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

The Assembly of Animals

Once there was a great assembly of the animals in a wood. The lion said, "Look, how great my valour! 'tis this that makes me king of the woods."

The fox said, "Look, how deep my cunning! 'tis this that feeds me so well."

The peacock said, "Look, how bright my feathers! 'tis this that makes me the wonder and admiration of the wood."

The elephant said, "Look, how long and powerful my tusks! there is nothing that can resist them."

A toad, who lived secure in the heart of a rock, close by, said, " 'Tis the lion's valour that leads him to the herds, and gets him killed by the hunters. 'Tis the fox's cunning that brings him to the furrier at last. 'Tis the plumes of the peacock that men covet; hence his ruin. The elephant is hunted for his tusks, and they are his bane. In the mark of your vanity is your death!"

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