Bed Time Story: Beast encounters traveler with greed

Hitopdesha is the storical-reflection of Indian heritage. India as a country has always been respecting man and wild together. The stories in Hitopdesha reminds us of the golden era when life did  not belong to the artificiality of so called civilized world.

One of such stories depict another combined family life of man and the wild here. Thanks Hitopadesha, for the lovely collection of knowledge and message out of your stories!

There lived a Tiger in a forest once upon a time. Going by the time line of life he became too old to hunt. With the passing years now it was getting difficult for him to manage food to live. One fine morning the Tiger reached by the side of a lake and tried to drink some water empty stomach. Out of a sudden he found a gold bangle at some distance.

Without wasting any more time, he picked up the bangle and started thinking how he could use it as an allure for catching someone. While he was busy thinking over this, there appeared a traveler who was passing on the opposite side of the lake.

The Tiger instantly felt more hungry looking at him. He thought to himself, “What a delicious meal God has sent tome?”

Then he started planning some idea through which he could attract the traveler. He wore the bangle in his paw in such a way that it gets visible. Then through that paw he said Hello to the traveler. Then he said, “ Dear Mr traveler, would you like to take this gold bangle. I have no use of it”.

The traveler at once felt greedy about the bangle. He started wishing to take the bangle, but naturally he had hesitation to go near the Tiger. Finding it risky, he was thinking to get the bangle staying away from the tiger. He did not want to leave the Gold Bangle.

He using all his wisdom planned to be cautious about any such unwanted thing to happen. From far he asked the Tiger, “Sorry dear Mr Tiger, I do not know how I believe you. You obviously are a beast and if I come to you, you would kill me”.

The Tiger becoming more claver said in an innocent voice, “Listen Mr. Traveler, I was wicked unquestionably in my youth, but on this age today I have changed myself. A Sanyasi also has advised me to leave all evil. I have done so. Now being all alone in this world I keep myself busy with kind deeds.’’

Tiger waited for a moment and again said,  ‘‘Moreover, now I am old. I do not have any teeth left and my claws are also blunt. So, you do not need to feel any such fear about me”.

The traveler was taken aback listening to the tiger’s words. He was taken in by this smart talk, moreover his greed for gold soon overcame his apparent fear of the Tiger. He did not think any more and jumped into the lake so that he could soon wade across the Tiger.

Now the plan of the Tiger started looking successful, the traveler got trapped in the marsh while trying to reach to him after coming out of the lake on the other side.

Seeing this the Tiger felt happy but overtly consoled him saying, “Oh! Do not worry at all. I am going to come to  help you”.

Slowly he came closer to the traveler and finally seized him. While the tiger was dragging him out to one side under a tree, the traveler realized the reality.

Now being dragged onto the bank, he thought to himself, “Oh! I have committed the blunder. I have been taking in out of this beast’s talk full of fake saintliness. I should have known that a beast is always a beast. I wish I could now have let my greed overcome my reason, now my chances of being alive are nill.”

However, it was too late to think any thing like this. The hungry tiger did not change his mind and killed the traveler and ate him up. Finally, the traveler became victim of his greed whereas  Tiger was successful in his evil plan suggested by his wild nature.

The moral of the story here teaches that greed may prove too fatal some times and also it never goes unpunished.