Panchatantra Stories

பஞ்சதந்திரம் pañca-tantiram , n. pañcan +. The Tamil version of Pañca-tantra consisting of five books, viz., mittira-pētam, cukirl- lāpam, canti-vikkirakam, artta-nācam, acampirēṭciya-kārittuvam; மித்திரபேதம், சுகிர்ல்லாபம், சந்திவிக்கிரகம், அர்த்தநாசம், அசம்பிரேட்சியகாரித்து வம் என ஐம்பகுதியுடையதாய்த் தமிழில் மொழிபெயர்க் கப்பட்ட நூல்.
1. மித்திரபேதம் = mittira-pētam = Sowing discord among friends.
2. சுகிர்ல்லாபம் = cukir-l-lāpam = the acquisition of friends.
3. சந்திவிக்கிரகம் canti-vikkirakam  = Associating with a foe with a view to ruin him.
4. அர்த்தநாசம் artta-nācam  = Loss of wealth.
5. அசம்பிரேட்சியகாரித்துவம் a-campirēṭciya-kārittuvam , n. a-sam-prēkṣya-kāri-tva. Action without forethought.

Thrawted Friendship
 Adapted from Nara Nacchiappan's Story in Tamil on The Lion and the Bull

A merchant carried goods to deliver in the next town but had to go through a forest. It was a rough road with many potholes. One bull twisted its ankle over a wayward rock, limped, and could not go any further.

The merchant let loose the injured bull in the forest with an attendant to look after it and bring the bull to the nearest town and used his men to carry the merchandise on their shoulders.

The attendant thought he should not waste his time in a forest and look after a bull that would die anyway. He abandoned his charge and left the forest.

The bull did not die, and with time, the leg healed. The bull grazed where it wanted, gained strength, and thrived.

A lion was the King of that jungle. One day it went to the river to drink water but suddenly retreated as it heard the loudest sound it ever heard in its life. The lion was shaking in its legs and ran into the forest to hide in the bush.  

Two foxes observed the behavior of the lion from a distance unnoticed by the lion. One fox said to the other one why the lion was so shaky.

The other fox replied that it was not their business to worry about it.


The first fox said they should cultivate friendship with the King of the forest.


After some back and forth, they, being the King's ministers, wanted to become the most favored friends of the King.


Both found out the reason for the lion's fear and agony.


The first fox approached the King, opposed its palms, and stood in silence.

The King said, "I haven't seen you for a long time. Where had you been."


The lion: Are you not the sons of the prime minister? What is the purpose of your visit?

The First fox: I notice something worrying your mind.

The kingly lion: Yes, something bothers me. The other day I heard a loud noise, which I never heard before and it must be a humongous beast bigger and more powerful than me. You came right on time to offer me some solace.


Fox: "I will go forthwith and find out the cause of the loud noise."

The fox roamed the forest, discovered the loud bull, made friends with it, and took it to the King.


The King was pleased with the bull and made it a minister.

The foxes thought that the King had more love for the bull than for them. They felt the King betrayed them.


The foxes brewed a devious scheme to create discord between the bull and the kingly lion.


The first fox went to the King and said, "O King, I heard the bull say it wanted to usurp the kingdom from you by killing you and become the King itself.

The lion laughed and brushed it off as a joke.


Fox: The fox met the King again and reminded him of his imminent danger. When the bull raises its tail and lunges at you with its sharp horns, you will know the threat.


The fox went to the bull and said, "The King is holding a feast tomorrow for his military brass and the soldiers. You will be their feast."


The fox said to the bull, "When the lion, with wide-open mouth and red eyes, comes to kill you, you must raise your tail, shake your head and horns and fight with the lion."


The fox cautioned the lion to stay alert as the bull wanted to kill it that day.

The bull saw the angry lion with red eyes and open mouth and rushed towards it with raised tail and charging horns.

The lion came charging towards the bull.


The second fox told the first fox it was a sin to create enmity between friends. By the time the first fox could go to stop the fight, the lion killed the bull.


Both foxes dragged the leftover corpse of the bull and had a feast with the other invited vulpine guests.