Panchatantra: The Prince And The Bear
Once, a prince went on a hunting spree in a dense forest. He wandered the whole day in search of prey but did not come across a single animal, big or small that he could kill. By the evening he got very tired and ......
Once, a prince went on a hunting spree in a dense forest. He wandered the whole day in search of prey but did not come across a single animal, big or small that he could kill. By the evening he got very tired and thus, sat under a tree to take some rest. Just then, he saw a huge tiger coming out of the bushes and moving forward towards him. The prince was petrified and in order to save his life, he climbed up the nearest tree. When he reached the top of the tree, he saw a huge bear sitting on one of the branches. He started to tremble with fear as he thought that he would now surely be killed by either of the two wild animals. The bear calmed down the prince and said, “Don’t worry, my dear prince. This tree is my house and thus, you are my guest. I never harm my guests.” The prince believed in what the bear said and stopped panicking. The tiger also sat down under the tree and kept waiting for the prince to come down.
Soon the sun set and there was darkness everywhere. The prince was terribly tired and, he fell fast asleep on the branch. When the tiger saw the sleeping prince, he said to the bear, “Do not give shelter to this prince. Human beings are our enemies. Push him down on the ground and let me make him my meal.”
“No, I will never do such an evil thing.” said the bear. “Moreover, he is my guest,” the bear added.
In the morning, when the prince woke up, he saw the bear sleeping beside him. The cunning tiger said to the prince, “Don’t trust this wicked bear! He is being nice to you only till the time I am sitting here. The moment I leave, he will kill you. So, I would advise you to push this bear down before me. I will eat him and let you go.”
The selfish prince thought that it was not a bad idea to throw the bear down and save his life. So, he pushed the unsuspecting bear off the branch. The bear woke up with a jerk and caught hold of another branch and saved his life somehow. He cursed the prince for his selfishness and said, “It was indeed a mistake on my part to place my trust in a selfish human being like you.”
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