| 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 MAN OF LUCK AND THE MAN OF PLUCK
A KING in the East said to his minister,
"Do you believe in luck?"
"I do," said the minister.
"Can you prove it?" said the king.
"Yes, I can," said the minister.
So one night he tied up to the ceiling of
a room a parcel containing peas mixed with
diamonds, and let in two men, one of whom
believed in luck and the other in human
effort alone. The former quietly laid himself
down on the ground; the latter after
a series of efforts reached the parcel, and
feeling in the dark the peas and the stones,
ate the former, one by one, and threw down
the latter at his companion, saying, "Here
are the stones for your idleness." The
man below received them in his blanket.
In the morning the king and the minister
came to the room and bade each take to
himself what he had got. The man of
effort found he had nothing beyond the
peas he had eaten. The man of luck
quietly walked away with the diamonds.
The minister said to the king, "Sire,
there is such a thing as luck; but it is as
rare as peas mixed with diamonds. So I
would say, 'Let none hope to live by luck.' "
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