The Story of the Tiger and the Traveller

ONCE upon a time, in the Deccan forest, an old Tiger was sitting on the bank of a pool, stretching forth his fore-paws, and calling out:

“Ho! ho! Ye travellers, take this golden bangle!”

Presently a certain covetous fellow, passing that way, heard the Tiger, and said to himself, “This is a bit of luck,—but I must not get too near to the Tiger’s claws for all that.” Thereupon he called out and asked, “Where is your bangle?”

The Tiger stretched out his paw still further and showed the bangle.

“How am I to take it?” asked the traveller. “Can I trust myself near to such a fierce looking brute as you are?”

“Listen,” replied the Tiger, “in my younger days I know that I was very wicked. I killed cows and men without number—even holy Brahmans—and I was punished for it by losing my wife and children; I haven’t a relation left. But lately I met a holy man who taught me to practise the duty of charity, and alms-giving. Besides, I am very old, and my claws and teeth are all gone. So you need not fear to trust me. I have kept this golden bangle to give to any one who seems in need. You look poor, so I will give it to you.

Hearing this, the covetous traveller made up his mind to trust the Tiger, and waded into the pool. But he soon found himself stuck deep in the mud, and unable to move.

“Ho! ho!” said the Tiger, “are you stuck fast in the mud? Wait and I will come and pull you out!”

So saying, the Tiger sprang upon the unhappy traveller and quickly made a meal of him.

Share via