The Talking Beasts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about The Talking Beasts.

The Tune That Makes the Tiger Drowsy

There is a tune which when played upon the “Kerotong” (a two-stringed bamboo harp) makes Rimau the Tiger drowsy, but only a few old people know it.  One evening two men were sitting together and playing in a hut in the jungle when two tigers overheard them.

The Tigers took counsel together, and one of them said to the other, “You shall be the first to go into the house.  Whatever you seize shall therefore be your portion, but Whatever plunges down the steps to escape shall be mine.”

At this the second Tiger ascended the house-ladder and was just crouching upon the topmost rung when one of the men to amuse himself commenced to play the Tune that makes the Tiger drowsy.  As soon as the Tiger heard it he began to grow sleepy, and presently fell plump down the steps to the ground, where he was seized by his companion.  When he objected his companion exclaimed, “Did we not agree that Whatever plunged down the steps was to be my portion?” and, so saying, he proceeded to devour him at his leisure.

The Tiger and the Shadow

There was a “salt-lick” in the jungle to which all the beasts of the forest resorted, but they were greatly afraid by reason of an old Tiger which killed one of them every day.  At length, therefore, P’lando’ the Mouse-deer said to the Tiger, “Why not permit me to bring you a beast every day, to save you from hunting for your food?” The Tiger consented and P’lando’ went off to make arrangement with the beasts.  But he could not persuade any of them to go, and after three days he set off, taking nobody with him but Kuwis the smallest of the Flying Squirrels.

On their arrival P’lando’ said to the Tiger:  “I could not bring you any of the other beasts because the way was blocked by a fat old Tiger with a Flying Squirrel sitting astride its muzzle.”  On hearing this the Tiger exclaimed, “Let us go and find it and drive it away.”  The three therefore set out, the Flying Squirrel perched upon the Tiger’s muzzle and the Mouse-deer sitting astride upon its hind quarters.  On reaching the river, the Mouse-deer pointed to the Tiger’s likeness in the water and exclaimed, “Look there!  That is the fat old Tiger that I saw.”  On hearing this, the Tiger sprang into the river to attack his own shadow, and was drowned immediately.

The King-crow and the Water-snail

A Water-snail was coming up-stream from the lower reaches, when a King-crow heard it.  Said the King-crow to himself:  “Who can it be coming up-stream that exclaims so loudly at the rapids?  One might say it was a man, but that there is nothing to be seen.”  So the King-crow settled on a tree to watch, but as he could see nothing from his perch on the tree he flew down to the ground, and walked along by the water-side.  And when he thought to see some man exclaiming, he caught sight of the Water-snail.

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The Talking Beasts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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