| Indian Fables|
|by P. V. Ramaswami Raju|
|An appealing collection of more than a hundred Indian fables that are delightful as well as short, pithy, and ingenious. Each fable has its separate moral in prose or rhyme; these are often epigrams of the shrewdest kind, full of wit and subtlety. Most of these fables are likely to be new to the majority of readers. In the characters of animals the same rules are observed as in Western fables. As the symbol of strength, the lion (or, in one or two instances, the tiger) is king, the fox is the symbol of cunning, the bear of inert power, the wolf of ferocity, the owl of assumed wisdom, and so forth. Ages 7-10 |
THE ELEPHANT AND THE APE
AN elephant named Grand Tusk and an
ape named Nimble were friends.
Grand Tusk observed, "Behold, how
big and powerful I am!"
Nimble cried in reply, "Behold, how
agile and entertaining I am!"
Each was eager to know which was
 really superior to the other, and which
quality was the most esteemed by the
So they went to Dark Sage, an owl that
lived in an old tower, to have their claims
discussed and settled.
Dark Sage said, "You must do as I
bid, that I may form an opinion."
"Agreed!" cried both.
"Then," said Dark Sage, "cross yonder
river, and bring me the mangoes on the
great tree beyond."
Off went Grand Tusk and Nimble, but
when they came to the stream, which was
flowing full, Nimble held back; but Grand
Tusk took him up on his back, and swam
across in a very short time. Then they
came to the mango-tree, but it was very
lofty and thick. Grand Tusk could
neither touch the fruit with his trunk, nor
could he break the tree down to gather
the fruit. Up sprang Nimble, and in a
trice let drop a whole basketful of rich
ripe mangoes. Grand Tusk gathered the
 fruit up into his capacious mouth, and the
two friends crossed the stream as before.
"Now," said Dark Sage, "which of you
is the better? Grand Tusk crossed the
stream, and Nimble gathered the fruit.
Each thing in its place is best."
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics