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

The Frog and the King

A great drought prevailed in a country in the East at one time. There was hardly any water to drink. In the chief city there was a great cistern, from which water was measured out every day to the people in the town and in the provinces.

One night the watchman came running to the king and said, "Sire, there has been a leak somewhere in the cistern, and the water is flowing out."

The king, with all his court, came out to see the leak, but it could not be discovered. However, some time after, the water ceased to flow. Still, to make sure that all was right, the next day the spot where the leak had happened was carefully examined. The workmen found out the hole, and saw a frog blocking it up.

They were about to fling the frog on the ground with violence, when the king said, "Oh, no, he is our benefactor; but for him all the water would have gone out." The workmen laid him gently on the ground, and he escaped into the cistern, saying to the king, "Sire, to discover merit in the lowly is harder work than ruling over a kingdom."

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