Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Panchtantra
|4-Donkey and Washerman|
4-Donkey and Washerman
There lived a washerman named Shuddhapat in a small town. He had only one donkey, because he did not have much grass and other things to give him to eat, even this donkey had become very lean because of the shortage of the food.
One day, while the washerman was wandering in the jungle, he came across a dead tiger. He thought to himself, "Oh, this is a piece of good luck. I know what I will do with it. I'll put this tiger's skin on my donkey and let him loose in the barley fields at night time. The farmers will think it's a tiger and for fear of him, they won't come out and his donkey would eat freely from other's farms."
So the washerman took that dead tiger home, cleaned it and used to put that on the body of his donkey at night and leave it in other's farms. The donkey would eat the barley to his heart's content during the night time, and early in the morning, the washerman would lead him back to his home. As time went by, the donkey grew so fat that the washerman had to strain himself to drag the donkey back into the stall.
One night, whilst the donkey was feeding in the barley fields, he heard a female donkey braying in the distance. He couldn't help braying in return. First the farmer of that field got surprised to hear his braying, but soon he realized that it was only a donkey dressed up in a tiger's skin. He rushed out, caught hold of him and killed him with sticks."
Continued the monkey, "that's why I said, "The donkey, who was dressed up in a tiger's skin, was frightening to look at, but he got killed because he brayed."
Now, while the crocodile and the monkey were talking, a water-dweller approached them and said to the crocodile, "Your wife was deprived of your love and has starved herself to death." When the crocodile heard this, he was dumbfounded, as if struck by a thunderbolt. Heart-broken, he said to the monkey, "Oh, what a calamity has befallen me! What an unfortunate fellow I am, for they say: "He who has neither mother, nor a sweet speaking wife in the house, should go to the forest, because to him, jungle and home are alike."
The crocodile got sorry to hear this and said to the monkey - "My friend, I am so sorry. Please forgive me for I have been treacherous towards you and now, as I have lost my wife, I shall go into the fire and burn myself."
Hearing this the monkey smiled and said - "O Foolish crocodile, Right from the beginning, I had known that you were a slave to your wife and a hen-pecked husband. And now I have a proof. How stupid you are. You grieve when you should be rejoicing. The death of someone like that should be celebrated, for they say: "A wife of bad character, who takes delight in always quarrelling, brings her husband premature old age" So a man who seeks his own happiness, should not even mention the name of such a wicked woman. These women are very peculiar, they never let their their minds open on others as what they have in their mind, or on the tips of their tongues. And what they do is always contrary to what they say. Those who are attracted to women, by their enchanting appearances, are destroyed, like moths in a flame."
At this the crocodile said, "Friend, what you say is quite true. But what shall I do now? Two calamities have befallen me. First, I have lost my wife and now I am losing your friendship too. This is what happens when fate is hostile. As the female jackal said to the woman: "Naked woman, You are twice as clever as I am but you have now neither your lover nor your husband, so what are you staring at?"
"How was that?" asked the Monkey.
Created by Sushma Gupta on August 9, 2007
Modified on 05/06/13