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

The Pigs and the Sage

Once a dozen pigs had to cross a stream. So the oldest of the herd said, "Now we are a dozen; when we go to the other bank, let us not forget to count and see that we are all right."

So they crossed over to the other side; and the leading pig counted his followers, and found they were eleven. "How is this? I counted twelve while on the other side!"

"One of us must have been drowned, or carried away by the stream," said the other pigs.

So there was great alarm in the herd for a while. A sage, who had been observing the scene from the opposite bank, laughed.


The Pigs and the Sage

"May I know why you laugh, sir?" said the old pig.

"Because," said the sage, "you have furnished the only instance in which self was lost sight of—I mean, that self which is the first object of care all the world round!"

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