| 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 ELEPHANT, THE FROGS, AND THE TOAD
AN elephant named Blackmound was in
the habit of bathing in a great pond in a
wood. The frequent visits of the elephant
put the frogs in the pond to great inconvenience, and almost every day a number
of them were crushed under his heavy feet.
Close by the pond in the hollow of a
great tree lived the toad Blear Eye, who
was remarkable for his wisdom. The
frogs went up to him and said, "Blear
Eye, not a day passes but some of us are
killed by Blackmound. What shall we
THE ELEPHANT, THE FROGS AND THE TOAD
The toad replied, "Yes, I see your
difficulty; the elephant is a bulky animal;
 but you are little creatures, and you do
not know that it is one thing to be bulky
and another thing to be bold. However, I
will try to help you. Allow me to select
some one among you to execute my
"Do help us, Blear Eye," cried the
frogs with one voice.
Then Blear Eye called to his side a
nimble frog named Lightfoot, and told
him what he was to do.
Lightfoot went up to the top of a rock
overhanging the pond and addressed
Blackmound, who was just then coming
towards it, from a distance, in the following terms: "You shall not come to the
pond any more; for there is a spirit in
yonder tree that has granted to me the
power of shattering your huge frame."
"If so," said Blackmound, "I would
like to hear the spirit say so, and to see
you do it."
"Yes, we have granted the power to
our faithful servant Liehtfoot," said Blear
 Eye, who was hidden within the hollow
of the tree.
Before Blackmound could recover from
his surprise at these words from an unknown quarter, Lightfoot leaped into the
pond, where the shadow of Blackmound
was reflected on the clear water, and cried,
"Now I have done with your shadow:
next your huge body shall disappear."
Blackmound was panic—struck, and
thought that he would be destroyed, like
his shadow, by the aid of the spirit in the
tree, if he remained any longer at the
place. So he beat a hasty retreat into the
forest, never to return to the pond for any
more baths; while the toad Blear Eye
and the frogs shouted forth, "Hollo,
Black-mound, it is one tiling to be bulky and another to be bold"
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics