The Brahmin's Gift

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Once, there lived a pious Brahmin in a small village, by the name of Mitra Sharma. He used to perform religious rituals. On one occasion, he was rewarded with a goat for his services by a wealthy man. The Brahmin was happy to get a goat as the reward. He happily slung the goat over his shoulder and began the journey towards his home. On the way, three cheats (Thugs) saw the Brahmin taking the goat.

All of them were lazy and wanted to cheat the Brahmin so that they could take away the goat. They said,” This goat will make a delicious meal for all of us. Let's somehow get it”. They discussed the matter amongst themselves and devised a plan to get the goat by befooling the Brahmin. After deciding the plan, they got separated from one another and took different hiding positions at three different places on the way of the Brahmin.

As soon as, the Brahmin arrived at a lonely place, one of the cheats came out of his hiding place and asked Brahmin in a shocking manner, “Sir, what are you doing? I don't understand why a pious man like you needs to carry a dog on his shoulders?" The Brahmin was surprised to hear such words. He screamed, “Can't you see? It's not a dog but a goat, you stupid fool". The cheat replied,” Sir, I beg your pardon. I told you what I saw. I am sorry, if you don’t believe it.” The Brahmin was annoyed at the discrepancy, but started his journey once again.

The Brahmin had barely walked a distance, when another cheat came out of his hiding place and asked the Brahmin, “Sir, why do you carry a dead calf on your shoulders? You seem to be a wise person. Such an act is pure stupidity on your part." The Brahmin yelled, "What? How can you mistake a living goat for a dead calf?" The second cheat replied, ""Sir, you seem to be highly mistaken in this regard. Either you don’t know how does goat look like or you are doing it knowingly. I just told you what I saw. Thank you". The second cheat went away smiling. The Brahmin got confused, but continued to walk further.

Again the Brahmin had covered a little distance when the third cheat met him. The third cheat asked laughingly, "Sir, why do you carry a donkey on your shoulders? It makes you a laughing stock”. Hearing the words of the third thug, the Brahmin became really worried. He started thinking, “Is it really not a goat? Is it some kind of a ghost?"

He thought that the animal he was carrying on his shoulders might really be some sort of a ghost, because it transformed itself from goat into a dog, from dog into a dead calf and from dead calf into a donkey. The Brahmin got frightened to such an extent that he hurled the goat on the roadside and ran away. The three tricksters laughed at the gullible Brahmin. They caught the goat and were happy to feast on it.

Moral: One should not be carried away by what others say.

The Crows and the Serpent

Once upon a time, there stood a huge banyan tree on the outskirts of a small village. In this, tree there lived a pair of crows with their young ones. One day, a snake came to live in the hole at the bottom of the tree. The crows were not happy at the arrival of the snake, but they could do nothing.

After a few days, the female crow hatched a few more eggs and some more baby crows were born. When the crows went out in search of food, the snake crawled up the tree and ate up the babies. When the crows came back, they could not locate their babies. They chased high and low, but to no avail. The crows were full of grief on the sad loss of their young ones.

After a few months, the female crow hatched some more eggs. This time female crow stayed in the nest while the male crow went out in search of food. The snake was greedy and ignoring the presence of the female crow, he crept up the tree and attacked the babies. The female crow who was keeping a watchful eye on her babies, tried to fight with the snake, but she was weak. Hearing the shriek of the female craw, other crows came to help her, but the snake had already eaten the young ones and slithered back into his hole.

This killing became the feature of their life. Every time the crows laid their eggs, the snake crawled up the tree and ate all the young ones. Due to this, the crows were never able to raise their young ones. The crows were sad, but they didn’t know how to get free from this killer snake.

One day, the female crow asked the male crow that she wanted to leave this tree at once. The male crow consoled her by saying that the tree had been their home from the past many years and they should reside here. He considered of asking a wise fox for help in order to get rid of the snake. With this thought, both of them went to the place of the wise fox. The fox welcomed her friends and said, “Both of you seem to be very sad. What happened? “

The crows replied, “We are in a big problem. A snake is after us and he eats up our eggs and the young ones. We seek your help in this matter.” They narrated the whole story to the fox. The fox was intelligent; she thought for a few minutes and then laid out a brilliant plan before them. She said, “Listen carefully and do it as per the plan. In the morning, go to the river bank where the ladies of the royal family would be bathing. They keep their ornaments in a tray on the river bank. The guards keep a watch on them from a distance”.

The fox suggested the crows to pick up a necklace from the tray and fly away making a loud noise. This would make the guards to chase them to the tree where the crows would drop the necklace into the hole of the snake. In order to get the necklace, the guards would kill the snake to save themselves and take the necklace. The crows liked the plan and swore to execute it the next morning.

So, the next morning, the crows were ready with their plan. The crow couple flew to the river bank; the female crow picked up the necklace and flew off. While, the male crow shrieked loudly to attract the guards’ attention. The guards ran after the crows brandishing their sticks and swords. Soon, they reached the banyan tree where they saw the crows dropping the necklace into the snake hole.

As the guards were trying to take the necklace out with the help of a stick, the snake came out of the hole. The snake hissed at them and afraid of him, they killed the snake by sticks and swords. They took the necklace and returned to their place. The crows were happy to see the sight from a distance. They thanked the fox for her help. Thereafter, the crow couple lived happily with their young ones in the banyan tree.

Moral: Intelligence is greater than strength.

The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit

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Once upon a time, there lived a cruel lion by the name of Bhasuraka, in a dense forest. He was very powerful, ferocious and arrogant. He used to kill the animals of the forest to gratify his hunger. This action of the lion became the cause of worry for the animals of the forest. They were worried that after sometime none of them would be left alive. They discussed this problem among themselves and came upon the decision to hold a meeting with the lion. They wanted to arrive on a friendly settlement with the lion and to put an end to the problem.

One day, as per the plan, all the animals of the forest gathered under a big tree. They invited the King Lion to attend the meeting. In the meeting, the representative of the animals said,” Your Majesty, it is our happiness, that we got you as our king. We are all the more happy that you are attending this meeting”. The King lion thanked them and replied, “What is the matter? Why we have gathered here?”

All the animals started looking at each other. They were recollecting enough courage to start the topic. One of the animals stood up and said,” Sir, its natural that have to kill us for your food. But, killing more than what is required is not a good approach. If you go on killing the animals without any purpose, very soon a day will come, when there will be no animal left in the forest.” The king lion roared, “So what do you want?”

One of the animals replied, “Your Majesty, we have already discussed the problem among ourselves and have come upon a solution. We have decided to send one animal daily to your den. You can kill and eat it, the way you like. This will also save you from the trouble of hunting.” The lion replied, “Fine. I agree to this proposal, but make sure that the animal must reach to me in time, otherwise, I'll kill all the animals of the jungle." The animals agreed to this proposal.

From that day onwards, daily an animal was sent to the lion to become his food. The lion was very happy to have his food right before him without taking any pains of hunting. So, everyday it was the turn of one of the animals. Once, it was the turn of a rabbit to go to the lion’s den. The rabbit was old and wise. He was unwilling to go, but the other animals forced him to go. The rabbit thought of a plan which would save his life and the lives of other animals of the forest. He took his own sweet time to go to the Lion and reached the lion’s den a little late than the usual time.

The Lion was getting impatient on not seeing any animal by the time. The Lion got extremely furious when he saw a small rabbit for his meal. He swore to kill all the animals. The rabbit with folded hands hesitatingly explained, “Your Majesty. I am not to be blamed for that. Actually, six rabbits were sent to make your meal, but five of them were killed and devoured by another lion. He also claimed to be the king of the forest. I have somehow escaped to reach here safely."

The king lion howled in great anger and said, “Impossible, there cannot be another king of this forest. Tell me. Who is he? I’ll kill him. Take me to the place, where you saw him.” The intelligent rabbit agreed and took the Lion towards a deep well, filled with water. When they reached near the well, the rabbit said,” This is the place where he lives. He might be hiding inside.”

The Lion looked into the well and saw his own reflection. He thought it was the other Lion. The Lion was furious and started growling. Naturally the image in the water, the other Lion, was also equally angry. In order to kill the other Lion, he jumped into the well. The Lion darted his head against the rocks and drowned in the deep well.

The wise rabbit, with a sigh of relief went back to other animals and narrated the whole story. All the animals got happy and praised the rabbit for his wit. Thus, the jubilant rabbit saved all the animals from the proud Lion and they all lived cheerfully thereafter.

Moral: Intelligence is superior to physical strength.

The Girl Who Married a Snake

 Once upon a time, there lived a Brahmin with his wife in a village. Both of them were sad, as they had no children. Every day, they prayed to God in the hope, that one day they would be blessed with a child. Ultimately, the god blessed them with a child. The Brahmin’s wife gave birth to a baby, but the child came to be a snake. Everyone was shocked and advised them to get rid of the snake as soon as possible.

The Brahmin’s wife remained firm and refused to listen to any one. She loved the snake as her son and didn’t care that her infant was a snake. She brought up the snake with love and care. She fed him with the best food she could arrange for. She made a comfortable bed in a box and made him sleep on it. The snake grew up and his mother loved him all the more. On one occasion, there was a wedding in the neighborhood; the Brahmin’s wife began to think of getting her son married. But the question aroused, which girl would marry a snake?

Although, she had a belief that she would definitely get a girl for her son. One day, when the Brahmin returned home, he found his wife in tears. He asked her, “What happened? Why are you crying? “She didn’t answer and kept on crying. The Brahmin asked again, “Tell me what hurts you so much?" Finally, she said, “I know you don’t love my son. You are not taking any interest in our son. He is grown up. You don’t even think to get him a bride”. The Brahmin was shocked to hear such words. He replied, “Bride, for our son? Do you think any girl would marry to a snake?”

The Brahmin’s wife didn’t respond, but she kept on crying. On seeing her crying like that, the Brahmin decided to go out in search of a bride for his son. He traveled to many places, but found no girl who was ready to marry a snake. At last, he arrived in a big city where one of his friends lived. As the Brahmin had not met him for a long time, he decided to meet him.

Both of the friends were happy to see each other after a long time and spent a good time altogether. During the conversation, the friend happened to ask the Brahmin that why he was traveling round the country. The Brahmin said,” I am looking for a bride for my son”. The friend told him not to go any further and promised his daughter’s hand in marriage. The Brahmin was shocked and said, “I think, it would be better if you see my son before deciding this”.

His friend refused saying that he knew him and his family, so it was not necessary to see the boy. He sent his daughter with the Brahmin in order to get married with his son. The Brahmin’s wife was happy to know this and quickly started making preparations for the marriage. When the villagers heard about this, they went to the girl and advised her not to marry the snake. The girl refused to hear to them and insisted that she had to keep her father’s word.

Accordingly, the marriage between the snake and the girl took place. The girl started living with her husband, the snake. She was a devoted wife and looked after the snake like a good wife. The snake slept in his box at night. One night, when the girl was going to sleep, she saw a handsome young man in the room. She was frightened and was about to run for help. The young man stopped her and said, “Don’t fear. Didn’t you recognize me? I am your husband”.

The girl didn’t believe him. The young man proved himself by entering into the snake’s skin and then came out of it once again as the young man. The girl was really happy to find her husband in a human form and fell at his feet. From that night onwards, every night the young would come out of the snake’s skin. He used to stay with his wife till daybreak and then would slip back into the snake’s skin.

One night, the Brahmin heard voices from his daughter-in-law’s room. He kept a watch and saw the snake turning into a young man. He rushed into the room, seized the snake’s skin and threw it into the fire. The young man said, “Dear Father, thank you very much. Due to a curse, I had to remain a snake until somebody without asking me, destroy the snake’s body. Today, you have done it. Now, I am now free from the curse." Thus, the young man never became snake again and lived happily with his wife.

The Ass Has No Brains

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Once upon a time, there lived an old lion. The lion, the king of the forest had grown old. He became frail and due to this, he could not hunt for his food. Many a times, he didn’t get even a single animal to eat. With each passing day he became more and more weak. He realized that like this he could not live for long. Somehow, he had to manage for the food, otherwise he would definitely die. He thought that how could he arrange for his food? After much of the thought process, ultimately he decided that he should have an assistant.

The lion thought that a fox would be the best person to handle this position. He summoned the fox and said, “Dear friend, I have always liked you because you are intelligent and clever. I want to appoint you as my minister and advise me on all the affairs of the forest”. The old lion also asked the fox, that he was the king of the forest; so he should not have to hunt for his food. In respect to this, the fox’s first duty as minister was to bring him an animal to eat everyday.

The fox didn’t trust the lion, but he could not even refuse the king. The fox said, “Your Majesty, I am happy, that you have chosen me to serve you. I accept your offer”. The lion was pleased to hear such words. After the conversation, the fox went out to find an animal for the lion. On the way, he met a fat ass. The fox went to the ass, “Friend, where have you been all these days? I have been looking for you for the past many days”.

The ass asked, “Why? What happened? Is everything alright?” The fox replied, “I have got good news for you. You are very lucky. Our king, the lion has chosen you to be his chief minister. He asked me to meet you and inform you about his decision.” Ass was scared of the lion and said, “I am afraid of the lion. He might kill me and eat me up. Why has he chosen me as his chief minister? I don’t even fit enough to be a minister. “

The clever fox laughed and said, “Dear, you don’t know your great qualities. You have a special charm of your own. Our king is dying to meet you. He has chosen you because you are wise, gentle, and hard working. You must not lose your greatest chance in life. Now, come with me and meet our great king. He will be really happy to see you”. So, the poor ass was convinced and got ready to go along with the fox.

As soon as they reached the lion’s den, the ass got scared and refused to move forward. At this, the fox said to the lion, “Your majesty, the chief minister appears to be very shy and hesitates to come near you”. The lion himself came forward and said, “I like such modesty”. He limped towards the ass. The ass got so scared that he ran to save his life. The lion became angry and shouted at the fox, “You have played a trick on me. I was so hungry that I wanted to eat him at once. Go and bring that ass back. If you don’t, I will kill you.”

The fox replied,” Your Majesty, you were in a hurry. You should have left it to me, to bring him near enough. But I will try again”. The fox went back to the ass and said, “You are a funny fellow. Why did you run away like that?” The ass replied, “I was too scared. I thought that the lion was going to kill me”.

The fox said, “What a fool you are? If the king wanted to kill you, he would have done so. You could not have escaped by running away. The thing is, the king wanted to tell you a secret about the kingdom and he did not want me, to hear it. Now, what will he think about you? Doesn’t matter, Come with me and apologize for your mistake. You don’t realize that by serving the king, you will be the second most powerful animal of our forest. Imagine, all the other animals will respect you and seek favors from you.”

In this way, the fox managed to attract the ass to go back to the lion. When the fox and the ass approached, the lion was hungrier than ever. But this time he kept a smiling face and said, “Welcome, my dear friend. It was unkind of you to have run away like that. Come near me. You are my chief minister.” As and when the ass came closer, the lion pounced on him and killed him instantly. The lion thanked the clever fox and was happy to get the food.

As the lion sat down to take his meal, the fox said, “Your Majesty, I know you are very hungry and it is time for your dinner, but the king must take a bath before his meal”. The lion thought it was a good idea and said, “You are right. I should go and bathe first. You keep a watch on the carcass of the ass”.

The fox silently sat down to keep a watch of the ass. He was very hungry and thought to himself, “I took all the trouble of getting the ass here. It is I who deserve the best portion of the meal”. Thus, the fox cut open the head of the ass and ate up the whole brain. When the lion returned and looked at the ass, he felt that something was missing. He found that the head of the ass had been cut open. He inquired from the fox, “Who came here? What happened to the head of the ass?”

The fox pretended to be innocent and reminded the lion, “Your Majesty, You have given a powerful blow on the head of the ass when you killed him”. The lion was satisfied with the answer and sat down to take his meal. Suddenly, he shouted,” What happened to the ass’ brain? I wanted to eat the brain first”. The fox smilingly replied, “Your Majesty, Asses have no brains. If this had any, he would not have come here a second time”.

The Bird with Two Heads

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Once upon a time, there lived a strange bird named Bharunda. He lived on a banyan tree near the banks of a river. The strangeness of the bird lies in the fact, that he had two necks, but shared a common stomach. One day, the bird was wandering on the banks of the lake and found a red-golden fruit, which appeared delicious at the first sight. One of the two heads mumbled, “Oh what a fruit. I am sure the heavens have sent it for me. I am so lucky.” He started eating the fruit with immense pleasure and claimed that it was the most delicious fruit he had ever eaten.

Hearing this, the other head said,” O dear, let me also taste the fruit you are praising so much”. The first head laughed and replied "You know that we've only one stomach, whichever head eats, the fruit will go to the same stomach. So, it makes no difference whether I eat it or you eat it. Moreover, I'm the one who found this fruit. So I've the first right to eat it". The other head became silent and disappointed after hearing the first head. This kind of selfishness, on the part of the first head pinched him very much.

Later one day, the other head found a tree bearing poisonous fruits. He took the poisonous fruit and told the first head, “You deceitful fellow. I will eat this poisonous fruit and avenge your insult which you have done to me”.

The first head yelled, "Please don't eat this poisonous fruit. If you eat it, both of us will die, because we've a common stomach to digest it." The other head replied, “Shut up! As I have found this fruit, I have the every right to eat it.” The first head started crying, but the other head didn’t bother and ate the poisonous fruit. In the consequence of this action, both of them lost their lives.

Moral: Sharing of a good thing with others is always good.

The Blue Jackal

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Once, there was a jackal in a forest by the name of Chandaraka. One day, Chandaraka, driven by hunger, went to a nearby village in search of food. He was extremely hungry. Unfortunately, he met a group of dogs and they started chasing him. The jackal got frightened and fled in panic. He entered a washer man’s house in a hurry. While trying to hide himself, the jackal slipped and fell into a tub full of blue color, which the washer man had kept ready to dye the clothes.

Soon the bark of the dogs ceased and jackal came out of the tub. There was a big mirror fixed on the wall of the house. Jackal saw himself in the mirror and was surprised to see his blue colored body. He came out of the house and quickly ran back to the forest. When Chandraraka reached the forest, every animal failed to recognize this new creature. Infact they got frightened and ran in all directions.

Taking advantage of the situation, the jackal planned to keep the situation in his favor. He asked, “Why are you running like this? There is no need to panic. I am a unique creation of God. He told me that the animals in this jungle had no ruler and he had nominated me as your king. He had named me, Kakudruma and told me to rule this forest. Therefore, all of you can live safely under the cover of my protection.”

The innocent animals believed the shrewd jackal and accepted him as the king. The jackal appointed the lion as his minister, the tiger as his chamberlain and the wolf as the gatekeeper. After allotting positions to the animals, the new king Kakudruma banished all the jackals in the forest for the fear of being recognized. Now, the animals hunt food and brought it to the self-proclaimed king. After taking his share, the king would distribute the remaining food equally among his subjects. So like this, he was leading a luxurious life.

One day when the blue jackal was holding his court, a herd of jackals were passing by howling to their glory. Suddenly blue jackal forgot that he was a king and not an ordinary jackal anymore. Unable to control his natural instinct, Kakudruma howled at the top of his voice. Soon, the animals realized that they had been fooled by a jackal. In a fit of anger, all the animals, at once pounced on the blue jackal and killed him.

Moral: The one who abandons one’s own folk will perish

The Gold Giving Serpent

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Once upon a time, there was a poor Brahmin named Haridatta. He used to work hard in the fields, but could not get the result out of it. One day, after the tiring working hours, he laid down in the shade of the tree, in the middle of the field. Just then, he saw a terrible snake with a big hood coming out of an anthill. The poor Brahmin thought that the serpent might be the guardian deity of the field and he had not paid homage to it for once. This could be the reason for the barrenness of the field.

Instantly, he went to bring some milk and offered the milk to the serpent in a bowl. While offering the milk with due regard, he addressed the serpent, “O, Guardian of this field! I didn’t know that you reside here that’s why I never offered you anything. Please forgive me”. After the whole event, he went to his home. Next day, when the farmer came to plough the field, he found a gold coin in the bowl near the anthill. Now this became a regular feature of Brahmin’s life. Daily he served milk to the serpent and found a gold coin.

One day Brahmin had to go to the foreign lands and due to this reason, he asked his son to take care of the serpent. The son brought the milk to the anthill and offered it, to the serpent. Next day, when he came back found a gold coin in the bowl. After taking the gold coin, he thought, “This anthill must be full of gold coins. I would kill the serpent and take them all”. Brahmin’s son decided the plan and next day came to the field with the milk and a stick. He offered the milk to the snake and struck its hood with the stick. The snake escaped the blow of the stick and bit the boy to his death.

The whole village mourned over the sad death of Brahmin’s son. Two days later, the Brahmin returned to his village and came to know about the death of his son. He came across the whole incident and again went to the field to serve the milk to the serpent. He praised the snake in a loud voice and kept the milk near the anthill.

The snake came out of the anthill and replied, “Brahmin, you have come here from greed, even you have left your grief for your son who has just passed. Now onwards, the friendship between you and me is not possible. Your youthful son who lacked understanding struck me and I bit him. How can I forget that stick’s blow? How can you forget the pain and grief for your son? “. After saying this, the serpent gave him a diamond and said, “Never come to me again. That is why; I am giving you a costly diamond”. The serpent disappeared into the anthill. The Brahman took the diamond and returned home, cursing the lack of understanding of his son.

Moral: Excess of greed is harmful.

The Heron and the Crab

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Once upon a time, there lived a crane by the side of a pond. He used to catch the fish from the same pond. The crane always had a full meal, but with the growing age he got older and weaker. He became so weak that he could not arrange for his food. The condition was that the fish swam around him, but he could not catch them.

One day, he was extremely hungry. He hadn’t eaten anything for the past many days. To satisfy his hunger, without much toil and trouble, he devised a plan. In order to start off with his plan, he went to the side of a pond with a gloomy face without any intention to catch a fish. The fish, frogs and crabs thought why he was not trying to catch any food. One big crab, on seeing the sad crane asked him what the matter was.

The crane replied, “Alas! I am worried that the pond is soon going to be devoid of any fish, which are in turn my source of food. I have heard that some people are going to fill the tank with mud and grow crops over it”. All the creatures of the pond got worried after hearing the crane. Founding the situation in his favor, the stork said, “I know of a pond somewhat far away, where all the creatures will be safe. If the creatures are interested, I can carry a few each day to the other pond where they will be safe”.

Everyone in the lake was eager to take the help of the crane. The crane also confirmed that he required rest between trips due to his age. Also, he would be able to carry a few fish at a time. The creatures were ready to go with the crane on his condition. In the very first trip, the crane took some fish in his beak, but instead of taking them to another pond, he took them to a nearby hill and ate them. After taking rest for sometime, again when he felt hungry, he took the second trip.

In this manner, the crane was getting a continuous supply of fish without any effort. Within a few days, he regained his health and became fleshy. The big crab also wanted to be saved. One day, the crab requested the crane to take him to the other pond. The crane thought it was a nice idea to try different food. He agreed to take the crab on the next trip.

On the next trip, the crab happily went with the crane. During the trip, when some time had passed, the crab asked, “How far is the pond now?” The crane found that the crab was quite an innocent creature and would never know about his evil plans. So, he said angrily, "You fool, do you think I am your servant? There is no other pond around here. I made this plan in order to be able to eat you all. Now you too be prepared to die."

The crab realized the foul play of the crane. Without loosing his senses, he quickly tightened his sharp claws around the neck of the crane. The crab snapped off the head of the crane. Thus, the crane died a selfish death. The crab somehow dragged himself back to the pond and narrated the whole incident to all the creatures of the pond. Every one of them thanked the crab for his effort and they lived happily thereafter.

Moral: Excess of greed is harmful

The Lion that Sprang to Life

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Once upon a time, there were four friends in a village. Three of these four friends were learned in all sciences, but had no common sense. The fourth friend by the name of Subuddhi was not much learned in scriptures or sciences, but had common sense. He was quite practical in his approach towards life and knew what was good or bad for him.

One day, the three learned friends thought that there was no use of their learning, unless it brought them money to fulfill their needs. They decided to travel to all distant towns and cities in order to try their luck. They didn’t want to take their fourth friend with them, as he was not learned. However, they agreed to take him along with them, taking into account that he was their friend since childhood.

After this, the four friends set out on a long journey. They wandered from one town to another, looking for an opportunity to earn money. One day, during their journey, they had to cross a dense forest. While passing through the forest, they saw a heap of bones lying under a tree. On seeing the heap, one of the learned friends said, “Friends, this is a good opportunity to test our skills. I think these bones are of a certain animal. Let us bring it to life using the knowledge we have acquired.”

The first friend said, “Fine. I will use my skills to assemble the bones into a skeleton”. Then he chanted some mantra and ordered all the bones to come together forming a skeleton. When the skeleton was ready, the second friend chanted some other mantra, commanding flesh and blood to fill the skeleton and skin to cover it. Now, it looked like a lifeless lion.

As the third learned friend stood up to do the final act of putting life into the lifeless body of the animal, the fourth friend shouted, “Stop! This looks like the body of a lion. If it comes to life, he will kill all of us.” The friend, who was to put life into the body of the animal said, “You are a fool. What do you know in the field of learning and knowledge? Do you think I will lose this opportunity to test my learning? It would be better, if you keep your mouth shut.”

Ignoring what the fourth friend had said, the learned friend started chanting the mantra to bring the animal back to life. The fourth friend shouted, “Wait a minute” and quickly climbed up a tree nearby. The three learned friends laughed on the act of their friend. The third friend put life in the lifeless body of the lion. The lion sprang to life and killed all the three learned men. The fourth friend safely went back to his village.

Moral: Knowledge without common sense is useless

The Little Mice and the Big Elephants

Once upon a time, a village was ruined by a strong earthquake. The houses and roads got totally damaged. The village was shattered on the whole. Due to this, the villagers were forced to leave their houses and settle somewhere else. Finding the place vacant, the mice began to live in the ruined houses. Soon their number grew into hundreds and thousands.

There was a big lake located near the ruined village. A herd of elephants used to visit the lake for drinking water. This was the only way available to them, to reach the lake. On their way to the lake, the elephants crushed hundreds of mice daily under their heavy feet. By this action of the elephants, the population of the mice was affected. The problem was getting bigger and bigger day by day.

In order to find a solution to this problem, the mice held a meeting. It was decided that a request should be made to the king of the elephants regarding the problem. The King Mice met the King Elephant and asked, “Sir, we live in the ruins of the village, but every time when your herd crosses the village, thousands of my subjects get crushed under the colossal feet of your herd. Kindly change your route. We promise to help you in the hour of your need, if you keep my term.”

The king elephant laughed on hearing this and replied,” You mice are very small to be of any help to giants like us. But doesn’t matter, we would favor you by changing our route to reach the lake and making you safer”. The King mice thanked the king elephant and returned home.

One day a group of elephant-hunters came and trapped the group of elephants in huge strong nets. The elephants struggled hard to free themselves, but all in vain. Suddenly, the king of elephants remembered the promise of the king of mice, who had talked earlier about helping the elephants when needed. He summoned one of the elephants of his herd which had not been trapped, to go and contact the king of rats.

On listening to the elephant, the rat king immediately took his entire group of mice to rescue the herd. He found the elephants trapped in a thick net. The mice set themselves on the task. They nibbled the thick net at thousands of spots making it loose. The elephants broke the loose net and got free. They were grateful to the mice for their great help and became friends for ever.

Moral: Sometimes a weak looking person may prove stronger than others.

The Mice that ate Balance

Once upon a time, there lived a rich merchant in a village, by the name of Jveernadhana. He was the owner of a big business. The village, in which he lived, was situated near a river. Once, due to heavy rains the river was flooded. The whole village got submerged in neck deep water. The crop, houses and factories in the village were damaged and hundreds of people and cattle perished in the flood.

Due to this flood, the merchant had to suffer heavy losses in the business. He decided to leave the village and try his luck in a new place. His plan was to earn a lot of money and then come back to his native village to restart his business. With this intention, he sold off all his possessions and paid off his debts. Now, Jveernadhana was only left with a heavy iron balance that belonged to his ancestors. It was not possible for him to carry such a heavy iron balance.

Jveernadhana went to say goodbye to his friend Janak and requested him to keep the balance for him till he returned. Janak readily agreed to his friend's request and said, "Don't worry; I'll keep it safe for you. You can take it back after you return home." Jveernadhana thanked Janak for his helping attitude and kept the balance with him. Jveernadhana left the village in order to accomplish his target.

For many years, Jveernadhana traveled far and wide, trying his luck. By this time, Jveernadhana had done good business and earned a lot of money. He returned to his village. He started his business again. He went to visit his friend Janak, who greeted him warmly and both of them talked for hours. When it was time to leave, Jveernadhana asked his friend to return his iron balance.

Janak replied, “Friend, I am sorry to say that I don't have your balance with me anymore. There are a lot of mice in my house. They ate up your balance." Janak knew that the balance would fetch him good money so he was reluctant to return it. Jveernadhana was amazed to hear Janak's explanation. He thought, “How can mice eat iron”. Still, he kept calm and said, "Don't feel sorry, Janak. The mice have always proved a threat to everyone. Let us forget about it."

Janak was happy to hear such words from Jveernadhana. While leaving the place of Janak, Jveernadhana said to Janak,” Can you send your son with me? Actually I have brought a gift for you and your son will come with me, I‘ll handover the gift to him”. Janak happily sent his son Ramu with Jveernadhana.

Jveernadhana locked up Ramu in a room of his house. By the night, Janak got worried and came to ask about the whereabouts of his son. Jveernadhana replied, “I’m sorry friend. When we were on the way, a hawk swooped down and carried away the boy”. Janak shouted, “How can a hawk carry off a young boy?” Janak accused Jveernadhana of lying. He insisted that a hawk could not carry off a fifteen year-old boy.

Jveernadhana repeatedly claimed that a hawk carried away Janak’s son. A big fight ensued and ultimately, the matter was taken to court. When the magistrate heard Janak’s side of the story, he ordered Jveernadhana to return the boy to his father. Jveernadhana said, "My Lord, How can I, when a hawk has already carried away the boy." The judge reprimanded Jveernadhana, "Shut up! How can a bird carry away a young boy in his talons?"

Jveernadhana politely replied, “It can, my lord. If mice can eat my iron balance, why can't a bird carry away a grown up boy." The magistrate got confused and then Jveernadhana narrated the whole story to the judge. Everyone in the courtroom burst out laughing. At last, Janak apologized for his mistake. The judge ordered him to return the iron balance to Jveernadhana and asked Jveernadhana to return the boy to Janak.

Moral: Never try to deceive a friend

The Mongoose and the Brahmin’s Wife

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Once upon a time, there lived a Brahman by the name of Deva Sharma with his wife. His wife delivered a son and they were happy to have their first child. The Brahmin wanted to have a pet animal to protect the child which would also be a companion to the child. The Brahmin kept his proposal before the Brahmani. She found the proposal acceptable and the Brahmin went to bring a pet.

Deva Sharma went round the village and after much toil, got a mongoose as an escort to his child. Brahmani didn’t like the idea to keep a mongoose for her child. But as the pet was already brought, so she accepted it. Now, both of them started loving the mongoose as their own child. Yet, the Brahmani never left her son alone because she did not trust the mongoose, fearing that it could harm her son.

One day, the farmer and his wife had to go out of the house leaving the child at home. The farmer confirmed that the mongoose would take care of the child while they would be away. So, they left the mongoose and the child at home and went out. Soon after they left, a cobra entered the home. Finding danger to the son of the Brahmin, the mongoose attacked the cobra. They had a bloody combat and the mongoose succeeded in killing the cobra.

After this, mongoose heard the footfalls of Brahmin’s wife and went at the door to greet her. Brahmani was trembled to see the blood stained mouth of the mongoose. She inferred that the mongoose had killed the child. Without a second thought, she threw a heavy box on mongoose and the mongoose died at the spot. Brahmani quickly entered the house to see her child and to her great surprise, she found her child sleeping quietly in the cradle.

As soon as, she saw a snake bitten into pieces lying near the cradle, she realized that the mongoose had saved her child. The Brahmani was struck by grief that she had killed the mongoose that was like a sibling to her son. She cried loud at her hasty action.

Moral: Don’t act in haste. Think and Act

The Monkey and the Crocodile

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Long ago, there lived a monkey named Raktamukha, on a Jamun (Black-berry) tree by the side of a river. The tree was always full of fruits, which were as sweet as nectar. The Monkey used to eat fruits from the tree. Raktamukha was happily passing his days jumping from one tree to another. Once, a crocodile named Karalamukha came out of the waters and took rest under the tree on which the monkey lived.

Raktamukha, who was sitting high on a branch, saw the crocodile taking rest under the tree. The monkey became very eager to talk to the crocodile. Since he had no friends, he wanted to make friends with him. Addressing the crocodile, Raktamukha said, “As you’re taking rest under the tree, you’re my guest and it’s my duty to offer you food.” The monkey gave a lot of Jamuns to the crocodile to eat. The crocodile ate them to his fill. He thanked the monkey for his generosity and went home.

Karalamukha started coming ashore everyday and enjoy the fruits offered by the monkey. Soon they became good friends. Both of them started spending time with each other discussing the world. One day, the crocodile asked the monkey for some Jamuns to take for his wife. The Monkey happily gave the fruits to the crocodile. The crocodile took the fruits cheerfully to his wife and also narrated the whole story to her.

After eating the fruits, the crocodile's wife was overjoyed and said to her husband, "Dear, if these fruits are so tasty, then the monkey who eats these fruits must be ten times tastier. Why don't you bring the heart of this monkey for my meals?” The crocodile was stunned to hear such words from his wife. He replied,” Sweetheart, the monkey is my friend. It would not be fair to take his heart”. The crocodile’s wife was shrewd and pleaded with her husband to bring monkey’s heart for her. The crocodile was unwilling to deceive his friend, but then she insisted on not eating anything till he brought her monkey’s heart.

The Crocodile was left with no other option, but to bring monkey’s heart for his wife. He was afraid that how could he ask for such thing from his friend. He devised a plan and rushed to the monkey. Raktamukha was waiting for his dear friend for the daily meeting. Reaching ashore, Karalamukha asked the monkey in a sad tone, "My wife and I invite you to our home for a dinner. My wife is very angry with me for not having invited you earlier". He stated that his wife is anxious to meet such a nice friend.

Poor monkey didn’t know about the plan and believed the story of crocodile. He asked the crocodile,” I accept your invitation, but how will I go with you? I don’t know how to swim?” The crocodile replied,” Don’t worry. Come and sit on my back. I‘ll take you to my house.” The monkey happily sat on the back of the crocodile and they started their journey. The crocodile entered in the deep waters with an intention to kill the monkey. The monkey got scared to see water all around and asked the crocodile to move slowly.

The crocodile thought that now he could reveal his real intentions to the monkey, as it was impossible for him to escape from the middle of the river. The crocodile gullibly said to the monkey, “I am taking you to my home to please my wife. She wants to eat your heart. She says that since you eat tasty fruits day and night, your heart must be ten times tastier than those fruits."

The monkey was taken aback to hear these words. He had never expected this type of a request from a friend. He kept cool and said wittingly, "Oh dear! Why didn’t you tell me earlier? It would be my privilege to offer my heart to your charming wife. I usually keep my heart safely in the burrow of the tree. In order to serve my heart to your wife, I have to go back to get my heart.”

The foolish crocodile swiftly then swam back to the tree where the monkey lived. On reaching the bank the monkey quickly jumped off the crocodile’s back and climbed up his home tree. The crocodile was in a hurry and realized that the monkey was taking too long in getting his heart. Impatiently he asked, “What is the delay? Get you heart. My wife will be very happy.”

By the time, the monkey had realized that this was a rebirth for him. The monkey laughed and answered, "My dear foolish friend. You've deceived me as a friend. Can any one take out his heart and keep that in a burrow. It was all a trick to save my life and teach a lesson to an unfaithful friend like you. Now go away and don’t ever come back." The crocodile was ashamed for his act and went home with his head bent down.

Moral: At times, presence of mind pays well.

The Brahmin’s Dream

Once upon a time, there lived a poor Brahmin by the name of Swabhavakripna in a village. Swabhavakripna was all alone and had no friends or relatives. He was known for his miserliness and used to beg for his living. Whatever food he got as alms, he kept in an earthen pot and hung it beside his bed. Whenever he felt hungry, he took out some food from the pot and ate it.

One day, the Brahmin got a quantity of rice gruel, so much that even after eating to his full, a pot full was left. Brahmin was very happy to get such quantity of food. As the night progressed, the Brahmin lay on his bed but he could not take his eyes from the pot. Soon, he was fast asleep. He began to dream that the pot is overflowing with rice gruel.

He dreamt that if a famine came to the land, then he could sell it for a hundred silver coins. With these silver coins, he would buy a pair of goats. They would have kids in every six months and soon he would acquire a herd of goats. Then he would trade the goats for buffaloes and cows. Then they would have their young ones. They would grow up and give lots of milk. He would sell the milk in the market and make lots of butter and curd from it. Then he would sell that butter and curd in the market. Like this, he would become richer than ever before.

With this money, he would buy a large house with four buildings in a rectangle. A wealthy Brahmin after seeing his affluence would marry his daughter to him. Soon, the wife would deliver a son and he would name him Soma Sharma. The Brahmin would scold Soma, when he would play around all day making noise. But Soma would not listen and anxiously the Brahmin would pick a stick and run after him.

Buried in his dream, Brahmin picked up the stick lying near his bed. He started hitting in the air with the stick. While doing so, he hit the earthen pot with the stick, the pot broke and all the contents spilled over him. The Brahmin woke up to find that he was dreaming the whole situation. All his dreams got shattered at once.

Moral: One should not build castles in the air.
By Brahmanand