| 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 FOX AND THE CRABS
 ONE day a fox seated himself on a stone
by a stream and wept aloud. The crabs
in the holes around came up to him and
said, "Friend, why are you wailing so
"Alas!" said the fox, "I have been
turned by my kindred out of the wood,
and do not know what to do."
"Why were you turned out?" said the
crabs, in a tone of pity.
"Because," said the fox, sobbing, "they
said they should go out to-night hunting
crabs by the stream, and I said it would be
a pity to kill such pretty little creatures."
"Where will you go hereafter?" said
"Where I can get work," said the fox;
"for I would not go to my kindred again,
come what would."
Then the crabs held a meeting, and
came to the conclusion that, as the fox
had been thrown out by his kindred on
 their account, they could do nothing better
than engage his services to defend them.
So they told the fox of their intention.
He readily consented, and spent the whole
day in amusing the crabs with all kinds of
THE FOX AND THE CRABS
Night came.The moon rose in full
splendour. The fox said, "Have you ever
been out for a walk in the moonlight?"
"Never, friend," said the crabs; "we
are such little creatures that we are afraid
of going far from our holes."
"Oh, never mind!" said the fox; "follow
me! I can defend you against any foe."
So the crabs followed him with pleasure.
On the way the fox told them all sorts of
pleasant things, and cheered them on most
heartily. Having thus gone some distance,
they reached a plain, where the fox came
to a stand, and made a low moan in the
direction of an adjacent wood. Instantly
a number of foxes came out of the wood
and joined their kinsman, and all of them
at once set about hunting the poor crabs,
 who fled in all directions for their lives,
but were soon caught and devoured.
When the banquet was over, the foxes
said to their friend, "How great thy skill
The heartless villain replied, with a
wink, "My friends, there is cunning in
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