| 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 TIGER, THE WOLF, AND THE FOX
A WOLF was often cheated of his prey by a fox; so he
thought the best way of getting rid of his enemy would be to
carry tales against him to the tiger, who was the king of
So one fine morning he went to the lair of the king, and
said, "Good morning, your majesty."
"What news, my good fellow?" said the king.
 "Ah, I have such news," said the wolf, "as would only
increase your anger against that reckless villain Reynard;
but, as he is my friend, I think it better to keep it from
This only made the tiger more eager to know what the wolf
had to say. He therefore commanded him to disclose all that
Reynard had done.
Quoth the wolf, "Yesterday there was a meeting of all the
animals in the forest, to confer as to the best method of
expressing their gratitude for all the blessings they have
received from your majesty. I was anxious to know if there
was any among them that had ill-feelings towards my
sovereign. So I began by pretending to speak ill of
your majesty to Reynard. He instantly replied, 'Oh, I quite
agree with you! There is no greater tyrant than
our present king. The sooner he is got rid of, the
better.' I should have laid the matter at once before
your majesty; but, as it was late in the night, I could not
THE TIGER, THE BEAR, AND THE FOX
 The tiger raged with fury; and sending
for Reynard then and there, said, "Villain,
did you speak ill of us?"
"I did, your majesty," said the fox.
"Why?" said the tiger, in a thundering
"Because," said the fox, in tones equally
loud and furious, pointing to the wolf,
"that villain there began to slander the
character of my benign sovereign, and I
was eager, come what would, to find out
what the depth of his malice was!"
The tiger was astonished to see the
tables thus turned upon the wolf. He was
further at a loss to know who the culprit
really was. So he sent them away, with
the remark, " 'Tis a villain that cheats a
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