Moral Story The Tiger, The Monkey And The Snake

 The Tiger, The Monkey And The Snake 

Once, long ago, in India there lived a merchant. He was a very kind and good man but he was very poor. One day, as he wandered through the forest, he came to the mouth of a well, so overgrown with weeds that it was quite difficult to see. The merchant was thirsty and he decided to clear the opening to the well, to see if there was water inside it. As he peered down, to his astonishment, he saw the figures of a tiger, a monkey, a snake and a man, far below him. The tiger called out at once and asked to be pulled up, but the merchant felt frightened of such a fierce animal. "I promise that no harm shall come to you for saving me," called the tiger, and the merchant, who could not bear to see any creature in distress, pulled the tiger out.

The tiger thanked the merchant gratefully. "In those mountains over there is my cave, he said. "If you ever come that way, come and see me so that I can repay you." As the tiger ran away, the cries of the monkey reached the merchant. Quickly the merchant let down a rope and pulled the monkey out. "My home is near the waterfall, not far from the tiger's cave. Please pay me a visit for I should like to repay your kindness, he said as he bounded away. Now the snake was pleading to be pulled out, but the merchant said, " I can see that you are a large snake and have a flat head. That means you are poisonous and how do I know that you will not poison me?" "I promise on my oath that I will never harm you," replied the snake, so the merchant pulled the large snake out of the well.


"If you are ever in trouble, call for me and I will come to your aid at once," said the snake. Meanwhile, the man was shouting up from the bottom of the well, asking the merchant why he had pulled out all the other creatures but left him down there. The merchant quickly ran to pull the man out of the well and he said, "I am Somnath the Goldsmith and I live in Bangalore. If ever you have any gold to sell just bring it to me." Some time later, the merchant found that his small store of food had been eaten up and he had no money to buy any more so he decided to set out and visit the monkey. The merchant climbed the steep mountain until, at last, he came to the waterfall. There he found the monkey, who gave him as much sweet, juicy fruit and as many ripe nuts as he could carry. The hungry merchant was very grateful. 

"Before I leave I would like to visit the tiger, to see if he remembers me," he said. "Will you show me the way to the tiger's home?" The monkey led the way to the cave in which the tiger lived and the tiger was delighted. "I have a small present to give you in return for your kindness to me," said the tiger and he handed the merchant some beautiful gold ornaments, set with bright jewels. The merchant was afraid to take them, for he thought they had been stolen and when he saw this, the tiger said, "Take them, do not be afraid. A young prince came to this forest to hunt me. It was a duel between the prince and me. I managed to avoid his arrow and I won, for I was able to pounce on him before he could draw another. I took these ornaments from him. You see, I won them in fair fight." The merchant thanked the tiger and, remembering the goldsmith whom he had pulled out of the well, he took the jewels straight to him. Somnath, the goldsmith, recognized them at once as belonging to the young prince who had disappeared while out hunting. " Wait here," he said to the merchant, "While I go and show them to someone who will be interested." With that, Somnath hurried to the palace and showed the jewels to the king, hoping to receive a reward. "They were given to me by a merchant who is at this moment in my house," said the goldsmith. "He must have killed and robbed the prince." The king sent guards to seize the merchant and he was thrown into prison to be executed the next day.

As he lay in prison, bound hand and foot, the merchant remembered the snake's promise and called to it to come and help him. The snake slithered into the prison. "It would be useless for me to break your bonds, for you could still not escape," said the snake. "However, I have a plan. I will bite the princess, who is dearer to the king than all his possessions. Nothing will then be able to cure her but the touch of your hand." Next day, there was a great weeping in the king's court, for the princess had been bitten by a snake and all the doctors said she was dying. Then word was brought to the king that the merchant, who was due to be executed, had claimed to be able to cure the princess. He was brought before the king at once and at one touch of his hand, the princess was cured. 

The king was delighted and when he heard the merchant's story he begged his forgiveness for having condemned him unheard. The ungrateful goldsmith, who had done the merchant such bad service, was arrested and imprisoned, but the merchant was given the princess's hand in marriage." As a wedding present, the couple received a thousand villages for their own and the merchant was given the title of viceroy. To the end of their days, they lived happily in the palace.  

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