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Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju
Table of Contents




A FARMER was returning from a fair which he had attended the previous day at a neighbouring market town. He had a quantity of poultry which he had purchased. A fox observed this, and ap- [100] preaching the farmer said, "Good-morning, my friend."

"What cheer, old fellow?" said the farmer.

"I am just coming from the wood, through which you mean to go with your poultry. A band of highwaymen has been tarrying there since daybreak."

"Then what shall I do?" said the farmer.

"Why," said the fox, "if I were you I should stay here a while, and after breakfast enter the wood, for by that time the robbers will have left the place."

"So be it," said the farmer, and had a hearty breakfast, with Reynard for his guest.

They kept drinking for a long time. Reynard appeared to have lost his wits; he stood up and played the drunkard to perfection. The farmer, who highly admired the pranks of his guest, roared with laughter, and gradually fell into a deep slumber. It was some time after noon he awoke. But to his dismay he found that [101] the fox was gone, and that the poultry had all disappeared!

"Alas!" said the farmer, as he trudged on his way home with a heavy heart, "I thought the old rogue was quite drowned in liquor like myself, but I now see it was all a pretence. One must indeed be very sober to play the drunkard to perfection"

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