Apologues

(Moral Fables) 

Inspiration from Tamil Siruvarmalar.com

Monkey Scholar

All for the good

Lion and the fox.

United we stand; Divided we fall

 The Elephant and the pig

 

Fox’s Tantra Grandma’s Vadai

Rabbit and lion

Croc and monkey

crow’s ingenuity slakes thirst

 

Salt merchant and the donkey’s stratagem

 

Greed earns great loss. Yield for unity, no loss.

 

Don’t deride by appearance.

Pay attention to you what you do.

 

Don’t give advice to the evil doer.

Defraud others; expect to be defrauded.

 

What is greater: love, wealth or victory?

 

Thinking on feet saves the dog.

 

Crow and the queen’s necklace

 

king learns a lesson from the spider.

 

Honesty confers loftiness.

 

The reward for patience and good conduct.

 

Babbling while in danger.

 The Snail and the Monkey

By V. Krishnaraj

 

 

 

Monkey Scholar

A writer was in search of a quiet place to write a research manuscript. He chose a ravine. An angry demon asked him, “Who are you? Have you come to ruin this tranquil ravine?

The intellectual said, “Please forgive me. I am a writer. I was in search of a tranquil place. That is why I came here.”

The demon told him, “You have to pay a rental for occupying this place. I will morph you into a monkey. That is your punishment."

The next moment, the writer-intellectual became a monkey. He sobbed. He was jumping from one tree to another and ate fruits like a monkey.

He reached the nearest town, where the ocean-going ship was about to leave for Bagdad. He jumped on board the ship. The ship’s passengers yelled at the sight of the monkey.

One passenger shouted, “Eject the monkey off the ship. Kill it.”

The ship’s captain worrying about the animal said, “Don’t eject it from the ship. It is harmless. Let it go with us. I will take care of it.”

The monkey appeared to show gratitude to the captain. There was a widespread news in Bagdad that the king was looking for a counselor, since the erstwhile advisor died. The royal announcement declared that any qualified person can apply for the post in a suitable form and the most qualified one will be chosen from among the applicants for the counselor position.

The monkey-scholar filled the application and forwarded it. The king’s minions and others under his employ laughed. They derided saying, “Look at this travesty. This monkey wants to be an advisor to the king.” All applications were brought to the attention of the king. The king read all the applications. The monkey’s application was appealing to him.

The king said he wanted to see the monkey in person. The monkey dressed in majestic robes rode on horseback along the streets of Bagdad in a procession and met with the king. In the royal court, a wide range of questions were asked. The monkey gave appropriate and wonderful answers to all the questions. The king liked the answers. But the ministers raised an objection.

The ministers said, “The monkey does not have language skills. How could it be an advisor?”

The king made the decision and appointed the monkey as the chief advisor to the king. The daughter of the king came to know that the monkey was not really a monkey but was morphed into a monkey by the demonic conjuror. She was familiar with the magic of the conjurors from her readings. With the magical incantations, she morphed the monkey back to its original human form. The intellectual came back to his self.

He expressed his gratefulness to the royal daughter. He stayed in Bagdad for many years and offered sage advice to the king.

Justice: The intellectuals earn respect wherever they live.

*************************************************************************************************************************

All for good

A great crowd assembled at the entrance to the cave of sylvan king, the Lion. When the king of beasts went on a hunt, he sustained an injury and lost one of his toes. The assembled animals expressed sorrow, in chorus announcement, ‘Get Well Quick, my King,’ and left for home.

The lion king was on a bed with heavy bandage on the foot and the leg. The queen was in grief shedding tears and wiping the nose.

The animals stood in line to pay respects, express sorrow and utter ‘get-well-soon’ whisper.  A fox broke into the line and as it neared the bed, gave a big sigh and said, ‘All for the good.’ The king of beasts was burning and boiling with anger, hearing such callous note.

The king thought to himself, “Here I am in bed, having lost a toe and this fox tells It is all for good. The lion ordered the fox seized and jailed in the cave-prison.

A contingent of monkey soldiers jumped on the fox and hauled him away to the prison.

The fox lamented upon arrest, “Every act happens for our good: that is the truth.”

The wound of the foot took three months to heal. Because of missing toe, the king of beasts could not walk with a majestic bearing but limped along. The backbiting animals said of the king, he was a ‘Lame and Limping Lion King.’

The queen hearing the derisive rumors and remarks was very unhappy. What could she do?  She thought, if the cub-prince on identifying the backbiter could punish him.

No one knew of the mischievous rabbit for giving the king a derogatory moniker.

The jailed fox was given vegetarian food daily once a day. The wild roots and fruits caused nausea in the fox. What to do? Instead of keeping quiet, spilling words caused my ruination for life.  Such was his thinking and he exhaled a deep sigh.

The kingly beast went on a hunt on his limping leg, saw a goat in a cave with open gates, jumped on it with gusto and ate the goat.

Eructing a loud belch, the lion turned around to go back home but found the iron gates in the cave were shut closed. He regretted having been caught. In its fury, it emitted a roar. The soldiers muzzled the poor king of beasts, tied him by a rope, loaded him on a wagon and took him for delivery to the prince, saying, “We have a lion for our prince to play with. He would be happy to see the lion. Seeing the joy of the prince, the king would offer us rewards.” Saying such words, they reached the palace.

When they brought the lion down from the cage in the wagon, they saw it limping.

They were unhappy. Thinking they cannot train the lame lion for the sport of the prince, they took the lion back into the forest. The lion was happy to realize the missing toe and lameness were the saving grace and prompted the soldiers to take him back to the forest.  The lion thought, “I jailed the fox for saying, ‘It is all for the good.’ I realize now the truth said by the fox.” Upon return to its cave, the lion narrated the event to his wife and children.

The lion called on the simian soldiers and ordered them to release the fox. The lion king invited the fox to his presence and extolled, “You are the ocean of intellect. From here on, you are my minister. Your prediction, ‘All for the good,’ came true. Whatever may be the utterance, it must be explored without haste: That is what I am delighted to understand now.”

Once you think that all events are for one’s welfare, there is no such thing as grievous event.

The starving lion and the fox.

 

It was a jungle with animals galore. A lion and a fox were roaming for days with no food to eat. One day they met face to face and lamented their luck.

They decided to hunt in collaboration. The lion drew up the plan for such an endeavour.  The plan was as follows. The fox should emit a loud howl.  The howl will frighten the animals and scatter them in panic. The lion should lie in wait and attack the animal running in fright.

The fox liked that stratagem and accepted the plan. The fox sounded its loudest howl. Hearing the strange sound, the animals ran hither and thither. The lion caught and killed the hither animals coming in his way and let go of the thither animals.

The fox gave up its howl and came near the lion and was happy to see many dead animals. It became arrogant thinking its weirdest howl brought in a crop of dead animals.

The fox approached and asked the lion what it thinks of its howling  feat. With hubris in its voice, the fox said, “By my mere howl, don’t you see I killed so many animals?”

The lion acknowledged its mite and said, “Do you have to elaborate to me on your work?” The lion praised the fox saying, “If I did not know you were making  the weird howl, I myslef might have died of fear.”

***********************************************************************************************************************************************

United We Stand (fly); Divided We Fall

Blue and white doves had nests on the temple tower. The aristocratic blue doves were arrogant thinking they were superior to the lowly white doves. Renovation works on the tower prompted the doves move to other locations.  On their flight, they noticed a spread of rice on the ground for drying in the sun. They descended, ate all the grains and perched themselves on a nearby huge tree.  The hunter, the owner of the rice grains was shocked to see no grains where he spread for drying in the sun. Seeing the bird droppings, he guessed what happened to his grains.

 

The hunter planned to catch the doves with his net. Next day he laid the net with the spread of the rice grains and waited for the doves.  The doves upon seeing the grains descended to the ground and had their feet caught in the net.  The hunter in hiding far away ran to the net to catch the doves. Seeing the hunter rushing towards them, all the doves took off from the ground at an instance and carried the net with them.  The hunter seeing the flying doves lamented at losing the doves and the net at which he worked hard, did not mind not catching the doves and ran after the flying doves to retriev his net.

As the doves were in flight, the blue doves with hubris under the wings said, “It is because of our strength, you are all alive and safe. If it is not for our fast wings, it would have been a disaster for you (the white doves).” The white doves parlayed the strength of their wings and said, “You blue doves may be beautiful but lack strength and power.” Squabbling between the white and blue doves continued as they flew; their hubris slowed down the speed; and the net including the doves got caught in tree branches.

Seeing this, the hunter was happy. He, worried about the escape of the doves with his net, said to himself, “The proverbial ‘Life-Saved-When-United’,” was what I feared. “In my favor, their cooperation dissolved with their concomitant fall. I thank the quibbling doves.” He disentangled the doves from the net and put them in his basket.

The Elephant and the pig

In India, man and elephant lived together in harmony for millennia. There is no major festival in the big temples without an elephant(s). The story here is an apologue told and retold in India a billion times. Here is my presentation.
The Indian elephant (Elephas Maximus) and the pig
There was a majestic caparisoned temple elephant. It was the cynosure of all eyes esp. during the festival season. It was massive and yet graceful in appearance, movement and personality. The Mahout took the elephant to a lake for a bath and a scrub. The elephant enjoyed the romp in the lake. Wherever the mahout scrubbed, it turned over its massive body and limbs so the mahout could scrub that part of the body well. He had a bunch of Bananas on the lakeshore as a snack after the bath. The elephant was returning from the lake to the temple. This elephant is an Auto-Pachyderm, and knows its way back to the temple. He saw a pig smeared heavy with mud, muck and mire coming its way on the bridge. It could not avoid the pig because it was half way down the bridge. The elephant was walking in a regal manner as it was its normal gait. It was clean as a whistle. The pig was dripping mud and slime from its body. The elephant saw it and could not backtrack to avoid the dirty pig. It took a long and deep breath, held it and moved to the side of the bridge to avoid physical contact and the body odor of the pig. When the pig saw the elephant move to the side, it became proud, changed its gait, turned its snout up in the air and walked jauntily as if he owned the bridge. He felt beautiful. He remembered his grandma calling him Shayna Punim (pretty face). There were faunal spectators watching the drama taking place on the bridge. 
The pig passed the elephant and reached the other end of the bridge with no incident. The elephant exhaled and walked on the bridge avoiding the mud track left behind by the pig. The spectator pigs queried the haughty pig what happened on the bridge. They worried about the bridge walker, because the elephant could crush the pig to a pulp. 
The bridge walker stood on top of a jutting rock and addressed the porcine panel of admirers. “My dear compatriots, see what happened on the bridge. The temple elephant was so afraid of me that it moved to the side and let me pass by. That is how big and great I am.” The grunting pigs in appreciation of his chutzpah raised their forelegs in homage and celebrated his valor with an inebriant kvell. 
The incident did not go unnoticed. That was the talk of the town hall and the sylvan glade among the fauna. The news reached the other temple elephants through the gossiping goose, who watched the entire episode sitting on the side rail of the bridge. The pachydermal panelists seated in a semicircle held a judicial enquiry and questioned the senior elephant, “Was it true, you let a dirty pig pass by you because you were afraid of the swine? How could you tolerate such an egregious conduct from a pig? Don't you know we are Elephas Maximus. Hearing such probing questions from the judicative panelists, the younger sibling of the defendant recused himself. 
The senior temple elephant stood there with not one squeak until the assembled elephants voiced their concern. The senior elephant spoke in a calm, and deliberate manner. “Dear friends, I understand your concern. I did not let you down on the Bridgegate, a misnomer in my opinion. You know me well. I am twice your size individually. I could have crushed the arrant fool with the light touch of my forefoot. I desisted. Out of fear. No way. That pig was dripping mud and slime and had an odious smell. If I crushed that dirty pig, my foot would have been stained with its blood, mud, muck and mire. I decided otherwise. What is better: Stay clean or get drabbled? I chose the former, moved to the side and let the frowzy pig pass by me. That schmutzy pig thinks he scared me. It is not so. 
The panel accepted the explanation and applauded the enlightened senior elephant. 
Lesson: Do not associate with the vile. Seek the friendship of Sattvic people.

Fox’s Tantra; Grandma’s Vadai

A grandma sold fried donuts  (வடை = vadai) for a living. She put all the fried donuts on a plate so a prospective buyer can see them. A crow saw it and had an intense desire to eat it.  When the grandma was busy frying the donuts, the crow saw the opportunity, swooped down, stole one donut and perched itself on a tree branch.  A fox, watching all this, wanted to use tantra (stratagem) to take the donut from the crow. The fox went to the trunk of the tree and complimented the crow about its beauty.

The fox continued to compliment the crow. “Your beak has a unique beauty. I think your voice is melodious. I want to hear you sing a melody.  Since the fox called it a beautiful bird, the crow wanted to please the fox.  Soon the crow, forgetting the fried donut in its beak, sang in its melodious voice, “Ka-Ka-Ka.”  The donut fell off its beak. The fox, exulting over its cheating stratagem, picked up the donut, went into hiding and ate the donut.

The crow believing in the tantric flatering words of the fox was cheated out of the donut.

The Rabbit and the Lion

The animals of the forest sent an animal to the lion for its daily meal. They went to the lion’s den and announced, “We all came to a decision. You do not go hunting from now on. We ourselves go to your den to be your dinner every day. If you kill many animals in one day, we will become extinct and you will be deprived of your meal in the future. You will starve to death.” Hearing this, the lion was happy at their proposal. The lion thought there is no more nuisance from the foxes and feral dogs, who want to steal my  game. From that day, one animal went to the den as its prey and dinner. One day a rabbit approached the den rather late and past the dinner time. The rabbit found the lion very angry.

The lion roared at the sight of the latecomer rabbit.  The frightened and shivering rabbit said, “Your eminence, on my way to your den, a big lion tried to catch me. I hid under a bush and came here. That was the cause for the delay in showing up before you.”   With pride and arrogance, the lion said, “Is there a lion bigger and stronger than me in the forest?” The rabbit replied, “Yes, your highness. Follow me and I will show you.” The rabbit took the lion near the well and told him the lion was inside the well.  Believing the rabbit, the lion peeped into the well. The reflection in the water made it appear there was a lion in the well. Looking at it, the lion roared.

The Bimbam (reflection) also roared. The lion’s irritation and impatience boiled over. Saying, “Look here. I will show you your death this second,” the lion jumped headlong into the well. It downed in the well water and died.  By the rabbit’s quick-wittedness and endeavor, the other animals were saved.

Crocodile and monkey

There was a monkey in the jungle with a river in the middle. A Jamun plum tree stood in the bank of the river. The monkey lived on the fruits of the tree. A big river was on one side of the forest and rapids were common. The other side of the forest was very verdant and the monkey desired to go to the other side for a look and see. But the monkey was afraid to cross the river because of the rapids.  A river crocodile saw the monkey eating the plums and asked it, “Does the plum taste delicious?”  The monkey said, “Mr. Croc, I will throw a few plums from the tree and you decide for yourself its taste.” The monkey dropped a few plums into the open mouth of the crocodile, which enjoyed the sweet taste of them very much. The crocodile thought that the plum-eating monkey’s liver must be sweet and became friends with the monkey planning one day to eat its liver.

Mr. Croc said to the monkey, “Mr. Monkey, your highness on the tree. you appeased my appetite by giving me select sweet plums. I like to return you a favor.  On the other riverbank, luscious fruits hang from the trees. If you go to the other side, you could eat the fruits and give me some.”  The monkey said, “I had a desire for a longtime to see the other side of the river. But I am afraid to cross the rapids of the river.” The croc said, “ No fear, I'm here. You can hop on my back and I will take you ashore to the other side.”   With malice in the heart and loving words on its lips, the croc allowed the monkey to jump on its back. Thinking it was a lifetime opportunity to fulfill its desire, the croc took the monkey on its back to middle of the river. The croc told the monkey, it had the sudden urge to eat its liver. The monkey, showing no signs of panic, told the croc, “I see! You did not tell me your desire earlier. Thinking the liver might get damaged in the rapids, I left it on the tree branches. Take me back to the tree and I will forthwith put it on and bring it. That was the quick-witted answer under the circumstances.  

The croc blinded by its desire to eat the monkey’s liver, believed the monkey’s words and took it back to the tree.  The monkey got off the back of the croc and with a hop and a jump climbed up the tree and said, “Mr. Creepy Croc, you are a crook and a moron. Is it possible to remove the liver from the body and hang it on the tree branch? You chose to cheat and kill me for my liver. Is it justice?” The disappointed croc slid into the river.

We should believe no one on the first instance. Before developing friendship, we should find out whether they are good or bad.

Crow’s Strategy to slake its thirst

It was the height of summer. The sun was at its fiercest. People and animals were parched. Thirst was oppressive. The birds to slake their thirst flew here and there looking for water. Among them was a resourceful crow. It saw an old toddy pot with a narrow neck. It flew down, perched its legs on the rim, looked inside and was happy to see water in the bottom. The crow tried to drink the water by lowering its beak into the pot in vain.

The crow was unhappy to note that the beak was not long enough to reach the water. It was sure, barring the water in the old pot, there would be none elsewhere.  It should somehow slake its thirst with the water in the pot. The crow looked around and thought to itself. Beside the pot there were pebbles.  It had an epiphany. With its beak, it picked the pebble one by one and dropped them in the pot.  As the pebbles dropped into the pot the water level rose and reached the mouth of the pot. It drank the water within the reach of its beak and slaked its thirst.  There is a solution for every problem.  We should use our intellect, think and find the solution.  Resolution of the problem gives happiness.

The Salt Merchant and the failed Donkey’s Stratagem.

A salt merchant plied his trade in the town and carried his salt on the donkey’s back. On the way, there was a river. The only access to the town is wading across the river. As usual, the salt merchant and the donkey waded across the river at the ford.  The donkey slipped on a slippery rock and fell into the river. The bag of salt on its back got wet.  The merchant slowly lifted the donkey on its feet. Because the bag of salt fell in the river, half of the salt dissolved in the river and only half was left in the bag.

To the donkey the burden lessoned and it felt happy. It did not even feel the burden. It felt light. It was a great loss for the merchant and he returned home with the donkey.  Next day, the merchant loaded the bag of salt on its back and forded the river. The donkey remembered the previous day’s event and fell into the river, pretending to have tripped over a slippery rock. The salt bag fell into the river and dissolved completely.

The donkey continued to slip and fall. The merchant was unhappy at his loss. It came to him slowly the strategem of the donkey. He wanted to teach a lesson to the donkey. Instead of loading the salt bag on its back, he loaded a bale of cotton on its back. As usual, the donkey pretended to slip and fell into the river. The cotton was soaked through and through and weighed heavy on the donkey’s back. With great difficulty, the donkey carried the wet bale of cotton and reached the riverbank. The donkey felt ashamed having cheated the metchant all these days while he cared for it. It made a resolution it will be honest.  We should not cheat people who trust us and don’t trust us. If we cheat, we will be discovered one day. It will subject us to shame, humiliation, and punishment.

Great Greed, Great Loss: Golden Goose.

Kandasamy being poor lived in a hut with his wife. Ever since he reached ripe old age, he could not go to work and had to sell his belongings for food.  Soon, they had no belongings to sell and buy food.  He supplicated to God saying, “O God, why did you create us to live in want of food.  There is no other way than die of hunger.” God having mercy on him appeared before him to alleviate his needs and gave him a duck, which would lay a golden egg daily, which he could sell to make ends meet and live happily. The duck laid a golden egg daily. He sold it to pay for his daily needs. (The gold must have been cheap those days.)

One day, his wife said to him, “This duck lays one golden egg once a day. How could we ever become superrich? If we take all the golden eggs from its belly and sell them, we could become very rich overnight. The suggestion appeared reasonable and appealed to Kandasamy. He caught hold of the duck, killed it and cut open its stomach to retrieve the eggs.  There were no eggs.  He found only its entrails as in other ducks and was disappointed. 

Since the golden-egg laying duck died at his hands, he was again afflicted with penury. Their great greed earned them indigence. Agonized over their dire poverty, they died of starvation. If desire exceeds its limits and your needs, that is extreme greed, which yields great loss.

Compliance helps grow Cooperation and prevents Loss.

Two fighting Cats and a Clever Monkey.

Two cats in a house were friends.  They for lack of cooperation were fighting with each other. One day, they had a pancake and disputed over equal sharing. They took the pancake outside the house seeking someone to cut the pancake into two equal parts. They saw a monkey, whom they asked to cut it into two parts. The monkey brought a weighing scale with two plates, cut the pancake into two pieces and put each half on each plate. One plate pivoted to one side. The monkey knowing it is heavier than its fellow, bit a piece out of the heavier one and placed it back on the plate. Then, the other half was heavier and the monkey took a bite out of it and placed it back on the plate.

In like manner, the monkey took a bite out of the pancake and ate from each plate multiple times.  The cats seeing the size of the pancake halves getting smaller asked the monkey not to proceed any further with cutting the pancake into equal halves and give the rest back to them.  But the monkey ate what was left of the two halves, saying the leftover bits of pancake were his labor charges. Were the cats accommodating and cooperative, both could have eaten the pancake. Because of lack of cooperation, they sustained a loss.  If we show a loving sense of give and take, we could prosper by not losing what we already have.

Don’t Deride the Small.

Small and Fast Beats Strong and Fast .

Don’t deride the small.  He is superior by other measures. This is an apologue to teach us that lesson. 

A lion was a resident of a forest and terrorized all other animals by its strength, appearance, roar... Because of fear of the lion, no one went near it.  They scooted at the sight of the lion.  But the lowly fearless fly landed on its back.  Knowing the fly sitting on its back, it roared with anger and said, “I will bite you with my teeth and macerate you. I will scratch you with my nails, squash and reduce you to ashes.”

The fly retorted boldly to the lion and said, “You may be strong and other animals fear you. I am not afraid of you. To emphasize this further, I will make you to bite yourself and scratch yourself deeply into your flesh. Hearing this boastful irreverence from the lowly fly, the lion challenged the fly, “Go ahead and make my day.” The fly sat on the back of the lion.  To chase it from its back, the lion tried to bite it with its teeth.  The lowly fly took off in a trice and the lion bit itself on the back with its teeth.  The fly sat smack on the lion’s face and to swat the fly with the nails of its paw in its anger, it scratched itself on the face. In like manner the fly excoriated the lion multiple times and flew off.

The mighty lion could not catch or squash the fly. Therefore, the lion was ashamed of his inability to kill the fly.

Then only, the lion understood the concept though it had a strong body, a fly could torment it to no end. No one should be scorned or judged because of one’s small size.  Tiruvalluvar explains this in his verse, 667.

குறள் 667:

உருவுகண்டு எள்ளாமை வேண்டும் உருள்பெருந்தேர்க்கு

அச்சாணி அன்னார் உடைத்து. Tirukkural Verse 667

Seeing the size, ridicule not.  The Temple Chariot rolls

Because of the linchpin though small, one should realize.

Meaning: Though the form is small, ridicule and derision should not be levelled against him. A big Temple Chariot’s smooth run is because of its small linchpin.

Attention to the Task at hand is a must.

The strutting milkmaid &

the shattered milk pot

A village lass made a living selling cow’s milk. She milked the cow, poured it into a pot, and carried the pot on her head for selling it in the village. She was unhappy at her predicament, while other girls of her age walked jauntily wearing nice clothes and led a carefree life. One day, she was making her customary rounds with the milk pot on her head, she imagined how she could improve her lifestyle.

I will buy a few chickens with the money earned today selling milk. When they grow big, I will sell them and with that money, I will buy two baby goats. Once they grow up, I will sell them and with that money, I will buy a dairy cow. With that, I will set up a cow farm and hire cowherds to milk the cows.

As the income grows, I will buy and wear clothes and jewels and walk stylishly like this, so other girls will watch me with wonder.  Thinking like that, she forgot the milk pot on her head and walked jauntily in high style swinging both hands.

What a pity! With her brisk walk in style, the pot on the head tipped spilling milk, fell to the ground and shattered into pieces.  That day’s earnings were not realized and she had to buy a new pot. She then realized she should not plan next venture before the present venture was complete.

When engaged in an endeavour, pay your undivided attention to the present task at hand (here on the head). Other intervening thoughts bring loss.  Pay attention to the work on hand; otherwise, there is a big loss.

Don’t Dare to give Advice to a Scamp

The forest had a heavy downpour.  A drenched monkey stood near the trunk of a tree shivering. On that tree a bird spread its wings in the nest protecting the fledglings.  The bird seeing the shivering monkey felt compassionate. The bird addressed the monkey, “My dear monkey, look at me. I built a nest to protect my fledglings and myself from the sun, rain and wind. That is why we are happy though it is raining hard. You could have built a safe living quarters for yourself. Is it not true you would have stayed dry, if you had a shelter?” The advice inflamed the monkey which was seething with anger. The monkey spoke its mind, “I am strong. And you are giving me advice.”

The monkey in anger told the bird, “See what I can do to your nest, you and your chicks.”  It went up the tree, pulled the nest to pieces and threw them on the forest floor.  Then only the bird realized that advice can be given to those who will follow it.  The bird was heartbroken thinking giving good advice to a rogue, and losing a good nest, it was stranded on the wet forest floor with its unprotected chicks. We should dispense advice only after we know for sure the interlocutor will accept our advice.

Deceit’s reward is one’s own deceit.

The Fox and the Crane

A fox was a resident in the forest.  Its life hobby was to deceive others and enjoy seeing them twist in the wind (their predicament).  The fox met a crane and invited it for a dinner in its lair.  The crane trusting the fox as a newfound friend went to the fox’s house.  The fox served gruel to the crane on a plate. The crane could not eat from a flat plate. It could eat from a widemouthed jar by putting its long neck and bill into the pot and suck the food.
The fox was laughing at the misery of the crane. The offended crane wanted to teach a lesson to the insolent fox. 

The crane invited the fox for lunch.  The hospitable crane brought gruel in a narrow-mouthed jar.  The fox could not lap up the gruel with its tongue.  Seeing the frustrated fox, the crane said, “My dear fox, as you were unable to lap up the gruel from a deep pot, I was unable to suck up the gruel from a flat plate.  You laughed at my inability knowing I could not do it. I served you gruel in a jar just to teach you a lesson.” The crane made amends to the fox by bringing the gruel on a plate.

The crane did the right thing to the deceiving fox. The fox expressed its regret and ate the gruel.  Since then, the fox deceived no one. Instead of taking comfort and pleasure at some one’s misery, we should offer help (that which is possible) to others. 

Love, Victory or Wealth: Which is greater?

Kumaran lived in a village with his parents. Three elderly people came to his house and asked whether they can gain entry into his house.  The father said, “You may come in.”  Though we are three, only one of us can come into the house. “My name is Money. His name is Victory. The third one is Love. Mr.  Money told the father, you may invite only one of us and not all of us.  Kumaran’s father said, “Let us invite Mr. Victory. We will get victory in all of our endeavors.
Kumaran said, “Father, let us invite Mr. Money. With accumulation of money, we could buy anything including victory.” mother said, “No to Money and Victory. Let Love come into the house.” As Love entered Kumaran’s house, Victory and Money followed him.  Kumaran’s mother said, “we only invited Love.”

Love said, “If you invited Money or Victory, the other two would have stayed out.  Since you invited me (Love), Money and Victory coexist with me (Love). That is why both came inside.”

If Loving soul exists, Victory and needed conveniences will come on their own accord.  Love is Sivam... Love is essential.

Valluvar explains:  குறள் 80:

அன்பின் வழியது உயிர்நிலை அஃதிலார்க்கு

என்புதோல் போர்த்த உடம்பு.  Tirukkural Verse 80

The path of soul is love. For those lacking love, the body is skeleton wrapped in skin.  Krishnaraj

The living body is love in the path of the soul. If love is lacking, that body is mere skeleton wrapped in skin. Loving mind is synonym for man.  

Astute & Tactful Dog Escapes with Life

Dog, Cheetah and Monkey:

A feral dog was wandering in the forest and noticed a cheetah coming towards it at a fast pace. The dog smelled something was amiss. The cheetah’s intent was to catch, kill and dine on the dog.  The dog’s worry was to escape from the cheetah in one piece.  Running was of no use. The cheetah outruns the dog.  The feral dog had to think on its feet. The dog noticed bones nearby and that gave the dog an idea. Turning his back to the cheetah, the dog pretended to eat by biting on the bones.  When the cheetah was near the dog ready to pounce, the dog said in a loud voice, “The cheetah, I just finished eating, was very delicious. I should look nearby for any other cheetah.” Hearing the dog, the cheetah came to an abrupt stop, and standstill like a statue. This feral dog kills and eats cheetah! So, it must be of immense strength. Cheetah thought it must escape from the dog. It backed up and disappeared into the bush.

A monkey sitting on the tree noticed what was happening below. The monkey wanted to share the knowledge with the cheetah and as a return bargain for its own safety.

The monkey followed the cheetah at a fast pace. The dog noticed the monkey. The dog understood there was a conspiracy in progress. The monkey told the cheetah how the feral dog cheated it, which made the cheetah very angry and impatient.  The cheetah thought , “This feral dog thought he cheated me. I will teach it an unforgettable lesson.”

Cheetah told the monkey, “In this jungle, I will show who kills and eats. Hey, monkey, hop on my back and both of us will catch that wretched yellow  dog.” The monkey happily jumped on the back of the cheetah.

Both followed the scent of the dog. The feral dog saw both coming towards it.  The feral dog thought the monkey got it in trouble with the cheetah. Though it thought in those lines, it did not take to its heels. The cheetah and the monkey pretended not to notice the feral dog, which sat down with its back to the cheetah and the back-riding monkey. It said in a loud voice, “That mischievous monkey got lost somewhere. I can’t trust it.  Half-hour ago, I told the monkey to bring me a cheetah for my dinner.  The monkey is nowhere to be seen.”

Hearing the feral dog, the cheetah showed anger to the monkey, which the cheetah killed and ate. Justice: Life throws at you many problems. Dangers come your way. We can win over them head on.

The Crow and the Queen’s Necklace

A crow built a nest on a tree in the forest. The crow got married and the pair lived in the nest. After several days, the female crow laid five eggs. The father seeing the five eggs was happy to become the father of five children. The female crow incubated the eggs, while the male went out seeking food.   A fox was also a resident of the forest.  The crows and the fox were fast friends. One day, the male crow saw on its foraging flight a group of hunters entering the forest. Immediately the crow went to the habitat of the fox, warned it of the human hunters coming into the forest and advised the fox to hide from the sight of the hunters. He informed the fox of its imminent five egg-born newborn children.  The fox asked the crow to hold a party for it, which the crow promised for that night. The fox family thanked the crow and went into hiding.

The male crow came back to the nest with its prey. The female was crying. The male crow asked why it was crying.  The mother bird said the snake drank all the eggs and sobbed inconsolably. The male crow sought advice and a plan from the fox to kill the snake. The fox had the thought to help the crows.  The next day when the fox was out, it observed the Maharani with her companions and guards went to the river for bathing. The Maharani left the jewels on the riverbank before bathing in the river.

Observing the jewels, an idea dawned on the fox. The plan was when Maharani went to river for bathing, leaving the jewels on the riverbank, the crow should swoop down, pick up the jewel and drop it in the snake's mound. The guards will kill the snake and retrieve the jewel. The fox told the crow of its plan.  Next day the fox and the crow were waiting near the riverbank for the queen to come to the river for bathing.

The queen as usual removed her jewels, put them on the riverbank and went for bathing. Seeing this, the crow realized the opportune moment, swooped down, picked up the necklace and deposited it on the snake mound. The guards tried to retrieve the necklace but the snake came out hissing. Immediately the guards beat it with sticks, killed it and recovered the necklace. The crow lived in peace and quiet.  Because the crow saved the fox and its family from danger, the fox saved the crow so it can raise a family safely in the future.

The King Takes a Lesson from a Spider.

The defeated king, to save his own life, ran to hide himself from the enemies. He, though brave, could not win the war because he had a small army. The enemy won the war because of his large army. The victor ordered his men to kill the defeated king, who ran away to a forest and hid in a cave. He was unhappy at his lot. He was fatigued. He lost his pluck and plume. One day he was sleeping in the cave with laziness. A spider was

 

his co-resident in the cave. The scurrying of the small spider attracted his attention. It was trying hard to spin and attach the web at a corner. As the spider walked on the wall, it lost its step, the thread broke and it fell on the floor.   It happened multiple times.  It did not give up and tried multiple times.  Eventually, at the last try, it succeeded.   The king watching the spider thought, "This small spider sustaining so many losses did not give up. Why should I give up my task? I am the king. I must try once again.”  

He decided to fight his enemy. He left his cave, walked out of the forest and met his trusted minion.   He assembled the heros of his country and formed a formidable army. He fought against his enemy heroically and won the war and his country back from the enemy. He never forgot the spider which gave him an important lesson on perseverance.

Honesty guarantees Loftiness.

In a town, there lived honest Raman and niggardly Soman, the rich man  The latter was a wicked man, greedy after money. He never paid wages commensurate with the work done by his employees. Once Soman sold his farm coconuts, made Rs. 10,000, passed through the forest on the way home and lost the satchel of money. Upon reaching home he realized he lost the money and asked the driver if he knew about the loss.  His wife suggested to offer a reward to the finder of the lost largess. She was confident someone will turn in the satchel.  

The husband thought it was an excellent suggestion and next day made it known in the town square with drumbeats. The townspeople thought they could receive the reward by finding the moneybag. No one found the satchel.  A week later, Bhupalan from another town came to this town. He was an honest soul, though poor. He lived with dignity and forthrightness. He tried to help others as much as he could.

He could not continue farming because the farm well went dry. Since he did not have enough money and work experience, he went to the next town to do odd jobs. With the money earned he wanted to start a business. On the path in the forest, there was an Amman temple, where he offered his worship. He saw an injured dove on his path. He felt compassionate, carried it to the lake, offered water and put it on a tree branch. After the rescue of the bird, he resumed his journey and felt something caught his leg. He saw a satchel full of local currency. He felt sorry for the poor soul who lost his moneybag. He felt that the man must be in agony for loss of the money. He hurried out of there to find the man who lost the satchel. He made enquiries about the man who lost the bag. He found out from a shopkeeper Soman was the loser, who would give him a reward. Bhupalan went in search of Soman and handed over his satchel, whose happiness knew no bounds. His niggardliness came to the surface and he wanted to send Bhupalan without his reward. He counted the cash which amounted to Rs. 10,000 in the satchel. Now he had to give the reward but wanted to ignore his promise and obligation by cooking up a story. Soman the niggard told honest Bhupalan, "Are you trying to cheat me? I had a diamond ring in my satchel. I don't see it. Better hand it over. Otherwise I will take you to task."

Bhupalan did not understand Somans claim. He wondered whether the diamond ring got lost. He said to himself, " I did not take it. I better get off the hook and not claim my reward."  Soman created an ugly scene and yelled. Bhupalans first contact was a shopkeeper, who brought the townspeople to Soman to see how the miserly Soman would reward Bhupalan. The assembled people saw Bhupalan standing there as if he was a thief and decided not to let go Soman scot-free.

They brought Soman and Bhupalan before Mariyadai Raman. They narrated the story of Somans claim of the satchel with Rs.10,000 and a diamond ring and Bhupalans discovery of the satchel.  Mariyadai Raman and the townspeople knew of the drumbeat public announcement about Somans loss of the money with no mention about the diamond ring. Mariyadai Raman wanted to dispense fair justice to the niggardly and evil Soman and honest Bhupalan. He said, Soman claimed, his satchel had the money and the diamond ring. This satchel had only the money and not the ring. Somans drumbeat announcement claimed only the money and not the diamond ring.  Mariyadai Raman pronounced the judgement, "Since Somans earlier announcement did not claim the diamond ring, the bag brought by Bhupalan does not belong to Soman, but to someone else and no one claimed the satchel with money alone and therefore the finder (Bhupalan) is the keeper."

He continued, "Soman can keep the money and the ring, when the satchel is discovered and brought in. Soman himself will make the reward. The assembly is now dissolved."

Bhupalan gave ten percent of the money to Amman Temple, returned to his town and prospered in his vocation.  

Reward for Patience and Good Conduct.

There was drought and famine because of no rain for a few years. People suffered from lack of food and water.  They went to a local rich man and begged him, “Ayyā (Respected sir), we as grownups will put up with hunger.  Please help the children.”  The compassionate man said, “No children will go hungery in this town. I will arrange for a ball of rice for each child.  The children can come to my house to take the rice balls.”  Returning to his palatial house, he called the minions and told them, “Take a census of all the children in this town. Each child gets one ball of rice, neither more nor less. From tomorrow, keep the exact number of rice balls in the basket and stay in front of the house.

Next day, the worker came out with a basket of rice balls.  The boys and girls encircled him. The worker put the basket before them. The children jostled to pick the biggest rice ball. One girl remained calm and stayed out of the melee. After all the children finished taking their share, she was happy taking the last and the smallest rice ball. This continued for four days. The rich man was watching the melee, the excitement and the pickings by the children. The fifth day was the repetition of bygone days. The girl took the smallest rice ball to her mother, who broke the ball and saw a gold coin drop out.

The girl came to the palatial home of the rich man with the gold coin, “Ayyā, this is your gold coin.  It was inside the rice ball.  Please take possession of it.”  He said, “My girl, what is your name?” The girl said her name was Krusāmbāl. He told her, “My dear girl, this is a gift for your patience and good  conduct. This gold coin is yours to keep and take home.” She ran home with a skip and a jump to her mother and told her what transpired between the rich man and her.

If we are patient and virtuous, we will get gifts from the elders.

Don’t Babble ‘Ayyō’ while Facing Danger.

 

A woodcutter sat on the distal end and cut the branch of a living tree at the proximal side of the tree branch. Umādeviyar thinking he must be an idiot told Sivaperuman, “Is he not going to die from a fall.” He said, “I see. If he calls you, you hurry up and help him.  If he calls me I will rush to help him.”  Parvati and Siva were watching intently the idiot woodcutter as he was cutting the branch. The branch broke and fell.  Down went the woodcutter, shouting, “Ayyō,” and died.  Umādeviyar told Siva he was dead from the fall. Siva told her, “The woodcutter called Ayyō, the wife of Yama (god of death) as he fell. Ayyō responded to his call and took his life away.”

That is why no one should say, “Ayyō.” This story illustrates that dictum.

Picture credit: Red Door Church

Image result for Cutting the branch sitting at the end

 

The Snail and The Monkey
By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

Madamundu forest was chock-full of animals. There were several troops of monkeys, pitched against each other. They were always fighting for territory. Whenever a stray monkey wandered in to an unfriendly territory belonging to another troop, the warrior monkeys will jump on him and chase him out of fruiting trees. They had no defense against the fruit bats, birds, squirrels…. The latter swooped in, took the fruits, flew or run off. It was frustrating for the fighter monkeys to defend their territory against flying birds and fast-moving critters.

                                           
There were bears too in the forest, which were adept in climbing the tree, eat the fruits and enjoy the honey from the beehives. The only thing the monkeys could do was to screech, scream, squirm and show their teeth. All that bravado did not bother the bears. The tigers had no enemies other than humans. When the flies bothered them too much in the bush, they climbed up the tree and took a siesta up on the sturdy branches. The monkeys had no control over the tigers. They went where they wanted. If the monkeys were too aggressive, the tigers ate them.
The stragglers from the enemy troop were mauled, bruised, lacerated and bloodied. Under these conditions, the troops lived apart in an uneasy peace. Some stragglers moved out of the forest into nearby villages and towns to live on scraps. Some were adventurous in raiding and foraging peanut farms, with mounds of harvested peanuts waiting for transportation. Their favorite places were the plantain farms, where they stole the bananas egregiously right from the hands of the farm workers. They knew their yellows and greens. They went for the yellow bananas.
Mango farms were no exception. A troop goes into the mango farms at harvest time, when the fruits were about half or fully ripe. They raided the fruit-processing plants, where the fruits were skinned, cut and packed for domestic use or for export. They jump on the heads of the workers irrespective of their gender, grab the skinned ripe mango slices from the moving belts, and stuff their pouches. The workers are the devotees of Hanuman, the monkey god. They did no harm to the monkeys. The stealing and harassment became a daily occurrence and a great nuisance. The proprietor hired owners and Hanuman monkeys (Langur monkeys) to make rounds around the factory. The Hanuman monkeys and their handlers thwarted the rhesus monkeys from the factory floor. The size of the langur monkeys frightened the rhesus monkeys, which were kept them away from the plant processing floor.
Naturally the fruit prices were higher. At least there was no invasion from the simians.
An owner of another mango processing plant put up a razor wire perimeter, which the monkeys could not jump over to reach the floor of the processing plant. Some bold monkeys were caught in the maze of the razor wires. In their attempt to escape, they sustained lacerations, bled and died. The compatriots were screeching and making a racket, attracting the attention of the owner. The owner dismantled the razor wire perimeter fence to prevent such needless death of the monkeys.
Back in the forest, an abandoned and disowned straggler was scavenging the forest floor looking for fallen fruits. He came across a snail.
The monkey asked the snail, “Who are you?”
The snail: “I am a snail.”
The monkey: “You must be the two-neuron moron. One neuron tells you whether you are hungry. The second neuron identifies you food.
The snail: “Is there a limit to your insults. You came to me. I want a favor from you. I would like to take a ride on you, while you jump from branch to branch and when you swing on your prehensile tail.”
The monkey: “I see, it must be the Play-Neuron in you, besides the Hungry-Neuron and the Food-Neuron. What can you do for me in return?”
The snail: “I can keep you free of the nits.”
The monkey took a liking for the snail, let him ride on him and fed him fruits.
Days and months went by. The snail grew to a one-pound weight splurging on the fruit.
During their stay together, the snail made sure there were no nits infesting the monkey for which it was grateful to the snail.
The monkey: “Mr. Snail, you are now a megaton Moron. You are getting too heavy for me. It is time for you to disembark from your perch.Thank you for being a friend.
When he reached a lakeside, the monkey dropped the snail off at the lakeside. A nearby troop welcomed the estranged monkey with fruits on their hands.
They went their separate ways. The monkey and the snail are unlikely friends. Everyone needs a friend when that someone is down and out.