| 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 FISH AND RAIN
THE water in a lake was fast drying up.
The fish were all alarmed. A meeting of
the animals in the lake was held. The
crocodile, as the most powerful among
 them, took the chair. The tortoise made
a long speech, and concluded by saying,
"Therefore it is, I do not care whether it
is land or water. It is the same to me;
I can live in either."
The crab made another long speech,
and, in the end, observed, "No less with
me, brethren. Should the lake dry up I
will go to the neighbouring fields and live
in the holes." The snails, the leeches, the
water-snakes, and various other animals,
gave some excuse or other to keep away
from praying for rain.
The crocodile summed up, saying, "I
care not where I live. On land I find
better food than in water, for you must all
admit that a hare, or rabbit, or some other
land animal of the kind, is much better
fare than fish or frogs." At this there was
loud applause, and the meeting came to
But the poor fish, who could not live
out of water for one moment, thought it
their duty, however, to pray; so they did.
 Very soon the sky was overcast, the clouds
poured, and the lake was full. All the
animals rejoiced at it. The fish, with
heartfelt pride and pleasure, observed,
"Heaven blesseth the many for the few!"
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