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

The Snakes and the Eels

A king in the East one day took a walk with his son, a fair young prince, by the side of a great pond in his park. The prince put his foot in the pond, and a snake coiled round his leg. The king killed the snake, and said to his men, "Kill all the snakes in the pond, and tell me you have done so."

The men, in their haste, could not see which were the snakes and which were the eels. So they killed all, and took them to the king, who said, "What a sad thing!—the good have died, because they were like the bad in form."

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