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

The Sunling

In the good old days a clown in the East, on a visit to a city kinsman, while at dinner, pointed to a burning candle and asked what it was. The city man said, in jest, it was a sunling, or one of the children of the sun.

The clown thought that it was something rare; so he waited for an opportunity, and hid it in a chest of drawers close by. Soon the chest caught fire, then the curtains by its side, then the room, then the whole house.

After the flames had been put down the city man and the clown went into the burnt building to see what remained. The clown turned over the embers of the chest of drawers. The city man asked what he was seeking for. The clown said, "It is in this chest that I hid the bright sunling; I wish to know if he has survived the flames."

"Alas," said the city man, who now found out the cause of all the mischief, "never jest with fools!"

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