Gateway to the Classics: Indian Fables by Ramaswami Raju
Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju

The Sage and the Animals

There lived in the East a great sage who had the power of teaching any animal the tones of any other animal on earth. One day a great many animals went to him and received lessons.

Soon afterwards the fox presented himself before the poultry-yard, and crowed like Chanticleer. Chanticleer thought that some rival had come near; so he went out to meet him. The fox got in by another way, and carried off as many of his hens and chicks as he could take.

The wolf went to the fold at night, and, bleating like a sheep, drew away from the flock a number of lambs, and made a hearty meal on them.

Then the kite, chirping merrily, tapped at the door of the sparrow's nest. The little sparrows cried, "Oh, mamma has just returned with something nice for breakfast!" and opened the door. The kite made his breakfast on them.

Thus every animal began to imitate the tones of some other, and do as much harm as possible. So they all went to the sage and told him of the result of their labours. "Ah," said the sage, "I thought as much. You shall not have the power any more. They that would abuse knowledge or power, should never get it."

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