Bedtime Audio Stories in English - The Unusual Commander

 The Unusual Commander

This happened hundreds of years ago. Close to the forest lived a young man named Chang Sin and his mother. Chang Sin collected stacks of wood from the forest and sold them in the market miles away. Whatever he earned was enough for him to pull on. One morning Chang Sin heard a terrific roar from a dense part of the forest. It was more a cry than a roar. Had a tiger been trapped? Who could have trapped a tiger? He wondered as he quietly advanced towards the source of the noise. Soon he found out what had happened. Some people had cut down bamboos, leaving their sharp bottoms. A tiger had got one of his paws pierced by one such knife-like thing. At first, Chang Sin got frightened. But when he saw the eyes of the tiger, he understood how badly the beast needed succor. Even then he did not dare to approach it all alone. He ran home and told his mother about it. She accompanied him into the forest, carrying with her some medicine and strips of cotton cloth. The tiger grew quiet when it saw them. They sat down near it. Chang Sin lifted its paw as cautiously as possible from the sharp piece of bamboo while his mother moved her fingers on its back. Then they applied medicine to the tiger's wound and bandaged it. The tiger stood up and began to walk. As he looked at the mother and the son, the mother said, "O Tiger, we are poor. We do not have influential relatives to help us. If you can, help me to find a beautiful bride for my son!" The tiger growled and went away.

Something amusing happened after a month. A charming girl was on her way to her maternal uncle's house. Her marriage was to be performed there. She rode a palanquin. A number of attendants followed the palanquin carrying clothes and jewelry which were to be given to her at the time of the wedding. Suddenly five huge tigers came charging at the party. The bearers set the palanquin down and fled for life. The attendants threw their burdens down and fled. The girl came out of the palanquin only to come face to face with the tigers. But to her pleasant surprise, she saw that the tigers did no harm to her. They seemed to drive her in a certain direction. Slowly driven by the tigers she reached a hut. Chang Sin's mother came out and saw the fairy-like girl standing before her. She received her with great warmth. The tigers went away giving out happy roars. Days passed. Nobody came to look for the girl. At her instance, they brought to their hut the valuables left by the attendants. "I wish I had a daughter-in-law like you!" one day Chang Sin's mother said. The girl blushed and said, "I wish I had a mother-in-law like you!" Well, that made the situation clear. Chang Sin married the girl and lived happily. But news reached the girl's wealthy father that she had married a poor woodcutter. He had thought that she had been devoured by tigers. He had been reconciled to that. But he could not reconcile to her getting married to a woodcutter. 

He went to the King and pleaded with him to restore his daughter to him. The King summoned Chang Sin and asked him how did he dare to marry a wealthy man's daughter. "My Lord, since I had dared to approach a tiger and the tigers gave her to me, I dared to marry her!" replied Chang Sin. "The fellow is crazy!" said the King. "Can you prove that the tigers gave the girl to you? Can you summon the tigers as witnesses?" "Perhaps I can if you let me into the forest," said Chang Sin. Out of curiosity, the King let him go. After only two hours the King heard people in the street crying and shrieking in horror. He climbed the roof of his palace and saw Chang Sin returning with five tigers! "Enough of evidence, enough, dear Chang Sin! I'm convinced that you spoke the truth! Go away and live in peace," shouted the king. "Thank you, My Lord," said Chang Sin and he went away with the tigers. The same year the kingdom was attacked by a merciless tribe. They had with them trained hounds, hyenas, monkeys, and wolves. Naturally, the King's soldiers could not face such an unusual enemy. 

The king remembered Chang Sin and sent a message to him. Chang Sin arrived with the tigers. The battle was brief. The invaders took to their heels with their animals! "Chang Sin! Will you become the commander of my army?" proposed the king. "My Lord, I am afraid. I don't know how to command an army," mumbled Chang Sin. "Is that really necessary as long as you can command the tigers? You are appointed to the post," said the King. Chang Sin came over to a large mansion near the palace with his mother and his wife. Once a week the tigers came to see him. There was no attack from any quarters for a long time to come.

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