The Fir-Tree and the Bramble

Once, all the trees of the forest started talking among each other. The tall and handsome Fir Tree boasted, “I am the most beautiful tree. Look at my branches. They almost touch the sky!”

B7He then pointed to the Bramble and said, “You are useful for nothing at all, while I am used for making roofs and houses.” The Fir Tree kept on boasting about himself.

The Bramble was wise and thought for a while. Then he looked at the Fir Tree and replied, “I am happy the way I am, even though I am small. You should be sorry for yourself. You are a poor creature. Don’t forget that soon people will come to cut you down with axes and saws. Then you will not be able to do anything. You will be turned from a beautiful tree into tables and chairs. Then you will wish that you had grown up a Bramble, not a Fir Tree! I may not have much value but at least I am free. People don’t cut me.”

The Fir Tree realised that he was wrong and kept quiet.

Better poverty without care, than riches with troubles.

The Angler and the Salmon

Once, an Angler was fishing at the riverside. His fishing hook was a very delicate one and was meant to catch small fish only. That day, he kept sitting for many hours but did not catch any fish. H
e thought, `This has not been a good day for me. I have not been able to catch any fish! I should goB6 home now’

Just when he thought of returning home, a large Salmon was hooked to his fishing rod. The Angler  thought, Well, it is a big catch, but of no use! Pulling it out would mean breaking my delicate fishing rod. Oh, what should I do now?’

The Angler did not panic and remained very calm. He then thought, `If I handle my fishing hook with care and patience, I can catch this fish!’ Then the Angler turned around the hook, with great care, and at last pulled out the Salmon.

The Salmon could not free itself from the thin hook for it was very tired. The Angler was very happy about his catch and returned home with the Salmon.

Even in the midst of problems, we can have
success if we act with a calm mind.

The Swallow, the Serpent and the Court of Justice

There was once a Swallow, who loved to travel. One day, when the Swallow was on a long journey, she thought, ‘Now I must rest for some time. I will build my nest in this new kingdom.’

The Swallow started to build her nest.

While she was working, a few birds came and told her, “You are building your nest in the wall of B5a Court of Justice. But be careful, this place maybe dangerous.”

The Swallow did not listen to them and kept making her house. Soon, she had seven young nestlings.

Then one day, the Swallow went away to get some food. Just then, a hungry Serpent glided past her nest. He saw the young

nestlings in the nest. The Serpent quickly moved towards the nest from his hole in the wall and ate up the young nestlings.

When the Swallow returned, she found that her nest was empty! Just then a Hare came that way. The

Swallow said to him, “Woe to me, a stranger, that in this new place where all others’ rights are protected, I alone should suffer wrong.”

We should always listen to advice to be careful
and protect ourselves from harm.

The Heifer and the Ox

A Heifer and an Ox lived with a Master. One day, the Heifer saw the Ox harnessed to aplough. He went to the Ox and said, “How do you keep working so hard all day? I would have felt so unhappy doing so much work.” HB4e then started boasting, “Look at me, I am completely free. I can do whatever I feel like. The Master cannot force me to work.”

The Ox kept working quietly. Just as the Heifer was about to leave, the Ox said, “I may be working hard right now but the Master is a good man. He will definitely reward me.” Shortly afterwards, at the harvest festival, the Master set the Ox free to roam around. He praised him and said, “You are a hard worker and I am proud of you.” The Master then walked away to find the Heifer. On finding him, the Master bound the Heifer with ropes and led him to the altar to be killed in honour of the occasion.

The Ox was watching quietly. He smiled and said to the Heifer, “You were allowed to live in idleness, because you were to be sacrificed.”

Hard work always pays.

The Cat and the Cock

There was once a very hungry Cat. He kept searching for something good to eat. He said, “Oh! I have to eat something. My stomach is making strange noises.”

Then suddenly the Cat saw a Cock. The Cock was pecking at some grains. The Cat thought, “Ah! There is a good Cock. I wish I could eat him!’

But then he thought, ‘Oh, how can I just eat him? What reasonable excuse should I find to do so?’

After thinking for some timB3e, the Cat had an idea. He went to the Cock and accused him, “You are a nuisance to men. You start crowing in the night ­time. You don’t let them sleep.”

The Cock was a little surprised. He defended himself by saying, “I crow only to help people. I do it for the benefit of men. I crow so that they might rise in time for their work.”

But the Cat was very hungry. So he replied in anger, “You have given me enough apologies. But I am hungry and I shall not remain supperless.”

The Cock started to run. But the Cat pounced on the Cock and ate him up.

Unnecessary talk with the enemy does not help.

The Crab and his Mother

One day, a Mother Crab and her baby were walking together. The Baby Crab was walking a little ahead of the Mother.

After a while, the Mother Crab said, “Why do you bend towards one side when you walk, my child?”

The Baby Crab turned back and looked at its Mother and asked, “Why Mother, what is wrong with the way I walk?”

The Mother Crab replied, “It does not look good.B2

You look much better when you walk straight and forward.” The young Crab said, “This might be quite true, Mother. But I do not know how to walk straight. So, if you will show me how to walk straight, I will promise to do so, too.”

His Mother readily agreed and said, “Look carefully now

When the Mother tried to walk straight, it was impossible for her also to walk that way.

She kept trying, but she could not walk straight. Tired, she said to her son, “I am sorry for scolding you. I myself cannot walk in a straight manner. How can I ask you to do so?” She then told her son, “You continue to walk the way you do!”

Example is more powerful than speech.

The Eagle, the Cat and the Sow

Once, at the top of an oak, lived an Eagle. In the middle of the trunk lived a Cat and in a hollow at the foot, lived a Sow with her young ones.

The Cat was very cunning and wanted the whole tree for herself. She planned to drive awaB1y the other two.

She went to the Eagle and said, “Can you see the Sow digging at the roots of the tree? The tree will soon fall and she will eat our families!”

The Cat then went to the Sow and said to her, “The Eagle is waiting for a chance to feed your children to her babies.”

The clever Cat secretly went out at night, got food for her kittens and fed them. She pretended to be

scared and kept watching out for danger the whole day.

The Eagle was so scared that she did not fly anywhere. The Sow, too, was terribly afraid and did not

move out of her hollow at all. Both of them, along with

their families starved and died. The Cat and her family now had plenty of food to eat.

Always try to clear misunderstandings with
friends, rather than blindly believing others.

The King, the Kite and the Falconer

Once, a Falconer lived in a kingdom. He went to the forest, every day, to catch birds and sell them. One day, he saw a rare Kite. The Kite was magnificent and strong. But the Falconer was lucky and captured the Kite, while it was taking a nap in its nest.

The Falconer decided to gift the precious bird to the King.

`If I give this Kite to the King, he might give me a reward,’ the Falconer thought. When the Kite was taken to the King, it flew and sat on his nose. The people in the King’s court could not control their laughter at the funny sight. The King remained silent. He could not scream or shout.

“Come here, you silly bird! That is no place to sit,” cried the Falconer. He was afraid of being punished. The Kite refused to move.

“I will beat you, black and blue if you don’t move!” warned the Falconer.

The Kite still did not move.

Finally, the King announced, “Kite, you are free to go. You are no longer a prisoner of the Falconer.”

Hearing this, the Kite left the King’s nose and flew away to its freedom.

Freedom is precious to all creatures.

A Trader and his Luck

There was a Trader who carried goods, to and from far off places. Luck smiled on him and he grew rich. Whatever he touched turned into gold. His ships reached their destinations without any shipwreck. His partners, agents and vendors proved faithful. His goods were sold at the highest prices. He earned more money than he could spend.

One day, one of the Trader’s friends asked him,

“How did you get so much wealth?”

“It was all because of my skill, hard work and sound judgement,” he replied proudly. “I knew exactly when and where to invest,” he added.

Then the Trader put in all his money in new businesses. This time he did not succeed. It was because of his ill judgment. One of his ships was wrecked on high seas, another was plundered by Mice. His wares did not sell because of the change in fashions. He lost all the wealth and money he had!

The Trader’s friend asked him again, “How did you lose all your wealth and money?”

“It is because of bad luck!” he answered, sadly.

We should not blame luck for our failure, if we do not thank it for our success.

The Wishes

Once upon a time, there was a good Spirit who worked selflessly for his master and mistress. With time, he got very attached to them. He loved them so much that he decided to stay with them much longer.

Jealous of him, the other spirits provoked their Chief against him. The mischievous Chief ordered the Spirit to go and serve in a house in the far-off Norway.

Before leaving, the Spirit spoke to his Master, “I do not know for what fault I am being sent away, but to leave this place is in my destiny.

However, I can fulfill three wishes of yours before I go.”

Without losing any time, the Master wished for riches and wealth. It was promptly fulfilled. The wealth brought along the fear of thieves, beggars and taxes by the King. The Master lost his peace and was always worried, ill-tempered and unhealthy. He then made his second wish, to be a simple, ordinary man again. The Spirit made him ordinary, again.

The Master finally made his last wish and asked for wisdom, peace of mind and a life free of worries.

Peace of mind is more valuable than all the wealth in the world.