Moral Stories in English - The Ungrateful Guest

 The Ungrateful Guest

In a cave on a hill lived a fox. It was a small cave, but spacious enough for the fox. He kept the mouth of the cave shut with a stone, but for a small gap. One night it was raining. The fox was lying comfortably in his cave when he heard the moaning of a wolf. He peeped out and saw a wolf standing on a rock below his cave, suffering the downpour. "It is always good to have a friend among the powerful. Here is an opportunity to befriend the wolf. It will be not only unwise but also selfish of me if I do not offer the wolf shelter," the fox told himself. Then he called out for the wolf. The wolf, who did not know of the cave, was delighted at the call. He came up, entered the cave, and slept happily. The fox was surprised that the wolf did not utter a single word of thanks. However, he was happy to have done a good thing. But he had to regret it before long.

The next day the wolf went out even without a nod at the host and, what is worse, in the evening came back into the cave without asking for the fox's permission. "Hello, friend, do you wish to spend another night here though it is not raining? I don't mind," said the fox. "Who asks you whether you mind or not?" asked the wolf with a sneer. "What I mean is, you are welcome." "Who cares whether you welcome or not?" The fox fell silent. But that was not the end of his discomfort. The wolf began ordering the fox to do this or that as if he was his slave and found fault with him every now and then. The cave which used to be a paradise for the fox became a sort of hell for him. He did not mind sharing the cave with the wolf, but must the wolf be cruel to him?. "When do you propose to leave my cave?" one day he made bold to ask the wolf. "Why don't you get out, you fool, you slave?" said the wolf and he planted a blow on the fox's neck. The fox sprawled on the floor. He felt terrible pain. The wolf gave him a kick and said, "Go and roam about and find out a farm with plenty of fruits. Come and report to me so that I will go out and eat. If you can't find out any, don't come back. If you do, I will throw you out, dead!" The fox went out, weeping. He knew that the wolf meant what he said. Either he must spend the night in the open or must find out a farm. He went close to the village. There was a farm which he often visited. He went near it and was pleased to see an opening in the fence. 

Generally, he had to try hard to enter it through thorns in the fence. But he stopped. Why should the farmer leave an opening in the fence? He looked carefully. He saw a pit at the opening, carefully covered by straws and leaves. He would have fallen into it had he taken a step more. The discovery gave him an idea. He returned to his cave at once and told the wolf that he had found the farm for his exploration. He told him where the farm was situated. "Guide me there!" commanded the wolf. The fox was tired. But what could he do? He showed the wolf the way. He stopped before the pit and drew the wolf's attention to the farm teeming with different fruits. "Go ahead and enjoy to your heart's content," said the fox. "I will. You be here and give me a signal if you see any human being this way. Don't touch any fruit until..." The wolf had not finished passing his order when he crashed into the pit. The fox could not contain his joy. He looked into the pit and laughed and asked, "Can I touch any fruit now?."  It took some time for the wolf to understand his own predicament. The fox kept on laughing. He had never laughed so heartily. "My dear fox, I am really a rogue who has been very discourteous to you! But in the future, I will behave. You came to my rescue when I was miserable in rain. You must come to my rescue once again," pleaded the wolf. "Don't think yourself so clever, wolf! I am not so big a fool to be moved by your false regrets. Be where you are till the farmer comes to your rescue!" replied the fox.

But the wolf went on praying to him to save him until the fox's heart melted. "How do you think can I help you?" asked the fox. "All I need is a little support. Hold on to that tree and throw your tail into the pit. I will catch it only for a moment and then in a leap be outside the pit." The fox did as advised. But the wolf gave a strong pull to his tail and brought him down into the pit. "I know that I can never go up by holding on to your tail. All I wanted was to drag you into it. My fond wish is to see you dead before I die," said the wolf. He then gave a brutal blow to the fox. "Wait, wait, I think I hear footsteps of men!" cautioned the fox. The wolf stood on his hind legs and stretched himself up as much as possible to listen to any such sound. Instantly the fox leaped up to the wolf's shoulder and then, in another leap, was outside the pit. He straight went up a mound and began to howl till the farmer and his men had been attracted to the spot. He then slipped away quietly, leaving them to find out what was there inside the pit!

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