Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Panchtantra
|101-A Cunning Fox|
101-A Cunning Fox
It is similar story to Panchtantra Story No 7 "Jackal and Others"
A fox named Mahaa Chaturak lived in a forest. Food was scarce for him in those days so he was roaming aimlessly in search of something to satisfy himself. As if by great fortune, he came across the carcass of a dead elephant. He ran around it jubilantly but knew he could not eat any meat unless the thick hide covering the body of the elephant was cut open by another beast. As he was pondering over ways and means to satiate his hunger, a lion came there from nowhere. Seeing the lion, the fox became all humble. With affected socitousness, he said, "My Lord, Victory to you. I saw this dead elephant a few minutes ago, and just from that moment I was standing guard for your Majesty to arrive and have your Royal Dinner. Please permit me to have the honor of offering this hospitality to your Majesty." With these words the fox prostrated himself before the lion.
Seeing the silly fox and his sillier gestures, the lion said - "You fool Fox, Don't you know that I never eat the flesh of any animal which I have not killed myself? A highborn like me will not eat the leftovers of others, even at the cost of their lives. So I leave this food for you. You can yourself eat to your heart's content." and he left the fox. This is what the fox expected from the lion. He thought - "It is befitting of a blue-blooded aristocrat. Noble men do not let go of their purity at any time. The conch will remain shiningly white even if it put in fire."
He just settled himself, that a tiger came that way immediately after the lion left. The fox thought, "I could manage to send off the lion by playing upon his vanity and sense of superiority, but this tiger is a cruel and crude fellow. Flattery will have no impact on him. I can only use mild deceit on him to keep him away from my food. A fellow who cannot be befriended with nice words or by gift can definitely be won over by deceit.
So having thought like this, the fox addressed the tiger in an affected tone of a well-wisher - "Uncle, Why have you come here to jump into the mouth of sure death? A lion has killed this elephant just a few minutes ago. He has appointed me as a sentry to guard his food and has gone to the river to have his Royal bath. His instructions are that if a tiger or some such mean creature comes near his food, he should be informed immediately. I will take care of him properly. I had a bitter experience of a dirty tiger once desecrating my food by eating a part of it while I was away and ruining my lunch. So next time any tiger comes anywhere near my food, it is a sure death for him."
The tiger got frightened for his life, he said - "Please my nephew, Do not even whisper a word to the lion. I want to live. I am off." and saying this he bolted. The fox heaved a good sigh. He again settled down that a hyena came there. The fox thought, "This fellow has very sharp teeth. He can open the hide of the elephant and once the hide is ripped open, the way for me is clear. It is prudent to allow him also to eat some flesh because at least my purpose will be served." Thinking thus, he told the hyena - "Oh my dear nephew, it is a long time since I saw you. You look very thin and hungry. You are my dear guest. Here, you see the body of an elephant killed by a lion. The lion is off for his bath before having his supper. So you please can relish some elephant flesh and go away before the lion comes."
Although the hyena was reluctant, he said to fox - "Uncle, I really do not need the flesh of a dead elephant. I can get hold of many living creatures to eat. I am of the view that one should eat only what is easy to get, easy to eat , easy to digest and nutritious to the body.. So I am off." The fox replied - "Don't be coward and do not try to conceal your fear of the lion by speaking generalities. You may eat slowly. I shall warn you well in time if the lion is on his way back."
Thus reassured, the hyena sat for his dinner. And immediately on seeing that the hyena had broken the skin of the dead elephant, came the warning of the fox - "Sonny, you bolt, the lion is back." The hyena immediately bolted leaving no trace at all. Now the fox was free to eat his food, so he started eating the flesh from the body of the elephant pried open by the hyena with relish.
Heyna was still eating the flesh of the elephant, that another fox appeared on the scene. This time the fox did not wait for any tricks. He jumped straight on the adversary, attacked him with teeth and nails, defeated him and lived on the food provided by the carcass of the elephant for a very long time.
The lesson of the
parable is that if the enemy is noble, surrender to him.
Created by Sushma Gupta on August 9, 2007
Modified on 05/06/13