| 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 MISER AND THE MONEY TREE
IN the East, two men, whom we may call
Rap and Tap, went to a miser's door, one
 evening, and began a conversation as
Rap. Brother, is this the house where
the Sibyl said that the Money Tree
Tap. Certainly, this is the house.
Rap. Perhaps by the Money Tree
the Sibyl simply meant the wealth of the
Tap. Oh, no; she distinctly said it is
a tree with pence for leaves, shillings for
flowers, and pounds for fruit, growing
larger every hour, and is just ten feet
below the great chest of the miser.
Rap. There is a genius guarding the
tree, is there not?
Tap Yes; and the only means of
getting rid of him is to set the miser's
chest at the gate, and shut the door, that
the genius may turn to the chest, and let
us have the tree. Else, the genius will
certainly devour us, as the Sibyl said.
Rap. But what shall we do with the
 Tap. Why, squeeze his neck and bury
him in the pit, after digging up the Money
Rap. But, as the tree may be rooted
up, anyhow, this night, we shall go home
and return better prepared.
So the two men pretended to leave the
place and stood watching from a distance.
The miser, who had heard the conversation, thought that if he should strive to
get the Money Tree before them, he
would be much more wealthy. He brought
his chest out to beguile the genius, and
went in to dig for the Money Tree.
Rap and Tap walked away with the
chest, thinking they had better do so than
wait for the Money Tree.
The miser, who had dug deep and not
found the Money Tree, came out towards
daydawn, and seeing his chest gone, wailed
aloud. A great crowd gathered. Rap
and Tap, who were among them, said,
If money would grow, it must be so; if
money would go, it must do so."
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