(Moral Fables) 

Inspiration from Tamil Siruvarmalar.com

Some stories are originals by V. Krishnaraj, and may name is appended to them.

Last update August 23, 2020

Two SillyBilly Goats by VK
Oct 29, 2021 
The Fox and the Curlew
October 24, 2021 By VK
The Prince, the Mouse and the Cat        Oct 28, 2021 By VK The Kid and the Wolf
Oct 29, 2021  By7 Krishnaraj
Kuntidevi & Bhima
A fair day's wages for a fair day's work.
Don't doubt the truth. Don't be greedy  Oct 22, 2020 A transfixed Monkey
By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
October 18,  2020
The Lion and The Sheep  by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  July 8, 2020  Beggar-Prince
By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
August 23, 2020
By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
August 23, 2020
The Hummingbird And The Cat
By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
A Gift from the Heart
Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  Sep 1, 2019
Stealth Walk by Balaji 
Sundal Grandma Goes to Heaven

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

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



We have the DNA of animals in our body. Trees and animals preceded us by millions and millions of years. We are the latecomers on the earth. Did you know we have in our body mouse and cow genes. Our heredity and ancestry are from animals. Australopithecus afarensis ("Lucy"), 3.2 million years ago, was our immediate ancestor. We have her DNA in our body and belong to the genus: Homo.  We humans have all the animal qualities, some good and some bad. Our qualities, modified by our large brain and sophisticated thinking, kept the best of animal qualites: Love for the young, defending the young, feeling sad for loss of life and much more. We do retain bad qualities of animals: wanton killing, usurpation, and others.
Be kind to animals. They help us. Take the dog. It serves man in several ways: Seeing Eye dog, Police and Military Dogs,  Herding, Compahionship, Service Dog, Sledding, Performing Dogs and more.
Two Silly Billy Goats 
Billy Goats Gone Silly
A river ran through a dense forest. At its narrowest point, the riverbanks were 20 feet across from each other. There was no way they could jump the gap.
A goat on one riverbank thought the grass was greener on the other side. The other mountain goat wanted to go to the other side because he thought the grass was greener on the other side.
A narrow footbridge spanned across the river. Only one pedestrian at a time or two mountain goats in tandem with the sure foot can traverse on the bridge. Any slight misstep will cause a plunge into the river.
One Billy Goat dared to walk the plank with no fear of heights because he walked the sinuous mountain trails with a sure foot. On the other side, the second Billy Goat took the hazardous path with a silly sense of bravado.
The two silly Billy Goats met at the midpoint in the bridge, right over the turbulent waters of the river. One goaded the other goat to move over so he could pass by. The other adamant goat did not give an inch and refused to move.
Since they were mountain goats, they always resolved the issue by headbutting. Headbutting began, their legs slipped on the side of the plank, and both fell to their death in the river.
Don’t be cocky, though you are good. Be cooperative and give in, where necessary, so you can live to tell the story. 
The Kid and the Wolf
The kid was of tender age and suckled for about eight weeks. It danced and jumped on its four legs, feeling its oats. As it nibbled on the green tender grass, it lost sight of its mother. The other kids around the frisky kid suddenly disappeared as he was munching the grass. Panic struck in its heart, and the kid looked around for his mother. He was alone and vulnerable.
The mother was nowhere in the hood. The kid stood alone on its four in the small clearing in the middle of the forest. The mother goat always warned the kid of the ferocity of wolves. Suddenly the kid could imagine a marauding wolf charging it. Its four legs trembled, gave in from under him, and made him fall flat on the grass.
That moment the kid remembered his mother telling him to think on his feet. That gave him strength, and the kid jumped up briskly.
The kid saw a grown wolf with its lolling red tongue. The wolf came towards the kid. The kid stood his ground, but terror struck his tender heart.
The kid remembered his mother's advice and addressed the wolf, "Dear wolf, you are going to eat me. It is a given. Would you please sing the best melodious song from your repertoire that can envelop the woods? I will dance to your song. That will be my last wish before you eat me."
The wolf agreed to his last wish before his death and howled hard and loud as he could. The shepherd dogs heard the celebratory lupine song, ran towards the meadow, and chased the wolf. The wolf realized the kid's artifice and his mistake of having conceded to the kid's request for a celebratory song.
Always remember the elder's advice. Celebrate your success after you finish the task on hand.
The Fox and the the Curlew
There lived a cunning fox in the forest adjoining a lake where birds lived. The birds ate crabs, grasshoppers, insects, and beetles. The fox thought it had the biggest brain and made fun of the long-billed curlews as the birdbrains. The fox enjoyed cheating others, rejoicing in their predicament and loss.
The fox visited the lakeshore often, enjoyed the view, and one day thought of inviting a Curlew for dinner to show his superior intellectual endowment.
Fox: Dear Curlew! You have a long and beautiful bill. I admire your grace in flight. I invite you for dinner and will serve you crab soup, fried grasshoppers, and roasted beetles.
The Curlew accepted the invitation and showed up for dinner on the appointed day. The fox served Curlew the soup without the crabs in a large bowl. For himself, he had the soup and the crabs in a similar bowl. The Curlew could not drink the warm crab stock with his bill.
The fox: How is the crab soup?


Hiding its disappointment, Curlew said," I never tasted such a wonderful and delicious crab soup in my life."
Enjoying the moment of frustration of the Curlew, the fox bid goodbye to its guest.
Days went by. The Curlew invited the fox for dinner and said, "Dear fox, I will prepare a goulash with assorted meats. The fox agreed to attend the dinner.
On the day of invitation, the whole forest was awash with the smell of goulash.
The Curlew poured the goulash in two of the narrow-necked vessels and served one vessel to the fox. The fox could not go past the neck of the vessel to eat the goulash. But Curlew could eat it with no difficulty.
The fox tasted a paltry amount smeared on the vessel's neck and said to the bird it never tasted such good goulash ever in its life.
'The Curlew saw and felt the frustration of the fox with superior intelligence.
The fox bid goodbye and went away hungry and frustrated.
                                                                                                                                   The Prince, the Mouse and the Cat  (Oct 28, 2021)
A mouse and a cat lived in a palace unknown to each other and undiscovered by the palace workers. The mouse visited the kitchen in the night and ate the leavings on the kitchen floor: cheese, breadcrumbs, cooked rice, lentils, and more. The cat wandered in the palace gardens chasing mice, catching one at a time and eating them.
One day, the little three-year-old prince discovered the cat while playing in the garden and chased after it. The cat quickly climbed on a tall tree and escaped being caught by the prince. The prince went to the palace guard on duty and told him he wanted to play with the cat on the three.
The guard called his companions and caught the cat with the help of a net and took it to the palace veterinarian for a health checkup. The vet gave a thorough physical examination, declared it fit and healthy, and handed the cat to the palace animal trainer.


The cat was fed, trained to be a house cat, and placed in the prince's hands. Both hit it off well. The prince has played with the cat ever since.
The mouse meanwhile ate the remnants on the palace kitchen floor. One day the place kitchen cleaning crew discovered mouse droppings on the floor and raised the alarm. Soon the veterinarian office staff placed mousetraps. Three days after the traps were in place, the mouse sniffed, discovered the smell of cheese, and ran into the trap, and squealed. The following day the staff found the mouse inside the mousetrap and took it to the palace vet to ensure no disease. The prince heard the guards talking about the mouse in the kitchen. The prince went to the veterinarian's office while the mouse was getting the physical examination, blood, and saliva tests. The prince told the vet he wanted to adopt the mouse. A few days later, tests showed normal results. The mouse was healthy. It took another week to train the mouse not to bite the handler. The veterinarian, declaring it safe, handed the mouse to the prince.
Now the prince had a problem on his hands. How was he going to stop the cat chasing the mouse? Again the veterinary office was helpful. The staff took in the cat, and the mouse lodged them each in a cage, keeping the cells close together. They exposed the cat to a mouse lookalike toy that moved around inside the cat's cage. The cat did not attack the toy mouse. The cat accepted the live mouse and did not attack and eat it.
The veterinary staff declared the cat and mouse as interspecies friends.
The prince played with the cat and the mouse, fed them, and took care of them.
Kuntidevi & Bhima

Published:10 Aug 2020 8 PMUpdated:10 Aug 2020 8 PM

K. Nirupama, Bangalore.

சக்தி விகடன் டீம் Sakthi Vikatan Team

                                                      A fair day's wages for a fair day's work. --Thomas Carlyle

1. Kunti Devi, instructing on the Dharma principle, was virtuous in real life and earned her rightful place in Mahabharata.         

  2. The Pandavas escaped from the burning wax mansion and reached Ēka Chakra Nagar. They stayed in a poor Brahmin's house and felt very hungry and felt the need to work for wages to alleviate their hunger.           

  3. Bhīma, known for his extraordinary physical strength, thought of venturing out to earn a living for himself and his family.

  Asking his mother and his brothers to rest after the fire ordeal, left home to earn money.   


  4. He reached a rich man's mansion and asked for a job. The man told him that 50 wage earners would take a day to dig a well in the garden, and he could earn their entire salary if he of the fabulous physique could dig the well all by himself.  He said, "Look here. What do you think of my proposal."     

  5. Desiring to earn wages equal to 50 men, worked all day with no rest, and dug up a well gushing with water in one day. The rich man was pleased, gave him wages meant for 50 men, and sent Bhīma on his way.       

  6. With hands full of money, Bhīma went home and happily gave his mother all the money. Kuntidevi asked him how he got all the money he gave her. Bhīma explained to her what happened.            

  7. Hearing the story, Kuntidevi became angry and said to him, "Bhīmā! You may be the strongest man around here. But you do not have the right to deprive the wages of the 49 people. I will take the wages equal to one person. You must return the rest to the rich man."

  8. Realizing the justice in her angry words, He walked to the rich man's house to hand over the wages of 49 men.  Kuntidevi earned her place in the venue of justice but also in Mahabharata itself.
Don't doubt the truth. Don't be greedy.
Published: 22 Sep 2020 2 AM Updated:22 Sep 2020 2 AM    By Sakthi Vikatan Team

1. A rustle and thunderous romping attracted the attention of the farmhand. He ran to the source of the ruckus. He saw a humongous bull grazing on the corn.            

  2. In his desire to catch the bull, he leaped towards the bull but could only catch its tail. He held on to it fast as the bull took off to the skies.            

  3. He realized this was no ordinary bull but Śiva's Nandi. The Nandi zoomed towards Kailas, and our hero was the accidental traveler by the tail to Kailas. Both reached Kailas. Both landed before Śiva. Immediately, the farmhand complained to Śiva, "O my Lord, is this justice? Your Nandi destroyed the cornfield."           

  4. Śiva: "Don't worry. To make up for your loss, take this bag chock-full of gold coins." The farmhand thanked the Lord and accepted the bag with humility and reverence.  Nandhi flew him back to his cornfield.            

  5. He went home and doubted the authenticity of the gold coins. He took one coin to his friend's jewelry shop. He asked his friend, "Would you please rub this coin on the touchstone?" His friend rubbed the gold coin on the stone.            

  6. The friend thought its real worth was beyond belief but cheated him and said, "This is mere copper. Who cheated you?" The farmhand narrated the incident.            

  7. That night, the bull came to the field. He decided to challenge Śiva for what he believed as copper coins. He decided to make the second trip to Kailas by hanging on to the flying bull by its tail. But he felt a drag at his feet, and someone else was holding on to his feet.  The farmhand looked down, and it was the jeweler holding on to his feet.            

  8.  Greed enveloped the lying, cheating, and conniving jeweler claiming as his friend.            

  9. The jeweler asked the farmhand, "Who gave all these gold coins?"             

  10. The tail-hanging farmhand spread his hands wide to show the size of the bag of coins he received. Both fell to the cornfield.            

  11. What is the lesson in this story?           

  12. The tail-holder doubted the word of God. The foot-holder, overcome with greed, suffered a fall. Lessons: Don't doubt the truth. Don't be greedy. Both fell with a thud.
A transfixed Monkey  By. Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  Oct 18, 2020

The forest was rich in animal life such as monkeys, lions, tigers, birds, and more. Three troops of monkeys existed in the woods. A lone monkey, rejected by the group, was alone wandering the forest and living on fruits, grains, and nuts.  One day, he jumped from one tree to another and saw a few bags on the ground. The woodcutters, employed by the forest owner, left them under the tree while cutting the trees far away. The forest owner ran a paper mill on the edges of the forest.

The sad money, thrown out of the troop, saw the bags under the tree, went down, and opened the bags. The contents of the bags were in the boxes with tight lids and clamps. The monkey took a vessel from the bag and shook it, for it smelled like peanuts.  The monkey opened the vessel's lid, put both hands into it and grabbed the peanuts. He could not remove the hands because the vessel had a narrow neck.  He shook the vessel and tried to use the feet against the vessel to free his hands. Nothing worked.  He screeched, screamed, and scratched himself with his hind legs.

He took a walk but could not climb up the tree with his loot. He found a log to sit and relax. He sat on the log and tried to extricate his hands by hitting the vessel against the peg. The peg popped and flew like a missile. He jumped, and the tail fell between the split ends of the log. With the tail pinched by the split log, he could not move. The workers, hearing the screeches, came running to the transfixed monkey, found it in a hopeless predicament. The headman took charge. First, he had to release the hands from the vessel. He covered the monkey’s face with his shirt to calm him down and tried to extricate the monkey’s hands. No luck. The hands were swollen from pressure below the narrow neck of the vessel. Luckily, they had lubricant oil at the worksite. He poured the oil on the hands and gently released one hand at a time. The monkey still had the peanuts tight in his fists. One logger held both hands and feet. A third man split the log wide enough to release the tail. A medical technician, who attended to the injured loggers, felt a bounding pulse in the wrists of the monkey. Thank God. The monkey wagged the tail and, emerging from this ordeal with no injury or loss, got a surprise. One logger offered a peeled banana to the lucky monkey.

The monkey was happy and went on its way. The loggers were happy they helped a monkey. That made their day.  Think before you jump.  
Bear-Man-Tiger   August 23, 2020

1. A man (Veeramani) went into the depths of the nearby forest to collect twigs for use as firewood. Tigers, bears, and lions roamed the forest. Feral cows, sheep, and goats were aplenty for the carnivores to eat. Suddenly he found himself in the eye of a hungry tiger, who never ate a man but desperately wanted to eat one. The tiger was crouching, a sign it was about to chase its prey. He was the chase. Immediately his survival instincts kicked in, and he climbed on a tree.  He climbed the tree fast since he was a coconut tree climber by profession. He had his eyes on the crouching tiger as he climbed up the tree and failed to see a black bear with two cute cubs on the tree above him on the sturdy branches. The cubs hugged close to the mama bear.

2. Veeramani was too close to the bears for comfort. The baby bears squealed, seeing Veeramani inching towards them. The mother bear spoke, "Hey man, what are you doing? You are scaring my cubs. You better go down or jump to the next tree." The man spoke, "There is a tiger below the tree, ready to kill and eat me. Can I stay here until the tiger leaves."

3. The tiger spoke to the bear, "Hey Shyamala! We know each other well around here. You cannot fight the man on the tree. If you fight the man, your cubs will fall from the tree in the scuffle and may even lose their lives. Do the right thing, pop your jaws, bare your teeth, and growl menacingly. The man will lose his grit and grip and fall. I will eat him for lunch."

4. Shyamala spoke, "Veeramani means no harm to my cubs. He is running away from you. I never ate a man. My cubs are safe as it is."

5. Veeramani, in a low voice, told the bear, "Ask the tiger to bring you a large beehive turgid with honey and leave it at the bottom of the tree. Say to him you will deliver me to him soon after the beehive is at the bottom of the tree. This life-saving stratagem will not cost you anything. You see I am harmless."

6.  Shyamala considered the suggestion, deliberated on it for a while, and did not agree with his plan. It meant surreptitious way of killing Vyagra, the tiger.  (The idea was the honeybees enter the tiger's mouth, nares and the eyes. The stings inside the nostrils are the most annoying, and in the eyes, blinding.)

7. Meanwhile, a herd of 30 buffalos with some calves came along on their way to the lake to slake their thirst. The herd upon seeing the hungry tiger huddled together, keeping the calves in the center of the herd. A single tiger is no match for a whole herd. The big bulls made a charge at the tiger. The tiger took off from under the tree in a nanosecond and  disappeared into the dense forest with buffalos on its tail.
8. The man emitted a sigh of relief, thanked the momma bear for not attacking him, and hurried out of the forest soon. The escape was miraculous, and no one died. The timely and fortuitous appearance of the herd of buffalos was a godsend.

The Beggar-Prince  (Veeraswamy Krishnaraj)

1. In the story, our man started his day at noon and went on his daily rounds in a temple town until sundown. He met people nice, offensive, insulting, and outright hostile.  He always was calm and had kind words to say, even to the unsympathetic. He was frail and thin, but always introspective. Every day his thriving business took him to a different part of town. He did not make a revisit to the same place for at least two weeks. Every street, house, door number, and the occupants were familiar to him.  He knew people by the voice, the cadence, the inflection, and the diction.

2. It was not a vocation without competition, sometimes forbidding.  He managed somehow because of his native intelligence. In his professional contact, he dispensed sweet and charming words, phrases, and sentences and received goods of value in return. He did not seek another profession because he was not robust in his body. Chronic malnutrition was his problem.

No one noticed him. He lived in a hut with a corrugated tin roof, four mud walls, a door, and a window. He kept no dog or cat for companionship.  Lucky for him, he had a sunroof to light the inside of the house. His putative father built the house from the debris picked up at the city dump.

He had a small handheld Udukkai with a hammer on his left palm to make a sound on the hourglass Udukkai (drum). He turned the left forearm sideways, so the round hammer beat on the stretched animal skin to make the drum sound. This sound pleasant to the ears was his calling card when he visited his place of business. At the drum sound, the woman of the house showed up with a pleasant smile and dropped some food in his begging bowl.

3. Now you know the profession of our emaciated young man. Some women chastised him to get a job and withheld food from him. Some hit him with twigs and sticks.  

4.  The giving souls never failed to offer him food every time he went to their homes. Some scolded him with abusive words and yet gave him some food. He ate the food provided by the kind souls and threw the food from the abusive women to the birds, even when that food was delectable.


 5. One day after a tiresome day of begging, he ate some food, scattered some food for the birds, and returned to his modest hut.  He was under watch by some powerful people. He had no idea. When he was about to enter his shanty, people with uniforms, swords, and daggers jumped on him. He wondered why these men jumped on him, being a beggar. They spoke no words but took him to a palace and produced him before the king. He had no idea. The plot was thickening. He had nothing to lose but his life. They stripped him naked, further embarrassing him. What is going on? He did not have the strength to fight them. Suddenly, a shriek came from the king’s corner. Everybody looked at the king. They saw the queen emit that squeal, “That is my son.”

6. The story goes the preschooler prince disappeared one day. The palace heard it was an abduction. The royal jewels on the boy found their way to a local lapidary.

7. His disappearance was an abduction. The palace was looking for the kidnapper and the prince. The kidnapper sold the jewels and lived on the little money he received. The lapidary could not remember the jewel thief but informed the palace of the treasures coming into his possession and returned them to the palace. The kidnapper trained the boy to become a professional beggar. Lucky for the prince, the kidnapper did not mutilate him to further his maimed appeal to the public. Now the boy was around 15 years of age. The kidnapper worked as a coolie around town. He never showed up in the hut every day. He ate and slept where he could.

Now the queen’s squeal. When she gave birth to the baby prince, she noticed a hairy mole on the prince's low back. It was brown in color, hairy in appearance, and had a long oval shape.

8. The prince is back home. She ran down from her throne and hugged her son. The king joined her.

Now the hunt was on for the kidnapper, the itinerant coolie, and the occasional beggar. The quest for the kidnapper was on. The guards fanned out into the city, found him napping, plucked him from under the tree, and produced him before the king and the queen.

9. The king and the queen recognized him as the royal gardener. He disappeared and did not report for the job the next day. He confessed that he kidnapped the boy prince for his jewels and still loved him as a son.

The royal couple put him to work at the gravel pit. He graduated from his work at the gravel pit and later became a gemologist and lapidary for the royal household.

10. Lessons:

 Don’t judge a person by appearance.

Rehabilitation of prisoners makes model citizens.
A person cane be a gardner, a gravel pit worker, a stone cutter, and with education and experence a gemologist and lapidary.






A Gift from the Heart

  By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  September 1, 2019


Tim and Tammy  (T & T) lived by a lake near a vast forested area. One day two owls were sitting on the tree branch and watching a statue of Baby Jesus in the backyard. They went to the lake for an easy catch of fish. It looked they were husband and wife. Let us call the owls Dan and Dan (= D & D = Danny and Danielle). One day inside the house in the baby’s room, Tim and Tammy found earlier a clutch of four eggs in a secure brown box on the mantle. Later the owls flew in and perched on the box. Yes, they were not afraid of humans. T & T thought they were fortunate that the barn owls trusted them to lay the eggs in a box on the mantle. Probably they did not find a large enough hole in the trees.
T & T had a new addition to their family a month ago. The baby boy, coincidentally named Danny before the arrival of the owls, slept in a crib in the same room the owl laid the eggs. They did not want to evict the owl parents for moving into their home, unauthorized and living rent-free. Lucky for them, they did not have to feed them. They took care of themselves by fishing in the nearby lake, chock-full of perch. They kept the brown box clean and neat. They made no unnecessary noise and did not wake up the baby.




Tim and Tammy discussed whether it was safe to leave the baby in the same room with the owls. They seemed peace-loving birds. They left the baby under the watchful eyes of the de facto avian babysitters watching from the mantle, the home of the owls being the mantle box. The owls enjoyed hearing the cooing sounds of the baby. The Mama owl was incubating the eggs, while the papa owl went fishing and brought home the perch. From the perch on the mantle to the perch in the  lake, it was a short flight. A week passed. Whenever the baby moved or made shrill sounds, the owls made gentle sounds, which drew the attention of T & Ts. Their hearing and eyesight were so acute a shift of the baby’s leg attracted the attention of the owls, which emitted a low ‘hoo-hoo-hoooooo’ to invite the human parents. While the baby cooed, the owls 'hooed.' It was music to the ears. Finding food was easy. Tim and Tammy owned their riparian mansion and the lake.


The above image of perch: Credit U.S . Fish & Wildlife Service.
The eggs hatched one by one over a few weeks. The papa owl went fetching fish every day to feed the mama bird and the chicks. One day when Tom and Tammy were in the room attending to the baby, the male owl dropped something on the floor that produced a metallic sound.
Tom and Tammy, surprised by the sound of metal, looked at it. It was a shining gold ring. Tammy picked it up, and a chill ran through her body when she recognized it. That was the ring that her husband gave her before the wedding.
When they went boating in their lake, the ring fell off her finger into the lake. Yes, the annulus of the ring was too big for her ring finger. Tom being a navy diver, could not find it on diving several times into the lake. It was lost forever. But a perch swallowed it long after the ring settled in the bottom of the freshwater lake, which remained as a bezoar inside the fish. When the male owl caught the ringed yellow perch, the family of owls ate the fish, and papa owl dropped the inedible ring on the floor. Tom and Tammy were ecstatic and thanked the owls and God for such a marvelous gift.

The female barn owl is darker. The margins of heart-shaped visage are darker than those of the male (lighter). The female has dark spots on the body.

The owls had the avian instinct, and I dare say, the human intuition to know that T & T were avian-friendly. The sign of trust for the owls was the sight of Baby Jesus in the Nativity scene in the backyard. The female owl boldly laid her clutch of eggs in an empty basket on the mantle. T & T, truely empathetic, saw themselves in the wedded owls. Besides, Tammy just gave birth to a baby boy. T & T knew somehow that the owls would not hurt their baby and let their avian guests have freedom of access into their home. Tim expressed his love for Tammy as two owls do to each other, by giving Tammy a ring with the emblem of an owl on the ring, a metaphor for eternal love. Tammy lost it in their private lake, never to be found by a human but later swallowed by a perch. Jesus, in the name an owl, caught the fish and released the ring with the symbol of an owl, epitomic of lifelong love.  

The Lion and The Sheep  by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  July 8, 2020 

In the canopied forest, the jackals cried, the foxes howled, the feral dogs barked, the monkeys screeched and the birds sang songs. Between sundown and sunrise, they retreated to their lairs. The big carnivores such as the lion and the tiger roamed the forest at will, unchallenged by any animal. That was our Nilavanam forest, adjoining the village Nilapuram. The villagers raised rice paddy, peanuts, corn and vegetables to sell in the nearby towns. They were prosperous. Rarely the carnivores entered the village. No human fatalities ever took place. They never lost a cow or a goat to the lion or the tiger. They placed drums at critical points. When a carnivore came into view, they beat their drums and the animals retreated into the forest. None of the carnivores ever tasted human flesh. They installed a gated fence around the village to keep the animals away. They built trenches adjoining the forest to keep the animals from venturing into the village.

A middle-aged lion in the forest killed animals not only for food but also wantonly. A herd of feral sheep lost many members to its wanton killing. The Jackals, foxes and even the tigers ate the wanton kill, abandoned by the killer lion. Easy pickens!

At the foothills of a mountain in the forest there was a lake and a river fed by the rains and natural springs. That is where all animals came to quench their thirst. The river and the lake were the home for gharials (Indian crocs).

The feral sheep were worried their ranks will thin out and vanish from the wanton killings by the lion Sulai. These sheep are the progeny of those which escaped 70 years ago from the main herd and lived in the forest. They knew the ways of the forest living. They and the lion Sulai spoke  different tongues. They could not communicate with the lion. Sulai rode roughshod over all lesser animals and domeneered them.


The eldest sheep had a meeting with the tribe (herd) and wondered how they were to deal  with the lone rogue lion.

The lion came at least once a day to drink water in the river. It was nonchalant in its behavior. He went to the edge of water without looking to the right or left for any danger. He was the king of beasts and believed that he was the anointed one and no one in his neighborhood could challenge him.

One day. He killed two sheep, abandoned one, ate the other, and with blood-stained face and lips came to the lake to slake its thirst.

The gharials in the freshwater lake had not had their meals for sometime. They were running out of fish, their usual meal. They were hungry and snappy.



The jaunty but careless lion came to the edge of the water. The other animals watching its move drank water at a safe distance, frequently looking around for any trouble. The monkeys screeched as  Sulai approached the water’s edge. The feral pigs, the sheep, the monkeys, and other animals stopped drinking the water and cast their soulful eyes towards the lion. He came alone. As soon he lapped the water, the gharials about three in number jumped on the lion and dragged him into the depths of the lake. Each gharial ripped off the legs and tried to swallow whatever they had in their bite.  That was the tragic end of the wanton killer in the forest. The gharials abandoned the body and the legs because they were too big for them to swallow.

The peaceful animals seeing this deathly onslaught left the water’s edge in a hurry, and ran into the forest. The wanton killer met his match and left their midst . The sheep can graze in peace from then on.


             The Hummingbird and the Cat  By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj   Feb 11, 2019
A feral cat was on the prowl. A rustle in the fall leaves on the forest floor stopped and made him notice it. A little mouse was running under cover of the dry leaves. The cat caught the forest field mouse with ease and ate him. The rib cage of the mouse got stuck in the gullet of the cat. He had a hard time breathing because the blocked throat was pressing on the windpipe. He coughed, gagged, drooled and turned blue on his nose, a sign of blockage and poor oxygenation.
A hummingbird saw the cat in distress and turning blue on his nose.
The Hummingbird: Dear cat, you seem to be choking. Did you eat a hippo for lunch?
The cat in a muffled voice: Nothing of that sort. The entire rib cage of a mouse got stuck in my gullet. It is pressing on my windpipe.
The Hummingbird: I could help you with your problem. See, I have a long bill. I can simply yank it out, and you will be fine.
The Cat: What are you waiting for? Go ahead and do it. I will be grateful.
The Hummingbird: There is a problem. How do I know you won't bite my beak?
A hummingbird with no beak is a dead hummer.
The Cat: I promise, I won't bite it. Please help me.
The hummingbird flew down, put a big stick across the cat's mouth to prevent the cat from biting on the beak, and pulled out the rib cage of the mouse from its throat with his beak. The relief was immediate. Proof: the cat took a deep breath. Cat's nose turned pink. The cat was jumping for joy.
The hummingbird dropped the ribcage from its bill, knocked the stick off the mouth of the cat, flew away and sat on the branch of a tree.
The cat thanked the bird profusely.
The Hummingbird photo Credit: Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) | by www.sanjorgeecolodges.com


The Cat: Thank you very much. Who would help you, if something gets stuck in your throat?
The Hummingbird: My food is the liquid nectar from the flowers. I don’t choke on it.
Days went by with nothing to speak of. The bird and the cat remained friends.
One day, the bird flew into an abandoned net and could not extricate itself from the net. It bit the net in vain. It remained inside the net flapping its wings.
The cat, as usual, came under the tree to visit with its savior. The bird exhausted from flapping its wings chirped feebly. The cat heard the weak cry of the bird and saw the bird was inside the net.
The cat knew if the hummingbird remained in the net too long, it would die of starvation.
The cat: Hi there. Can I come up the tree and cut the net with my teeth, so you can fly again?
The Hummingbird: How do I know you won’t eat me, now that I am stuck inside the net.
The Cat: No, I won’t eat you. I remember your good deed that saved me. I will return the favor.
The hummingbird: Thank you. Do your job and release me from this net.
The cat climbed up the tree and gnawed on the net, made a hole large enough for the bird to escape. The bird did escape unmolested by the cat and thanked the cat for his return favor. It flew straight to its favorite flowers to have a drink of the nectar.
They remained friends forever.

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 should have paid me a rental for occupying this place. I will morph you into a monkey. That is your punishment for not paying me the rental in advance."
The next moment, the writer-intellectual became a monkey. The author sobbed, seethed, and soaked wet in a flood of tears. 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 aboard the vessel. The ship's passengers screeched at the sight of the monkey.
One passenger shouted, "Eject the monkey off the ship. Kill it."
The ship's captain worrying about the welfare of 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 grinning gratitude to the captain. The monkey landed in Bagdad. There was widespread news in Bagdad that the king was looking for a counselor since the erstwhile advisor died. The royal announcement declared that any qualified individual could apply for the job in the royal application form, and the most proficient would become the counselor.
The monkey-scholar filed the application. He was a monkey only in the body but a human in every other way. Yes, he had the human brain! The king's minions and others under his employ rolled on the carpet and laughed. They mocked the monkey saying, "Look at this travesty. This knuckle walker wants to be an advisor to the king." The king reviewed all the applications. The monkey's job application was appealing to him. The monkey did fill the application by himself.
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, the king posed a wide range of questions to the simian scholar. Being erudite, the monkey gave all the right answers. The king liked the scholar. But the ministers objected.


They were afraid the arboreal primate might outsmart them and make a monkey out of them. They told the king it would be too expensive to feed the monkey because the peanuts and bananas are hard to find in Baghdad. Besides, they did not like his screechy accent and toothy smile.
The ministers told the king, "The monkey does not have language skills. How could it be an advisor? "
The king appointed the monkey as the chief advisor, despite objection.
The xenophilic young princess came to know by intuition that the simian was not a monkey and that a demonic conjuror morphed a scholarly man into a monkey. 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 himself.
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, 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 caged 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. An old decrepit 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 who ate 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 but ran after the flying doves to retriev his net in vain.

As the doves were in flight, the blue doves with hubris under their 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 erratically; 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 instant fall. I thank the quibbling doves.” He disentangled the doves from the net and put them in his basket.

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Pigeons and doves belong to the family Columbidae. There are several species of pigeons. The Dodo bird and passenger pigeons are extinct now. They are frugivores, granivores, and Herbivores (Fruit, Seed, and Leaf eaters). The ground-walking pigeons eat only seeds. The tree pigeons eat only fruits. The baby chick is called squeaker. The pigeon is larger and the dove is smaller. You always wondered why the pigeon does the clownish head-bobbing. When the pigeon walks, it has two movements. The head moves forward 2 inches to fixate on the object (seed), and then only the body moves to catch up with the head. By this double maneuver, the pigeon fixates on the object for 20 milliseconds and processes the image in the birdbrain. A human, when reading a book, moves the eyes to focus on the printed image. Bobbing is the way they stabilize the image of the moving world. When you put a pigeon on a treadmill, it stops the head-bobbing. It is so because the scenery in fron of the bird does not change. https://www.wired.com/2015/01/whats-birds-bob-heads-walk/


1) Nicobar pigeon. 2) Pink Neck Pigeon, 3) Yellow-footed Pigeon. 4) NYC Times Square pigeon.


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). Faunal spectators watched 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...Sivam is Love.  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.
 Perumal's Stealth Walk Fearing an Old Sulking Woman
சுண்டல் பாட்டி = Sundal Pātti  = Sundal Grandma
Sundal Grandma Goes to Heaven.

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  (June 8, 2020)
In the foothills of Tiruppathi, Māṅgāpuram village was on the path to the Tiruppathi hills. There lived an old woman who made a living selling Suṇdal (Hot, Spicy, flavored and cooked Chickpeas with bits of unripe mango and small chunks of coconut). She was a widow. She lived by herself with no money or filial support. She had a mother lode of self-respect and dignity. She would not go begging to make a living.
She was a sulker, saying often why she took birth. In those days when there were no cars or buses, people in large droves took the jungle path to reach the Tirupati temple. They had waystations along the route for rest, refreshment and relaxation. The Suṇdal Vendor one day asked one pilgrim why they go up the hill.
 Hearing her simplistic question, the crowd laughed. One man of gentle nature came forward and stopped to answer her question. “My dear grandma! What kind of question is this? Have you heard of the Lord of the Seven Hills? You are the only one woman of Tirupati at the foothills who does not know of the Perumāḷ temple up on the hill. Where were you all these years? I am surprised beyond belief.”
She was unfamiliar with the hill temple. “Ammā! Swamy is up on the hill. If you get Darsan of the Swamy, you will never be born again to sell Suṇdal. Govinda is his favorite name. "Go with us, pay homage to him and worship him. Call him “Govinda-Govindā.” All your sins will vanish.”
 She trudged up the hills, often falling behind others, mostly young in age. She reached the hilltop temple, so grand in its majesty. She witnessed and received Darsan of the Lord of Seven Hills. With a melting heart and sore legs, she addressed the Lord, “Govindā! One devotee of yours told me that if I pay homage to you, I never take another birth. I plead to you I should not have another birth. The devotees who came with her began their journey down the hill.
 She stayed back to give rest to her sore legs and creaky joints. Anyway, she had to sell her leftover Sunḍal. An handsome old man unsteady in his walk, and wearing rags for clothes approached her and said, “Āmmā! Your Sunḍal smells great half a block away. I just followed my nose. Here I am. Can I have some of it? She gave him the Suṇdal. He ate it eagerly smacking his lips and licking his fingers. He began walking like he owned the seven hills. The sundal must have given him the boost in his walk. She accosted him, saying, “Ayyā! Pay me for the Suṇdal, that you ate before me. The freeloader said, “Ammā! I am a debtor. I borrowed money for my wedding. I pay all my earnings toward interest payments, which are a pretty sum. I have no money on me now for your Suṇdal. Will you please take my word promissory as a guarantee? I will be here tomorrow exactly at this hour, and will pay you then. I promise. I missed not even one payment so far.”
 The old woman replied, “Alright, bring the money tomorrow." How would the village woman Gaṅgamma know the tricks of the Lord of the Seven Hills?
The next day, the old man did not show up as he promised. She waited and waited and mortified by his no-show promise, shuffled off her mortal coil.
Paranthāmaṉ, instead of paying his debt in money, gave to the dead woman the heavenly abode, Vaikuntam. Is he not the one who took human birth as Srinivasan and dawned on earth? He did not keep his promise to give the owed money to the old woman. Poor woman, she died not knowing her unpaid Sunḍal to the Lord of the Universe earned her an applause for the spicy morsel from the old man in rags and a place in Vaikuntam.
 Because of his failure to pay back the debt, he goes like a sneak and a slouch in a hiding stance without the beating of the drums, clanging of the cymbals and the sonic booms of Nadasvaram at the festival during his procession, fearing the old woman. The tradition is that all the story readers of this episode live a long life, will reach Vaikuntam and will not take rebirth in this world (of misery and deprivation).  Have some Sunḍal  and be happy. God is Love. Love is God. His ways are mysterious. All your woes will vanish, if you have trust in him.