Animal Stories for Kids with Morals

 Cure For The King

King of the forest, the tiger, was sick. The bear who was his personal physician gave him several medicines, but the king continued to be sick. A jackal who lived nearby found in the situation a great opportunity to fulfill one of his old desires. That was the desire to sample the meat of various animals. One day he braved into the tiger's presence and, offering the king a smart salute, said, "My lord, I dreamt a highly meaningful dream last night after I had fallen asleep weeping over your sickness." "Is that so? What was the dream like?" asked the tiger, growing curious. "The god of the forest told me that you can be cured only if you tasted the flesh of every species of the creatures living in this forest," informed the jackal. "Hm!" The tiger thought over it for a while. Then he summoned the leaders of all the species to a meeting. All the leading animals came, but not the rabbit. As suggested by the tiger, every leader chose a member of his species and sent it to the tiger to serve as his food. The tiger ate but a little. The jackal, his counselor, feasted on the varieties of flesh for days and weeks. "How are you feeling, my lord?" one day the jackal asked the tiger. "Better, I should say, but I'm not fully cured!" "How can you be fully cured. my lord, since the leader of the rabbits, never came or sent any member of his species?" observed the jackal.

The tiger was annoyed with the leader of the rabbits and summoned him again. This time he came. "Why did you not come when summoned earlier?" asked the tiger. "My lord, I had had a strange dream! But I was afraid of reporting it to you," replied the rabbit. "We order you to reveal it!" said the tiger. "The god of the forest told me that the tiger cannot be fully cured as long as he had not eaten up, and eaten up fully, the creature that is closest to him," said the rabbit. The tiger pounced upon the jackal at once and left nothing of it save its bones and the rabbit slipped away carefully.

When Wisdom does not work

Two foxes, one old and the other young went in quest of adventure at night. They left their forest behind and entered a village. Peeping into the compounds and houses of different villagers, they stopped near a fence. "Look what is there on the other side," the old fox told the young one. The young fox thrust his head through the fence and saw a hen-roost. Its door had been left open carelessly. The family to which the fowls belonged was away in another village, attending a function. The foxes began killing and eating the fowls. "Let us finish all," suggested the young fox. "No, no, we can leave some for tomorrow," said the old one. A young crow on the tree that heard their dialogue asked a grown-up crow, "Who between the two is wise?" "Both are unwise, child! Being thieves, both are on the wrong course. How can wisdom be with them? Both shall have deplorable consequences of their actions," said the older crow.

The two foxes argued for some more time, but one could not win the other to his point of view. At last, they divided the fowls equally between them. Each was at liberty to do whatever he wished with his share of fowls. The old fox ate only half of his share. The young fox ate all the fowls that fell into his share. Both left, but the young one, grown extremely heavy with his weight, could not enter his hole. He felt choked and he died. The old fox observed the young fox's condition and congratulated himself for having eaten only half of his share. The two crows marked the death of the young fox. "Wait and see what happens to the other," the older crow told the young crow. The next night the old fox entered the hen-roost again. The owners of the fowls had been back. They were expecting the rogue that had destroyed much of their fowls. As soon as the fox stepped into the hen-roost his legs were caught in a gin. He was struggling to get them free when blows from sticks flattened him. "Did you see?" the older crow asked the young one. The young one understood what the old crow meant.  

How Jojo Learnt His Lessons

Once upon a time in a forest lived a rabbit family with a baby rabbit named Jojo. There were many other rabbit families in the forest and they too had young rabbits. An old rabbit taught the young ones in a school. Jojo was duly admitted there. But he bunked the school and played all day long. He had collected quite a few other naughty rabbit kids to play with him. One day the king of rabbits decided to throw a grand feast for the little rabbits, for he was very happy that they were getting educated. He told the teacher to come to his castle with all the students. The teacher asked his students to inform even those students who had not come to the school. So, some of the little rabbits went to Jojo's house to inform him of the royal invitation. But Jojo was playing away his time somewhere else! The little rabbits wrote a note for him and left it on his bed. In the evening Jojo returned home and saw the note.

But how can one who hardly attended the school read a note? He thought it to be a scrap of paper that had been blown into this room by the wind. He let the wind carry it, throwing it out through his window. The next day Jojo was playing near a stream when he heard joyous shouts and songs. He got curious. He looked out and saw all the little rabbits coming from somewhere brightly dressed and each carrying a gift packet with him or her. "Where did you get such excellent clothes and packets?" Jojo hobbled forward and asked them. "Why Jojo, did you not know about the royal invitation? We were fed with such delicious dishes we cannot describe them, and were given new clothes and other gifts! Of course, we left a note on your bed!" "Hm." The poor Jojo could not say a thing more. He was ashamed of the fact that he had not been able to read the note! The very next day he went to school and played only where there was no class. He learned his lessons quickly. When the king's invitation came again the next year, he was not deprived of his share of the feast and the gifts. 

The Jackal With Hidden Horns

On a hill lived a flying squirrel who had five little children. A little jackal saw them. Little he was in size, but he was as wicked as wicked could be. "Hey squirrel, give me one of your little ones," he ordered the mother squirrel. "How can I do that?" asked the squirrel, quite shocked. "Never mind. I know how to take it." The jackal advanced towards the squirrel's nest. "Stop!" shouted the mother squirrel. "Beware of my horns! They are not visible, true, but the moment I wish they will pop up on my head!" said the jackal. The squirrel got scared. The jackal took hold of one of her kids and went away. The next day he did the same. He did the same the day after too. On the fourth day, the mother squirrel kept weeping right from the dawn.

"What's your sorrow, child?" asked a grand old eagle who had just settled down in a tree. The squirrel told him of the jackal's behavior. "Don't you worry any longer. I'll take charge of the situation," said the eagle. A little later the gleeful jackal was seen slowly advancing towards the squirrel. "Hello jackal, I am just dying to see your hidden horns. Where are they, please?" The jackal looked up and saw the huge eagle flapping his wings. "Um, um..." The jackal came out with no words. "A wonderful jackal like you deserves a high treatment," said the eagle and he swooped down upon the jackal and flew away, holding him in his claws. The jackal howled and screamed, and as the eagle flew higher and higher, he grew too frightened to open his mouth. The eagle flew over the sea and dropped the jackal into the waters unceremoniously. With a splash, the little jackal fell on the blue waters and struggled to remain afloat. "What's the jackal doing here?" asked a seal. "What else," said the jackal, climbing to its back at once. 

"I'm commissioned by the authorities to count the number of seals between this spot and the shore." "That's rather a good thing to hear, for we seals had no idea that the authorities really bothered about us!" said the seal, and he at once whistled. A hundred seals floated up between him and the shore. The jackal began counting, "One, two, three..." And as he did so, he jumped from the back of one seal to the other, and soon he was on the shore, quite safe. "Ha, ha, ha!" he laughed and laughed. "You stupid seals! Why on earth should anybody bother about you except when you serve some purpose? Ha, ha, ha, ha!" He laughed and laughed till the seals understood what he meant to say. "Why do you say we were stupid? Our friend whistled and we floated up. We hardly knew what you were doing! And if you could save yourself by jumping on us, should you not feel grateful to us?" asked the seal nearest to the shore. "Fools, fools!" said the jackal and he stood on his hind legs and clapped his forelegs. The fact is, this escape had overjoyed him. "A creature so wise should rise high!" said the eagle who was observing the situation. The jackal fell silent at once. The eagle swooped down upon him once again and carried him high and threw him down into the sea. No seal took any interest in him anymore.  

Shadows For Sale

From the forest in the East to the forest in the West the road was long. But it was summer and the forest in the East had caught fire. The elephant, the camel, the donkey, and the lamb were heading towards the forest in the West. The sun was overhead. The breeze was terribly hot. Except for the elephant, all were feeling like swooning away. "Hello Eleph, can I walk by your side, in your shadow?" asked the camel. "By all means!" said the elephant. The camel advanced to walk in the elephant's shadow. "It is so refreshing!" he said. "Hello Eleph, will you let me walk by the camy's side?" asked the donkey. "Welcome, Donk, welcome." The donkey went over to the camel's side. After a while, the donkey looked back and whispered to the lamb, "You fool, why don't you come over to my shadow? Of course, I'll not charge you more than a coin." Although the donkey had said this in a low voice, the camel could hear it, nevertheless. He looked askance at the donkey. The donkey did not seem to be sorry. "Shut up, Donk! You ought to remember that you are walking in my shadow!" claimed the camel. I should expect four coins from you since you're going into business." "You fools. Aren't you all walking in my shadow? Who allowed you to trade in my shadow without first telling me how much you propose to pay me?" asked the elephant and he broke away from them and crossed over to the other side of the road.

"And why should I spend my shadow on you?" the camel asked the donkey and he moved away. "Neither am I going to give my shadow to you," the donkey informed the lamb. "Even if you oblige me with your shadow, Donk, I can't pay you, simply because I don't have any money with me. And, may I remind you, none of you have any money either!" said the lamb. There was silence. A minute passed. The elephant came back to the side of the road he had left and, looking at the camel said, "You may enjoy my shadow!" "Come to my shadow!" the camel told the donkey. "You can have the cool of my shadow," the donkey told the lamb. "Thanks a lot. But I don't need any. To be frank, none of you have any shadow any longer!" said the lamb. All became conscious of the fact that a big cloud had hidden the sun. "How wonderful it is that the cloud demands no fee!" the lamb was heard mumbling. The other animals walked with their heads hung.

Never Trust The Monkeys!

In a certain forest lived a troupe of monkeys quite friendly to men. In the tribe of forest dwellers, there was a poor man who earned his living by selling crabs. Every day he went to a rivulet and set his trap in the stream. One day, try as he can he could not catch any crab. He was sure that he would starve. As it is, he had no food in the morning. He bemoaned his fate seated under a tree. Soon sleep overtook him. He sprawled on the grass. The monkeys were observing him. They came closer to him and removed the cover of his sack and peeped into it. It was empty. They felt deep sympathy for the poor man. They knew where in the stream the crabs had gathered. They carried the sack there and filled it with crabs and brought it back to the man. But he was in such a deep slumber that the activities of the monkeys did not disturb him at all. The sun was about to set. The monkeys thought that it would be dangerous for the man to lie there even after it was dark. Four of them held him by his legs and hands and lifted him. A shorter monkey walked under him supporting his head. Others accompanied them. They carried him across the bridge on the river and left him before his hut. They placed his sack near him.

The poor man opened his eyes just in time to see the monkeys departing. He found his sack full of crabs. Tears came to his eyes thinking of the kindness of the monkeys. He spoke of his experience to whomsoever he met. Among those who heard his story was a wealthy man. "It will be nice to make the foolish monkeys work for me," he thought. The next day he went into the forest and pretended to lie asleep with an empty sack near him. "Here is another chap unable to catch any crab and too tired to remain awake," thought the monkeys. They filled his sack with crabs and, when it was evening, carried him towards his home. The wealthy idler enjoyed it very much, keeping his eyes shut all the while. But when the monkeys began crossing the bridge, he felt nervous and shouted, "Be careful lest you slip!" This sudden outburst panicked the monkeys. They dropped him and scampered back to the forest. The man fell in the stream. He narrowly escaped death when some fishermen rescued him. "Never trust the monkeys!" he said, forgetting that he was not trustworthy himself!

When the Crocodile Could Roar

There was a time when animals were different from what they are today. Take for example the case of the crocodile. And when we remember the crocodile, we cannot but remember the rabbit. You may ask, what was common between the crocodile and the rabbit? Nothing much, except that both had long tails. Tails? Yes. The crocodile retains its tail to this day although you cannot exactly mark the point where its body ends and the tail begins. Not that the rabbit does not have a tail, but it is rather the rump of a tail than a real tail. What is more important than the tail is, the crocodile could roar. It had a tongue as long as a whip. Well, how it lost it is closely linked with how the rabbit lost the greater part of its tail. It happened like this:

One day the rabbit was nibbling at tender grass on the river bank. The crocodile, who did not lack in food, wanted to have a taste of the rabbit for a change. There were many small rocks rising their heads over the water all along the bank. The crocodile went closer to them and hardly looked different from the rocks. It kept its mouth wide open. Its lower jaw remained hidden under the water, while the upper jaw looked like an innocent slab of stone projected over the water. After a while, the rabbit felt thirsty. It walked straight into the crocodile's jaws! The crocodile closed its mouth. The rabbit suddenly found itself in a dark cell. But the little creature did not lose its wit. It squeaked, "I did not know that the crocodile was dumb! I pity the poor beast!" "Dumb?" asked the crocodile, ready to give out a terrific roar. It had just opened its mouth when the rabbit jumped out. But it jumped out while the crocodile's tongue was entangled in its toenails. The crocodile snapped its jaws at great haste, in order to stop the rabbit from escaping. It was too late. Its sharp teeth cut its own tongue, along with the rabbit's tail. The rabbit ran away. It lamented the loss of its tail but was happy that the rest of itself was intact. "Not a bad bargain, eh? Your tongue for my tail?" it said happily, looking at the crocodile. The crocodile made no reply. In fact, it could not speak anymore, now that its tongue was gone.

The Most Fearful Fox On Earth

It was raining in the forest. A little fox, quite tired, entered a cave for a while's rest. Little did he know that the cave was the residence of a tiger. Before long the fox heard the roar of the big beast. The tiger was just giving vent to his disgust at the weather. The fox felt the panic of his life. But only for a moment. He knew that there was no way to escape. He must exercise his wit as best as he can to get out of the predicament. He was not very hopeful. But he must try, he decided. The tiger entered the cave and shook himself, throwing water away from his long hair. Suddenly he heard a strange voice that came from a dark nook of the cave. "How are you, Mr. Tiger? I've been waiting for you for quite some time!" Surprised, the tiger located the fox. He had never known an animal, least of all a fox, who would speak to him with such fearlessness.

"Who are you, little one? And why were you waiting for me? For me to eat you, I suppose? Well, hungry I am already. I should justify your waiting for me in a few minutes!" said the tiger bravely. "You have a sense of humor, I must admit," said the fox, "unless of course, you are unaware of the announcement made by the King of Gods," observed the fox. "What announcement?" "That I was coming to inspect the forest! I am the forest God's Inspector General of course! The pity is, all the animals, the moment they would see me, would flee! Nobody would speak to me! I thought I can at least talk to you, for a tiger is not likely to be frightened even at the sight of the God's emissary!" "To be honest, I never heard that announcement. But do you mean to say that the animals flee at your sight?" asked a terribly surprised tiger! "Yes, my friend. If you don't believe me, just follow me and see!" The rain had stopped. The tiger grew very curious to check if what the fox said was true.

He followed the fox. First, it was a deer whose eyes fell on the fox followed by the tiger. It fled for its life. The fox looked over its shoulder at the tiger quite meaningfully. Next, it was a boar. The moment it saw them it took its heels, needless to say, because of the tiger. "Did you see? They are so stupid! They won't even let me talk to them." Just then a hyena saw the tiger and fled too! The tiger was convinced of what the fox said. Hiding his anxiety, he said, "Sir, I was probably fast asleep when the heavenly announcement was made. Now, kindly tell the forest God that all is well in this forest. Thanks." The tiger turned his back towards the fox and left for his cave hastily. "Who knows what was the whole text of the announcement? If all the animals are just afraid of the fox, there must be some reason which I am yet to know! I better keep away from this most fearful fox on the earth!" he told himself. 

Why Does A Hyena Limp

Each animal in the forest would like to mind his own business, but not the hyena. He would like to mind everybody else's business! In other words, he was curious about everything. As if that was not enough, he would advise the creatures freely and abundantly whether one cared for his counsel or not. For example, he would tell the camel, "Why don't you give up that hump on your back?" To a bear, he would say, "Have a haircut, dear! Are you not ashamed of so much of those useless things all over your body?" Now, one day, when he happened to meet a rabbit speeding away, he asked, "What makes you run as if you have seen something strange?" "I have seen something strange," confirmed the rabbit. "I saw a tiny creature that has legs, but no toes on them nor any nails or claws. Its feet are like the branches of a tree. What is more, it can look brown now and green the next moment and dusky a little later!" "Ha, ha!" the hyena began to laugh. "And it can see what is in front of it with one eye and what is behind it with another eye!" concluded the rabbit. "Ha, ha, ha!" By then the hyena's laughter had become uncontrollable. "Why don't you get your little head examined, dear rabbit? You have just begun to see impossible things!"

The rabbit tried to convince the hyena of the truth of his statement, but the hyena had fallen into one of his laughing feats and he would not pay any attention to the rabbit's explanation. "Why does the rabbit not get his head examined?" the hyena went on asking every animal he met, laughing all the while. What the rabbit had discovered was a chameleon. Poor rabbit! It did not know the creature's name. When the hyena repeated his question to all and sundry about the rabbit's head, the rabbit grew serious. "I must do something to stop the hyena from making me the butt end of his ridicule!" he decided. When they met next, the hyena asked jocularly, "Hellow rabbit, what news? Any new discovery?" "Yes, indeed," said the rabbit. "I just learned a new game which they play in the neighboring forest. They compete with one another in walking backward!" "What is so great about walking backward? I can do that easily!" said the hyena and he began walking backward. Plop! He fell into a ditch. It was only with great difficulty that he came out of it. But he had been badly hurt in his hind legs. He began limping. "Why is the hyena limping?" the rabbit went on asking every animal he saw. That was a great embarrassment to the proud hyena. For a long time, he avoided meeting any animal. By and by, of course, all got accustomed to the limping hyena!

Why Does A Woodpecker Go On Pecking

Once upon a time, long long ago, there was an old woman in a certain village. She had enough at home to let her lead a comfortable life. Besides, she was lazy. So she did no work. But that does not mean that she did nothing! She spent all her time gossiping and criticizing people and spreading scandals. She was curious about everybody's affairs. Nobody dared to stop her or take her to the task. That was because she was sure to invent stories about anybody who criticized her. One day, as she was passing by a forest, she saw a young lady. "Granny," said the young lady. "Will you please hold my bag for a moment? I shall drink from the spring and take it back from you. For your help, I will reward you."

"I will hold it," said the old woman, all smiles. "But, Granny, you must not open it. If you do, I will lose its content and you will lose your form," warned the young lady. "Why should I do anything like that?" said the old woman. The young lady went over to the spring to satiate her thirst. But as soon as she turned her back, the old woman, out of idle curiosity, opened the bag. Immediately a hundred tiny creatures like lizards, scorpions, vipers, flies, cockroaches, and dragonflies jumped out of it. In the twinkle of an eye, they disappeared into the forest. The young lady, who was none other than the forest goddess, told the woman, "You fool, can't you be true to your word even for a moment? Now, you must recover all that is lost from the bag. For that, you have to change your form." Instantly the old woman's human form was gone. She became a woodpecker. She began pecking at the trees in the forest. Till today you can see the woodpecker searching for those little creatures which escaped from the bag!

Why Is A Dog's Muzzle Always Cold

Once upon a time, there lived a farmer in a small village. He had three children a girl and two boys. The children had a dog for their pet, but their father did not know about it. When he came to know of it after some weeks, he was not at all happy. But, he had to put up with it because his wife too loved the dog and she took great care of it. A few months later, a terrible plague struck the village. It claimed the lives of many villagers. Some of them who survived the plague decided to leave that village and settle down elsewhere. The farmer too decided to leave the village with his family which of course included the dog. The people were required to travel by boat for a couple of days. Seeing the dog on the boat, the villagers protested, saying, "When there is no place for human beings, how can you think of bringing an animal along? Leave it behind."

But, the farmer's wife said, "Unless the dog goes with me I am not leaving this village." The farmer was in a fix. However, with sweet words, he managed to pacify the villagers and took the dog along. As night approached, the villagers made room for themselves to sleep. But the dog remained awake and alert. It went around the boat and never ceased to be vigilant. Suddenly it saw a small hole at the bottom of the boat through which water was seeping into the boat. It thought, "If I leave the hole as it is, it will result in the boat sinking. These poor people are tired and they are fast asleep. Let me try to save the people and the boat." It sat close to the hole and thrust its muzzle into it thereby stopping the water from entering the boat. Now and then it took out its muzzle, took a long breath, and again pushed it into the hole. It carried on like this throughout the night. On waking up in the morning, the villagers saw what the dog was trying to do and they were amazed by its service. The farmer too was astonished to see his dog's loyalty. One and all, they praised the dog and fondled it for having saved their lives. The villagers reached safely the other shore and settled down in a beautiful green valley. But they never forgot the timely action by the dog. The dog saved the villagers with its heroic act, but since then it suffered a bad cold. And still today a dog's muzzle is so cold! 

The Young Man And The Jackal

A young man had come to own a small farmhouse. He bought it from a peasant who kept a sheep and a few fowls there. They too became the young man's property. The young man was quite proud. That did not matter. The pity is, he thought himself very clever. One morning he saw the feathers and bones of two of his fowls lying scattered outside the rooster. He was agitated. No living creature but the sheep had lived inside the small compound at night, who but he could have eaten up his two fowls? He summoned the sheep. "Why did you kill my fowls?" he demanded. "Why should I master?" asked the sheep in return. "You know why? To eat them!" "But, master, am I not a vegetarian?" asked the sheep, unable to suppress his surprise at the young man's ignorance. "Shut up! How dare you give retorts to your master." It was not the young man who said this, but a jackal who was listening to the dialogue hiding behind a bush and who had just come out. When the young man looked at it, the jackal saluted him smartly and then took the sheep to task again, saying, "I don't mind your eating the fowls, but how do you answer back your master? What about courtesy, subordination, and all that?" 

"But, dear jackal, is it not you who..." "Shut up!" howled the jackal, not allowing the sheep to accuse him of having devoured the fowls, "Had I been the master, I'd have already ordered my servants to kill you!" The young man, feeling rather embarrassed at the fact that he had no servants, said, "Well, I'm only waiting for my servants to report to duty so that I can get this creature duly killed. He certainly does not deserve to live." "Right, master, right. But why wait for servants? Am I not there to do it for you? Help me a little and I can kill the wicked thing." The young man felt relieved. It would have meant more embarrassment if the jackal decided to wait to see his servants. "Just beat it with a stick and I'll do the rest," said the jackal again. The young man beat the sheep. It fell down. The jackal easily killed it. "I can also carry it out of your farm without waiting for your servants," said the jackal. He happily dragged away the sheep to his shelter which was not far, for a leisurely feast.  

The Young Lion And His Companion

Long long ago in a forest lived a lion couple. Days passed happily for them as the forest had in it varieties of animals fit for their food. The couple had a lovely cub. It grew up into a strong young lion. His wise father told him, "My son, you are noble and brave. These are great virtues. But always be on your guard, never fall into bad company." One day the young lion was returning to their den when he saw a jackal lying injured on the road. The jackal trembled with fear when it saw the young lion approaching it. Although it knew that it was no food worthy of a lion, yet the lion trampling it for fun could not be ruled out! It grinned broadly and saluted the young lion and said, "O hero, how wonderful you look!" The young lion was pleased. "Why are you lying here?" he asked. "I am injured, my noble friend, I cannot move about," replied the jackal truthfully. The kind-hearted lion carried it on his back to his den and nursed it. "There is nothing wrong in helping a creature. But let it go away as soon as it is cured, for a jackal, by nature, is mischievous," the lion's father warned him. Now, for the jackal, there could not be any scope for greater comfort than in the lion's den. It kept the young lion pleased with its sweet words and continued to move about seated on its back, even after it had been cured. He always got a share of the kill the lion brought home. 

One day it told the young lion, "My friend, we have eaten all kinds of flesh, but never a horse's I know that it is a delicacy." "Is that so? But where to find a horse?" asked the lion. "I know where. They come to graze to the bank of the river beyond the forest," informed the jackal. The lion carried the jackal on his back and it showed him the way. The lion was excited at the chance to bag a new kind of animal. They found a stud of horses soon. The lion crouched behind a bush and then took a leap and dragged one of the horses into the forest. Then he killed it to the great joy of the jackal and carried it to his den. He expected his parents to praise him. But his father looked pensive and said, "My son, since there are no horses in the forest, the stud must belong to the king. It is not wise to have a king for an enemy. Never go to bag a horse again." But the jackal had an immense liking for the horse meat. It told the young lion the next day, "Did you not like the adventure? Let's do it again!" "But my father does not approve of it," said the young lion. "It is a pity that he does not appreciate the adventure. Any way we can do it without his knowledge." The young lion was inspired. He carried the jackal on his back again to the river bank. Because of the loss of a horse, the king's servants had kept the stud a little away from the forest. The lion and the jackal waited for dusk to set in. Then the lion went forward stealthily and jumped onto a horse and dragged it away. This time he did not report of his kill to his parents. He threw the horse in a deserted cave and let his friend, the jackal, eat the best part of it.

The lion himself had no special fancy for horse meat. They were out for their adventure again the next day. The king's servants had erected an enclosure in the grassy field for the protection of the horses. Even then, encouraged by the jackal, the lion stormed in through the fence and returned with a horse. "Bravo!" exclaimed the jackal and they feasted on the horse again in the deserted cave. The king, reported of the repeated attack on his stud by a lion, asked his chief archer to do the needful. The archer found a tree in the field and asked the servants to leave the horses near it. At the fall of dusk, the lion pounced on a horse. The archer who had perched himself on a branch of the tree instantly shot a deadly arrow at the lion. It pierced him through one ear and went out by the other. The startled lion threw the horse down and looked for his friend who was waiting near a mound. But the jackal, on seeing blood gushing out of the lion's head, understood the situation. "This lion will no longer do my bid, even if it survives the injury. No use remaining in its company," thought the jackal and it ran away. The young lion managed to reach his den and fell before his parents and breathed its last. "My son, you were brave, but your bravery was misplaced. You were noble, but you let your nobleness be exploited by a wicked creature," said his father shedding tears.   

No Formality!

Long long ago, on the bank of a certain river, there was a forest. A fox named Max lived in that forest. One day he found his wife looking a bit pensive, "What is the matter with you? Do you lack anything?" asked Max. "Speak out your desire and I will fulfill it." "No doubt I have a certain desire. But you cannot fulfill it. To eat fresh fish is my desire. It will be unjust of me to ask you to get a fish, for you are after all a creature of the land!" said the vixen. Max, the fox, went out and ambled along the river bank. He knew that catching a fish was impossible for him. The only hope was in locating some fishermen catching fish. Even then it would be difficult and risky to steal from them. Suddenly he saw two otters dragging a big fish out of the river. He waited behind a bush and observed them. 

The otters had struggled a lot with the current in the river and the stout fish. They were gasping for breath. "You divide it," said one otter to the other. "Why should I? Why don't you do it?" said the other. "You might find fault with me if I do it," said the first one. "You are lazy," said the second one. Each kept arguing about the justification of the other dividing the fish. A long time passed. Max slowly came out of the bush and walked past as if he had not taken notice of the otters and their fish. When he was quite near them, he mumbled to himself, "A nice fish. The otters should be able to enjoy its meat provided they knew the art of dividing it properly."  "Hello, sir," called out both the otters. "Will you please divide the fish for us?" Max stopped. "I'm in a great hurry, but that doesn't mean that I should not oblige friends. Come on, let me see the fish." Max had a good look at the fish. "Do you see that the fish has only one head and only one tail?" asked Max.

"Yes, that we can see, sir." said the otters, quite impressed at the fox's keen observation. "This means, if one of you will have the head, the other one must go satisfied with the tail. Both of you cannot have both, right?" "Right, sir." "Good. Now here is the head," said Max separating the head of the fish with a bite. "Now, here is the tail," he said again, separating the tail of the fish in the same manner. "You have now got the head and the tail, Right?" he asked. "Right, sir." "Good, As I told you, I am in a great hurry. I cannot wait for you to thank me. No formality among us. Well?" said Max, and holding in his mouth the whole fish except the small bits of its head and tail, ran away. The otters looked on vacantly. Then, with sighs, they said, "How foolish it was of us to ask a third fellow to do what we could have easily done ourselves!" Back at home, the fox laid down the fish before his wife. "But how could you catch the fish so soon?" asked the vixen. The fox only smiled.   

The Last Goat On The Hill

Once upon a time, in a forest near the city lived a crafty jackal and his wife. Not far from the jackal's abode was a row of caves. A small tribe of wild goats lived in them. The jackal observed the way the goats went for grazing. He dug a few deep pits on their way. Every night he covered those holes with green grass. When the goats would go out for grazing, now and then one of them would fall into those pits. The jackal would then easily kill it and draw out and share it with his wife. Over a year he finished the entire tribe save one, a nanny goat. She lived in a cave that was situated rather high on the hill. She had enough grass and leaves around her for her food. She did not care to come down to the grassy meadow at the foot of the hill. "I'll sprawl like the dead. Go to the nanny goat and weep before her and tell her that you need her help for burying me. Being a female, she will sympathize with you and come closer to me taking me for dead. At once I'll spring upon her. You'll do the same from the other side, and we will feast for two days!" the jackal briefed his wife.

The she-jackal climbed the hill. The nanny goat gave her a stern look. Breaking into sobs and tears, the she-jackal said how her husband had suddenly expired and she had nobody to help her bury the dead. The nanny goat was moved. She followed her to the jackal couple's shelter. But as she neared it, she had her misgivings. She slowed down and let the she-jackal go before her. The jackal at once opened his eyes and just stopped short of attacking the she-jackal. The nanny goat at once turned back and ran away to her cave. An hour later she saw the she-jackal climbing the hill again. From the top of a rock in front of her cave, the nanny goat asked, "What brings you here again?" All smiles, the she-jackal answered, "My sister, who could have imagined you to be such a bringer of good luck? Didn't my husband spring back to life merely because you went closer to him? We are greatly indebted to you. The least we can do is to entertain you to a banquet. Will tonight suit you?"

The nanny goat pretended to smile. "Thanks a lot. Tonight should be fine so far as I'm concerned, but I don't know about the members of my party. Would you mind coming here by sunset? In the meanwhile, I'll consult them. I never go to any feast without them." "Who are the members of your party, please?" asked the surprised she-jackal. "Well, there are quite a few. But I'm sure you'll gladly entertain them, generous as you are. They are the lion, and the tiger, my protectors, and a dozen hounds, my bodyguards. The lion and the tiger will be accompanied by a pair of leopards and panthers respectively, their assistants. You know, they like to respond to invitations in the right form and style!" answered the nanny goat. "And for your information, they are all non-vegetarians, I alone am a vegetarian," she added. The she-jackal's face paled. "I'll come by the sunset," she said and she went away. And she did come by the sunset, to say, "I'm sorry, dear nanny goat, but we better wait for a more opportune time to receive you and your party." "Fine!" said the nanny goat. "In fact my friend the lion has another appointment to keep tonight." The she-jackal never came back to repeat the invitation.

The Big And The Bigger

A still grey pool was the colony of little fish. They were either white or black in color and none of them was bigger than the size of our little finger. In the same pool lived a multicolored fish bigger than the rest. He was proud of his size and the many colors that embellished his skin. So, he kept himself aloof from the rest. Whenever the little fish crossed his path he sneered at them, "You ugly little creatures! How dare you cross my path? If I happen to see you again, I will throw you out of the pool." The proud big fish never allowed the little ones to wander freely. At the sight of him, the little ones swam helter-skelter. One day a very old fish approached the big one and said, "How handsome you are! A fish of your size and beauty deserves to live in a big river. This gutter-like pool is hardly the place for a prince like you. If you can go off to the big river you can mix with others of your own size and status. And think of the luxurious life in the river!" The big fish pondered over the matter. The very thought of living in a big river made his heart gallop in joy. "Yes," he said to himself. "That is an idea worth following. I can get rid of this stinking pool and once for all bid goodbye to these stupid fish who know not my worth. The big river is the right place for me to lead a happy and respectable life." 

He was determined to desert the small pool and told every little creature about his plan. The little fish were all very happy at the news. They sang, danced, and leaped in joy. A few days later there was heavy rain and the big river overflowed its banks. The floodwater covered the little pool. Happy at heart, the big fish bade goodbye to the little fish. He rose to the top of the water and allowed himself to be swept downstream to the river. The moment he reached the mouth of the river, he saw five big fish hunting down worms. The stranger liked to participate in their game and swam nearer. "You ugly little fool! Do you think you are our equal? You want to share our hunting joy, eh? Get out. Run for your life. If we see you again in our hunting area we will tear you to shreds," warned a hunter fish. The scared stranger swam away from their sight farther into the big river. Before he could swim a yard or two he was attacked by a tiger fish. To escape from his hands the stranger penetrated his way into a nearby hole where a giggling crab clasped him by his tongs-like hands. The stranger struggled for his life and at last, managed to escape wounded thought. The moment he came out of the crab's burrow he was chased by an eel. The fish took him for a snake and swam with all his strength and hid beneath a large clump of weeds. "My God! This river is no heaven! It is much better to be 'somebody' in a little pool than to be harassed like this in a big river," the proud fish realized at last. With much difficulty, he swam his way back to the pool. But he had become a changed fish. He freely mixed with the little creatures of the pool and was kind and courteous to all.

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

In the middle of a dense forest, there was a lake. A tortoise lived in the clear and cool waters of the lake. A jackal lived in a cave nearby. The tortoise and the jackal were friends and got on famously together. They would often sit by the shade of the bamboo trees that grew beside the lake and talk of everything under the sun. One day, as they were catching up on news, a leopard came up to drink water. He saw the jackal and the tortoise, at the same time as they caught sight of him. The jackal fled in panic. The poor tortoise was too slow to run away or hide. He pulled his head into his hard shell and stayed absolutely still. The leopard with a swift swipe of his paw caught hold of him. Then holding the tortoise between his paws he tried to eat him. But hard as he tried, he could not break the tortoise's shell. The jackal was watching the leopard's struggle from a distance. He slowly went up to the leopard and addressed him respectfully. "Dear sir," he said, looking very innocent, "the best way to deal with a tortoise shell is to throw it into the water. The shell will soak and get soft, and then you can peel off easily. This is how we have traditionally done it in our family. Try it and see." The foolish leopard thought it made sense. "What a good idea!" he said and did just that. The tortoise sang out, "Thank you, friend jackal! I was born and bred in the lake, Mr. Leopard, born and bred." And he swam away quickly. Several birds on the trees around the lake, who witnessed the leopard's humiliation, laughed and tittered so loudly that the leopard scampered away, never to be seen again. The jackal and the tortoise continued to be friends. 

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