Here’s another great story from the Hitopadesha tales. A long time ago, there lived an old snake named Mandavisha. He had become so old that he was unable to hunt for his food.
One day, he was resting on the bank of a lake. A small frog spotted him lying there. The snake did not move an inch even after seeing the frog. Out of curiosity, the frog asked the snake, “Why are you hunting for food?”
Mandavisha was a cunning snake. A diabolical plan struck him and he said, “O frog! Please leave me alone to my fate. I am reaping the fruits of my wrong doing. Few years back, I bit a pious brahmin’s son. The brahmin was full of sorrow and grief to see his dead son. He threw the blessed water on me and cursed me, “Soon the frogs will use you as a vehicle to ride on.” Thus cursed, I am waiting for the frogs to ride me.”
The frog went running to his king, Jalapada and told him about the cursed snake. The king of frogs immediately left to meet the snake and make him his royal ride. Mandavisha was happy to see his plan working. He gladly allowed Jalapada to climb his back and carried him to and fro, thus pleasing him.
The following day, the snake pretended that he was unable to move about. The king of the frogs asked him, “What happened to you, my royal ride? Why are you so sluggish today?”
“I am feeling very weak as I had nothing to eat since morning. I won’t be able to take you for a ride today.” said the snake. The king wanted to go on a joyride with his wife, so he said, “Well! We need our royal ride to be fit and healthy. I permit you to eat one frog from my kingdom every day.”
This was all that the snake wanted to hear! He started eating up the frogs one by one and in the end, he came to eat the king of frogs as well. As his end was near, the king of frogs said to himself, “What a fool I have been to get carried away by the oily talks of this treacherous snake.”
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