11. The Clever Baby Elephant
A story-telling parrot escaped from the royal palace and narrated this story.

Once upon a time, in a kingdom surrounded by lush forests, there lived a wise king. The king had a magnificent palace garden, and he desired to have a fierce lion as its guardian. His men set up a sturdy cage baited with fresh meat in the adjoining forest, hoping to capture the elusive beast.
The forest officials strategically placed the cage where the lion was known to roam. The workers returned to the palace, confident that their plan would succeed. Little did they know that the lion was no ordinary creature; it possessed both strength and cunning.
One fateful day, the lion, unaware of the trap, followed the scent of the enticing meat. As it devoured the meal, the levers sprung, and the cage door slammed shut. The lion found itself imprisoned, unable to escape.
Desperate and hungry, the lion noticed a young baby elephant passing by. The elephant, innocent and trusting, approached the cage. The lion pleaded for help, promising not to harm the little one. The baby elephant, believing the lion’s words, used its trunk to open the cage door.
The lion emerged, free once more, but its hunger had not abated. It now eyed the baby elephant, considering it a convenient meal. The poor baby elephant trembled, realizing it had made a grave mistake.
Thinking quickly, the baby elephant proposed a solution. “Let us seek justice,” it said. “We shall present our case before a wise judge.” A passing jackal, renowned for its wisdom, agreed to arbitrate.
The jackal listened attentively as both the lion and the baby elephant recounted their versions of events. Then, with a shrewd smile, it devised a plan. “Let us reenact the situation,” the jackal declared.
The lion hesitantly entered the cage once more. The baby elephant swiftly shut the door, securing it with its strong trunk. The bolt slid into place, locking the lion inside. The jackal nodded in approval.
“Thank you,” said the baby elephant, “for teaching the thankless lion a lesson.” Together, they darted away, leaving the lion trapped and humbled.
The next day, the king’s forest officials arrived and discovered the caged lion. The lion, defeated and hungry, was taken to the palace, where it would serve as a reminder that intelligence often triumphs over brute strength.

12. The Horse and The Donkey
The washerman's dog narrated this story.

A washerman and a horseman, brothers under the employ of the king lived side by side in two houses. They got along very well. The donkey and the horse held talks with each other when they were alone in the stall, which they shared. The donkey asked the horse, ‘’Could I do your job and you do my job?’’
The horse said, ‘’That is impossible. I carry the horseman on my back, and I run at breakneck speed, which you cannot do. But I respect what you do. I love you too.’’
The donkey replied. ''Thank you. Why don’t we by mutual consent exchange our jobs and see how the experiment goes.''
The horse agreed. During the weekend when the masters were out of town , the horse and the donkey went to a Guru seeking advice for their problem.
The Guru advised, ‘’I can make the horse into a donkey and the donkey into a horse by appearance with no change in original innate qualities. I will ride the Donkey-horse and the Horse-donkey. They both agreed. The Guru had no problem riding the Horse-donkey, the horse’s new avatar being the donkey. He ran like a racehorse, though he looked like a donkey. Then he rode the Donkey-horse, the donkey’s new avatar being a horse. He could not nun as fast as the Horse-donkey.
The Guru shape-shifted them back to their original forms and advised, ‘’Dear donkey, be satisfied with your lot. You could do your job better than the horse. You have the stamina and patience.’’
The donkey, satisfied with his role stopped wanting to be a horse. The horse in turn respected the donkey for what he did.

13. The dog in the Manger
The milch cow in the barn narrated this story.

Barney was his name. He lived in the barn. He slept in the barn. There was hay in the barn meant for the cows. Barney was a dog. He never ate hay and yet stayed in the manger, preventing the cows from eating the hay from the manger. When the cows came near the manger, the dog would bark and snap at them.
The cows told him, ‘’You cannot eat the hay in the manger, and you are lying upon the manger, preventing us from eating the hay. You have your bones in a bowl outside the barn. Go and eat there.’’But the dog did not move, barking at the cows. Verys selfish dog indeed.

14. The Hare and the Tortoise  (Shakespeare could have written this story. See the style.)
In days of yore, there lived a hare, whose pride was as swift as his feet, and a tortoise, whose pace was as measured as his patience. The hare, with a tongue as quick as his legs, oft mocked the tortoise, saying, "Thou art so slow, good sir! Doth the earth turn faster than thee?"
One day, when the tortoise's endurance was spent, he spake thus: "Let us settle this matter in a race. Perchance the victor shall silence the vanquished's taunts."
The hare, full of mirth, did laugh heartily. "A jest, indeed!" quoth he. "But so be it. Tomorrow's morn, we shall race to yonder hill and prove who is fleetest."
When dawn broke, the race was set. With the starting mark, the hare did leap forth with great haste, leaving the tortoise far behind. Confident in his swiftness, the hare soon paused, thinking, "The tortoise is but a dot upon the horizon. I shall rest and still be victorious."
Meanwhile, the tortoise plodded on, each step a testament to his resolve. Though slow, his pace was unwavering. As the hare slumbered, the tortoise drew nearer to the finish.
Ere long, the hare did awaken and, with a start, saw the tortoise nigh the end. Panic seized him as he sprinted with all his might. Yet, alas, his pride was his undoing, for the tortoise had already crossed the line.
Thus, the hare learned a lesson profound: "Slow and steady wins the race," quoth he, humbled by the tortoise's quiet fortitude.

15. The Salt Merchant and the Donkey
The salt merchant carried a myna on his shoulder for companionship while on his business trips. This story was narrated by the Myna, who was a polyglot.

Once upon a time, in a bustling town, there lived a shrewd merchant. His livelihood depended on selling bags of Himalayan salt, which he loaded onto his trusty donkey. Every day, they embarked on the familiar journey to nearby towns, where the merchant would hawk his wares.
One sunny morning, as they trudged along the dusty path, disaster struck. The donkey, perhaps distracted by the chirping birds or the shimmering cold mountain water, slipped into the river. Panic surged through the merchant’s veins, and he rushed to rescue his loyal companion. With great effort, he pulled the donkey out of the cold meltwater.
To his surprise, the donkey seemed inexplicably delighted. Its load had become remarkably lighter! The salt, dissolving in the flowing river, had transformed the once-heavy bags into mere memories. The donkey, clever as it was, realized the advantage. From that day forward, it intentionally slipped into the river daily, reveling in its newfound lightness.
The merchant, no fool himself, soon caught on. He observed the donkey’s cunning plan and decided it was time for a lesson. The following morning, instead of salt, he loaded the donkey with bulky cotton bales. The unsuspecting donkey trotted toward the river, blissfully unaware of the impending trap.
Splash! The donkey plunged into the water, expecting the usual magic. But cotton doesn’t dissolve like salt. The bales absorbed water, growing heavier by the second. The poor donkey struggled, its legs sinking into the muck. It couldn’t rise—the weight was too much.
The merchant, watching from behind, chuckled. “Now you’ll think twice before outwitting me,” he said, wagging a finger at the bedraggled donkey.
And so, the clever donkey learned its lesson. From then on, it never tried to deceive its master again. As for the merchant, he continued his salt-selling business, occasionally sharing the tale of the donkey that thought it could outwit even the cleverest of merchants.

16. The Story of the Blue Jackal
The flea sucking the blood of the Jackal and living under the Jackal's fur narrated this story.

Once, a jackal, chased by dogs, entered the house of a washerman and hid in a vat full of blue colour used for bleaching clothes. When he came out, he was dyed blue!
When the jackal came back to the jungle, all the animals were frightened to see such a strange animal. The jackal said, “There is no need to be afraid.
I am a special creation of God. He has sent me as your king.”
All the animals in the jungle were fooled and accepted him as their king. They brought meat to him, which he ate and distributed the leftover to other animals. He made sure he never entered a water body like a pond or go out when it rained. He feared, the water would wash off the blue color from his fur and expose his true colors.
One day, when the blue jackal was holding court, he heard a pack of jackals howling. Thrilled by the sound of his own ilk, he too began howling loudly like them.
The animals understood that their king was a jackal. So, they beat him and drove him out of the jungle.

I7. The Wolf and the Crane
By Correspondent, The Eagle in the Sky.
From the Heights of the Sky: An Eagle's Perspective on the Wolf and the Crane.
One day, as I soared above the jungle, I spotted a wolf feasting on a piece of meat with ravenous hunger. In his greed, the wolf didn't notice when a bone became lodged in his throat. I watched as he struggled, his breathing becoming labored, and a sense of panic overtook him.
Desperate for help, the wolf recalled that a crane lived nearby. He hurried to the crane and, with a pitiful look in his eyes, begged for assistance, promising a reward in return.
Moved by the wolf's plight, the crane agreed to help. The wolf opened his jaws wide, and the crane, with delicate precision, extracted the troublesome bone. Once the bone was removed, the crane gently reminded the wolf of his promised reward.
"What reward?" the wolf scoffed. "When your beak was in my mouth, I could have bitten you! Be thankful I let you live."

Before the crane could respond, the wolf, with a cunning smirk, turned and bolted into the forest, leaving the crane bewildered and empty-handed.
From my high vantage point, I could see the injustice of it all. The wolf's selfishness was clear, and the crane's kindness had been met with deceit. The jungle, I noted, has its own set of rules, often harsh and unforgiving.

18. From the Bear's Mouth: A Tale of Two Friends
One fine day, I was wandering through my beloved forest when I noticed two young humans, Sujal and Piyush, entering my territory. They seemed eager and full of energy, promising to protect each other from any danger that might arise. Little did they know, their bond was about to be tested.
As I emerged from the dense underbrush, Sujal spotted me first and, without a second thought, scrambled up a tree to save himself. Piyush, however, was not as quick. Realizing he couldn't outrun me, he cleverly dropped to the ground and played dead, a tactic I'd seen before.
I approached Piyush, curious about this motionless figure. I growled to see if he would react, but he remained perfectly still, even holding his breath. I leaned in close, sniffing around his ear, and decided he posed no threat. With nothing of interest to me, I wandered off, leaving the boy unharmed.
Once I was a safe distance away, I heard Sujal descending from his perch. He hurried over to Piyush and asked, "What did the bear whisper in your ear?"
Piyush, still catching his breath, replied with a newfound wisdom. "The bear told me to stay away from selfish friends who run away in times of danger."
As I continued my stroll through the forest, I couldn't help but smile at the truth in Piyush's words. Humans, like all creatures, learn valuable lessons from their encounters with us, the true inhabitants of the wild.

19. The True Friend
From the Horse's Mouth: The Tale of the True Friend
A long time ago, in a dense forest, there was a tree that housed a pair of vibrant parrots. On that same tree, in a cozy hole, lived an old snake. The snake, weakened by age, couldn't venture out to hunt for food. The kind-hearted parrots, noticing his plight, regularly left bits of food near his hole. The snake, grateful for their generosity, cherished their friendship.
One sunny day, as I was trotting through the forest with my hunter riding on my back, I observed a vulture circling above the tree where the parrots lived. At the same moment, the hunter noticed the parrots and readied his bow, aiming at one of the unsuspecting birds.
Just as he was about to release the arrow, the old snake sensed the danger to his friends. Summoning all his remaining strength, the snake swiftly struck the hunter's foot. The sudden pain caused the hunter to misfire, and the arrow veered off course, striking the vulture instead.
In that moment of chaos, I witnessed the true essence of friendship. The snake, despite his frailty, had risked his life to protect his friends. By saving the parrots, he demonstrated the profound bond they shared.
As the hunter nursed his wound and we left the forest, I couldn't help but reflect on the loyalty and bravery of the old snake. In this wild and unpredictable world, true friendship, as shown by the snake, is a rare and precious treasure.

20. From the Field Mouse's Point of View: The Clever Fox
One bright morning, as I was scurrying about in the forest, I overheard an interesting wager between a fox and a bear. They had spotted a crow perched high on a tree branch, clutching a piece of bread that it had stolen from a street vendor in town. The fox and the bear decided to see who could successfully steal the bread from the crafty crow.
The bear, confident in his strength, climbed the tree first. But as he got close, the wary crow flew off to another branch, just out of the bear's reach. After several attempts, the bear grew frustrated and gave up, muttering angrily to himself.
Then came the fox, known for his cunning. He sat at the base of the tree for a moment, observing the crow. With a sly grin, the fox called up to the crow, wishing him a good day. The crow, clutching the bread tightly in his beak, remained silent, suspicious of the fox's intentions.
The fox, not deterred, tried a different approach. "You look very charming today," he said, his voice smooth and flattering. "You should be the king of all birds. Won't you sing a song in your sweet voice for me?"
The crow, proud and flattered by the fox's words, couldn't resist the compliment. "Thanks!" he cawed, but the moment he opened his beak, the piece of bread tumbled to the ground. Quick as a flash, the fox snatched up the bread with a triumphant gleam in his eyes.
The bear, watching from below, begrudgingly admitted defeat. "The fox is the winner," he declared, "and the prize is that he may ride on my back whenever we meet."
From my tiny vantage point, hidden among the grass, I marveled at the fox's cleverness. In our forest, it seems brains often triumph over brawn, and the clever fox had proven this truth once again.