Stories and Fables:
The Lion and the Mouse:
It was a winter day. A lion lay near his den basking in the sun. A mouse lived in a hole nearby. The mouse came out. It climbed up the body of the lion and sometimes hid in his thick mane, sometimes danced and ran on his body. The lion woke up. He got furious. He caught hold of the mouse in his paw. When the lion was about to crush the mouse, the latter prayed for mercy and begged the lion to release it. The mouse further said that it might be of any help to the king of the forest in future. The lion laughed and laughed saying that a tiny creature like the mouse could be of no assistance to the powerful lion. However, the lion set the mouse free.
A few days after a hunter came to the same forest. He laid net there. Perchance the same lion came loitering there and was caught in the net. The lion tried hard to get loose but all his trials were of no avail. The lion roared and roared as hard as he could. The mouse heard his roaring and rushed to the spot. Seeing the lion entrapped, the mouse started nibbling the meshes of the net and freed his benefactor in no time. The lion thanked the mouse.
Moral: One good turn deserves another.
The Ant and the Cricket:
It was spring season. Cricket had a merry time. It sang, danced fluttering its wings and flying from one flower to another. It did not care for the autumn and winter when there would be no vegetation and nothing for it to live on. It did not store any sort of food for those hard days.
Now the spring and summer ended giving place to autumn and winter. Crickets’ merry days were over. It could find no flower, no greenery and nothing to eat. When utterly starving it approached its friend, the ant, and begged for a loan of few grains. It promised to return the loan when spring comes next.
The ant said to the cricket, “What did you do in spring and summer? Why did you not store food for these days?” The cricket replied that it danced and made merry but did not care to store food for winter. The ant laughed and said, “You silly creature, you have gone without work in good days, now you should go without food in these cold days when there is nothing around to eat.”
The cricket felt ashamed and came back to starve and die.
Moral: No pains, no gains.
The Sun and the Wind:
Once a dispute arose between the sun and the wind. Each declared himself stronger than the other. Just as their dispute was going on, they saw a man lying along the road. The man had a cloak on. Both the disputants agreed that he would make the man put off his cloak would decidedly be acknowledged stronger than the other.
At first, the wind stepped forward to show its strength. It blew gently. The weather became pleasant. The man buttoned up his cloak. Then it blew as violently as it could. It became chilly and the man though tossed up and down as he could not stand its ferocity, yet it held the cloak more tightly than before. The wind then accepted its inability to fulfil the conditions for the show of strength and gave up its trials.
Then came the turn of the sun. He left his hot rays to fall on the man. The man felt warmth and unbuttoned his cloak. The sun rays became hotter and hotter. The man perspired profusely and took off his cloak. The wind then acknowledged that the sun was the stronger of the two.
Moral: Gentleness is more forceful than force.
Two Foolish Goats:
One day two goats were grazing in the meadows lying on either side of a stream. When evening came on, they set out for their masters’ houses. On their way, each had to cross the stream. A narrow plank of wood was laid over the stream to cross it.
The goats came from opposite directions. Perchance they stepped on the bridge at one and the same time. They met each other in the middle of the bridge. But it was too narrow to allow two goats to cross each other.
One of the goats said, “It is getting dark. My master must be waiting for me. Get back and let me pass first.” The other goat got angry and refused to get back. It said, “My master will also be waiting for me. You get back and let me pass first.”
Soon the goats started butting each other. Both of them fell into the stream and were drowned.
Moral: Non-cooperation leads to destruction.
The Wood-Cutter and God Mercury:
A wood-cutter lived in a village close to a forest. He was very poor. Daily he went to the forest to cut wood. He sold the wood in the town and earned his livings.
One day as usual when he was cutting wood, his axe slipped off his hands and fell into the deep stream that was flowing there. The axe sank down to the bottom of the stream.
The wood-cutter did not know how to swim. The wood-cutter began to weep bitterly. Just then God Mercury appeared there. He asked him (wood-cutter) the cause of his weeping. The wood-cutter told the god how he had lost his axe. The god dived into the stream and brought out a golden axe. The wood-cutter was very honest. He shouted out, “It is not my axe.”
The god dived for the second time and brought out a silver axe. The woodcutter refused to take it as it was not his. The god dived for the third time and brought out an iron axe. At the sight of the iron axe, the wood-cutter shouted aloud that it was his axe. The god was much pleased with his honesty and gave him all three axes.
Moral: Honesty pays in the long run.