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

The Monkey and the Looking-glass

A monkey in a wood somehow got a looking-glass, and went about showing it to the animals around him. The bear looked into it and said he was very sorry he had such an ugly face. The wolf said he would fain have the face of a stag, with its beautiful horns. So every beast felt sad that it had not the face of some other in the wood.

The monkey then took it to an owl that had witnessed the whole scene. "No," said the owl, "I would not look into it, for I am sure, in this case as in many others, knowledge is but a source of pain."

"You are quite right," said the beasts, and broke the glass to pieces, exclaiming, "Ignorance is bliss!"

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