure what it was.

Satisfied that it was indeed a goat, he placed it back on his shoulders and started walking hurriedly home.

But his mind was not at peace. As he raced to reach his home, he was still thinking about the incident when the third rogue greeted him.

"Holy man!" the rogue cried out. "What's this? Do you have to carry a dog, that unclean animal on your shoulders?"

That did it. The Brahmin was convinced that he had made a terrible mistake. He immediately threw the goat off his shoulders and ran off as fast as he could.

The three rogues seized the goat, chuckled with satisfaction and said to each other. "It doesn't pay to be a simpleton like the Brahmin. One should trust oneself."


27. The Story of A Lion, A Crow, A Tiger, A Jackal and A Camel


In a jungle, there lived a lion named Madotkata. His followers were a crow, a tiger, and a jackal.

One day, as they were roaming about, they saw a camel who had wandered away from his herd.


They befriended the camel and led him to Madotkata, their king.

The king assured the camel that his life would be safe.

He named him 'Chitra Karna' which means 'Spotted Ears' and invited him to stay with them.

Some time passed.

One day, the lion fell sick. That day it also rained heavily making it difficult for the animals to get anything to eat. They were worried.

They discussed the matter and said, "Let's get the lion to kill the camel. What use is the camel to us otherwise?"

"The lion has promised safety to the camel. So how can he kill him?" said the tiger.

"Our Master is starving. He may not mind going back on his word and may kill the camel even if it means committing a sin," said the crow.


So they went over to the lion.

"Have you been able to find some food?" asked the lion.

"Your Majesty!" they said, "despite our best efforts we haven't found anything."

"How can we live without food?" said the lion.

"You have food at your disposal, but you won't eat it," said the crow.

"What food?" asked the lion.

The crow whispered in his ears, "Chitra Karna, the camel."

"God forbid! We've assured him that his life will be safe," replied the lion. "How can we kill him?"

"We don't have to kill him. We'll plan it in such a way that the camel will offer his body of his own free will," replied the crow.

When the lion heard this, he remained silent.

The crow thought it over. He hatched a plot.

At the right time, the crow, the tiger and the jackal went up to the lion.

"Master! We haven't succeeded in getting any food, and even you have been starving. So please eat me," said the crow.

"Friend, it's better to die than to perform such a sinful deed,' replied the lion.

"Your Highness! Why don't you eat my flesh so that you can stay alive?" requested the jackal.

"Certainly not!" replied the lion.

"Oh king! Please sustain yourself on my flesh," pleaded the tiger.

"It will never be right for me to do so," replied the lion.

The camel, who had been listening to their talk, felt reassured of the king's promise about his safety and said earnestly, "Your Majesty! Please allow me to offer you my body."

No sooner had the camel said this, than the tiger sprang on him, ripped open his body and tore him to pieces.

The three followers and their king had a hearty meal, feasting on the poor camel.

The wise indeed say, "Fools are the game, which knaves pursue."


28. The Story of A Wicked Snake and The Stupid King of Frogs


Once upon a time, in an overgrown garden, there lived an old snake named Mandavisha.

He had become so old that he was unable to hunt for his food.

One day, he was resting on the bank of a lake.


A frog, who caught sight of him, asked him from a safe distance. "Why aren't you hunting for food?"

"Oh friend! Please leave me alone. Why torment a fellow whom fate has forsaken?" answered the snake.

The curiosity of the frog was aroused and he said, "Please tell me what your problem is!"

The snake related, "Friend! Once I bit the son of a Brahmin called Kaundinya, in the town of Brahmapura.

The boy was a fine and gifted lad. When his father saw his son dead, he fainted. His relatives tried to revive him.

When the Brahmin recovered, he said, 'I am giving up my work and all worldly pursuits and am retiring to the jungle to meditate.'

Then, he cursed me, saying, 'From today, the frogs will use you as a vehicle to ride on.' Thus cursed, I am waiting for the frogs to ride me."

The frog who heard the snake out, went up to Jalapada, the king of the frogs and told him about the cursed snake.

The king of frogs went over to Mandavisha, the snake, and hopped on his back. The snake carried him to and fro, thus pleasing him.

The following day, the snake pretended that he was unable to move about.

The king of the frogs asked him, "Why do you crawl so slowly today?"

"I've had no food to eat," said the snake.

"Well! I'll let you eat the frogs from my kingdom from this day onward," said the king.

"Sir, I accept your favour!" replied the snake humbly.

In due course of time, the snake ate up all the frogs one by one and in the end, the king of the frogs as well.

When his turn had come, the king of the frogs thought bitterly, "What a fool I was to have been taken in by such a rascal!"


29. The Story of The Hasty Brahmin and A Faithful Mongoose


In the city of Ujjain, there lived a Brahmin called Madhava.

One day, his wife went out to have a bath, leaving their infant son in his care.


Meanwhile, the Brahmin received an invitation from the king to present himself at court, to receive gifts. It was a day of celebration.

The Brahmin, who was very poor, thought to himself, "Well! If I don't leave for the king's palace right now, then some other Brahmin will get these gifts. I'd better hurry up. But there is no one here to look after the baby. What shall I do?"

He spied his pet mongoose and thought, "This mongoose has been brought up like my own son. I think I'll leave my child to his care while I'm away."

Thus, he left for the king's palace.

While the mongoose kept guard over the child, he saw a snake crawling towards the infant. He sprang on the snake and killed him.

When the Brahmin returned, the faithful mongoose rushed out to greet his master and rolled at his feet.

When the Brahmin noticed the mongoose's face covered with blood, he thought, "Good heavens! He has killed my son."

Without thinking further, he killed the mongoose.

When the Brahmin went inside, he found his child alive and sleeping comfortably, nearby, a snake lay dead on the ground.

The mongoose's selfless devotion dawned on the Brahmin and he felt wretched for what he had done. Filled with remorse he thought, "How true! If one acts in haste, one repents forever."

 
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