The clever Rabbit and the Elephant

A herd of elephants lived in a forest. They fed on the leaves of the wild trees and drank the cool water from the stream that flowed through the forest. One year, drought hit the area where the forest was located. Many animals fled the forest to other places which had no lack of water or food. The leader of the elephants was worried. He was called Iravat and he took good care of his herd. He sent his brothers to look for water. After a long search, they located a lake at the far end of the forest. They decided to quench their thirst and take their baths there very morning.

Now, everyday the herd would go to the lake to bathe and drink the sweet water of the lake. On the way, they would pass a colony of rabbits. They would not pay attention to rabbits on the ground. So, everyday some rabbits would be injured or crushed to death. As their number grew less, the leader of the rabbits called a meeting.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” he addressed his fellow companions, “We are all aware of how we are being killed by the unthinking elephants everyday. We must think of a way to save ourselves.”

Mikkoo was a young and intelligent rabbit. He said, “Sir, don’t worry. go as your messenger and ask the elephants to change the path they take to the lake.”

So with the leader’s permission Mikkoo went as a messenger. He spotted the elephant herd approaching and stood on the top of a large, high rock to save himself.

When the Iravat, the  elephant leader came near, he said, “Respected sir, I am Mikkoo, a messenger from the Moon himself. The almighty Moon has sent mc to you with a private message, so please step aside.”

When Iravat came near, Mikkoo said, ‘The lake where you go to bathe and quench your thirst belongs to the Moon. He is very upset as you crush many rabbits on the way. As we are his close friends and guides, our sad plight has saddened and angered the Moon. He wishes to speak to you privately. If you would be kind enough I will escort you to the lake of the Moon for a meeting.”

iravat readily agreed for the meeting. When Iravat and Mikkoo reached the lake, the Moon was reflected in its still water.

“let me offer my greetings to the moon,” said Iravat and just as he dipped his trunk in the lake thewater stirred and so did the Moon’s reflection.

“Oh! See how the mighty Moon shakes in anger,” said Mikkoo.

But why is it so?” asked Iravat.

“You have angered him even more by touching the holy water of the lake at night,” replied Shweta.

At this Iravat said in a mournful voice, “Please ask the Moon to forgive us. We shall never come again to this lake nor we will ever harm the rabbits, loved so much by the Moon.”

Thus Iravat left with a promise never to visit the lake of the Moon and the rabbits lived safely and happily ever after.

MORAL

A lie that saves many lives is worth a thousand truths.

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