The Talking Beasts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 215 pages of information about The Talking Beasts.

This being put in execution accordingly, the chief Elephant asked him who he was, and whence he came.  “I am,” he replied, “an ambassador sent here by the god Chandra.”  “Declare the purport of thy commission,” said the Elephant.  “Sir,” replied the Rabbit, “as ambassadors, even when the weapons of war are lifted up, speak not otherwise than for the benefit of their State; and although they speak boldly according as it is their advantage, they are not to be put to death; then I will declare what are the commands of the god Chandra.  He bade me say, that in driving away and destroying the Rabbits who are appointed to guard the fountain which is consecrated to that duty, you have done ill; ‘for,’ said he, ’they are my guards and it is notorious that the figure of a Rabbit is my emblem.’”

The head Elephant, upon hearing this became greatly alarmed, declared that they had offended through ignorance, and would never go to the fountain again.

“If this be your resolution,” said the ambassador, “go this once, and make your submission before the diety himself, whom you will see in the fountain, quite agitated with anger; and when you have pacified him, you may depart.”

Accordingly, as soon as it was night, the ambassador Vijaya having conducted the chief of the Elephants to the fountain, there showed him the image of the moon, trembling, as it were, upon the smooth surface of the water and when he had made him bow down to it, in token of submission, he said:  “Please your divinity!  What hath been done having been done through ignorance, I pray thee pardon them!” and upon saying this, he caused the Elephant to depart.  I repeat, therefore, “Great things may be effected by wise counsel, when a sovereign enemy may be too powerful.”

The Blue Jackal

The fool who forsaketh his own party, and delighteth to dwell with the opposite side may be killed by them; as was the case with the Blue Jackal.

A certain Jackal, as he was roaming about the borders of a town, just as his inclinations led him, fell into a dyer’s vat;[1] but being unable to get out in the morning he feigned himself dead.  At length, the master of the vat, which was filled with indigo, came, and seeing a Jackal lying with his legs uppermost, his eyes closed, and his teeth bare, concluded that he was dead, and so, taking him out, he carried him a good way from the town, and there left him.  The sly animal instantly got up, and ran into the woods; when, observing that his coat was turned blue, he meditated in this manner:  “I am now of the finest colour! what great exaltation may I not bring about for myself?” Saying this, he called a number of Jackals together, and addressed them in the following words:  “Know that I have lately been sprinkled king of the forests, by the hands of the goddess herself who presides over these woods, with a water drawn from a variety of choice herbs.  Observe my colour, and henceforward let every business be transacted according to my orders.”

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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