Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Panchtantra
|110-Laws of Jungle|
110-Laws of Jungle Are Different...
Once there lived a lion called Madotkat in a forest. His constant companions
and stooges were one tiger, one crow and as always a fox. Once when the Dada
lion was going around with his Chamchaa, he saw a Camel named Kadhanak who
had strayed into the forest from the caravan of a trader and was loitering
around aimlessly in the forest. It was perhaps for the first time that the
lion was seeing a camel. He was taken aback by the size and carriage of the
animal, he said to his stooges - "Oh God, this is not an ordinary beast.
Do you know whether he is of the forest or of the village?"
In his apparent grace, the lion said - "This animal has come to my house with full trust, that too without any fear of danger. It is improper to kill him. Mind you, if one kills somebody who has come as a guest to his house, then he incurs the ultimate sin of killing a Brahman. Hence I am going to grant him refuge. Please lead him to my presence with all honor.
Accordingly his three Chamchaa approached the camel, delivered to him the message of their master and brought him to the lion's presence - "You Kadhanak! you need not go back to the village and toil there carrying the heavy loads of merchandise for your mater. You can wander in this forest without fear, eating all the grass and other shrubs which grow here aplenty. We can have your nice company also." Ordered the lion. The camel believed it and without any fear he continued to live in the forest under the tutelage of the lion.
Meanwhile the lion had to engage himself in a huge battle with a ferocious wild elephant once. The elephant was more than his match and the lion sustained heavy injuries in the encounter and was rendered practically immobile. Suffice to say that only a streak of fortune had left spared his life.
Now it was hunger time not only for the lion but also for his three lieutenants. The lion ordered his followers to go and search for some food which was easily available. So the three fellows were always having the huge bundle of food in the shape of the poor camel, at sight. The four were wandering in the forest in the futile search of food for the master.
The fox told the crow beyond the earshot of the camel - "You crow, this fat
camel is strutting around.. why don't we arrange him as the food for our master
The fox approached the lion - "Master, we have wandered all around the
forest for days together and could not find any animal of prey. We are about
to lose our lives for hunger. Your case is also not far different.. Sir...
why don't we finish off the camel and have some relief from hunger?"
The fox was persistent - "My lord, you can call it a sin if you kill a person to whom you have offered refuge, but if the person offers himself as food out of devotion to you, can you refuse it?. The camel offers his flesh for you, If you do not want to kill him, you can kill one of the three of us. If you do not eat one of us, you will die of hunger and bereft of our dear master, we will be left with not choice but to commit suicide by entering fire. The great lore say that the important leader of the clan should be protected at any cost. If he is gone, the clan will be a chariot whose axle is gone."
The lion said - "If you feel so, you people decide what to do."
The fox returned to the other three and announced to them - "Our master is dangerously ill out of starvation. There will be no one left to protect us if he is gone. So to protect his life, it is our bounden duty to offer him our own bodies as his food." After this all the four of them went to the master and sat around him, in tears. The lion asked - "Could you find some food for me?"
The crow came forward - "My lord and master, we have searched every inch of this forest but we could not catch hold of any animal suitable for your food. So I am offering my own body as your food. Please eat me and be relived of your hunger."
The fox said - "You are a tiny crow. Your body is very small. It is not going to make any difference for the lord. Anyway it befits you eminently that you have exhibited your faithfulness to the master." Now the fox offered his body as the food of the lion.
Then the tiger chimed in - "Your words are truly appropriate. But you are also tiny. And the scriptures say one should not eat animals which have their nails as weapons. So a fox should not be eaten by a lion even if it is a question of life and death. So, I shall offer my body as the food for the master... But the lion was not interested in killing the tiger either.
So the camel thought - "This lion is so noble. He did not accept the idea of killing his faithful servants. And now they have become in his good books by uttering sweet words. I will also say some nice words, and endear the master to me. Sure, he will not kill me, because he has already given refuge to me." So the camel said - "It is rightly said by the tiger that the animals using their nails as their weapons should not be killed. But the tiger also uses his sharp nails in his paw to catch his prey. So he is also not deserving death. Master, I am here, I have no such disqualifications. May you be pleased to eat this my body and be happy."
The other three were just waiting for these words, They jumped on the body of the camel and within seconds, a sumptuous dinner was ready for the lion and his stooges.
You The laws of the jungle are different from those of the village. If this is not properly understood, one will meet the fate of this camel.
Created by Sushma Gupta on August 9, 2007
Modified on 05/06/13