Another great story from Jataka Tales. Once upon a time, there was a small dog who used to sneak in the royal shed to eat some food that was kept for the royal elephant. Since the royal elephant lived alone throughout the day in the shed, he also did not mind the dog visiting him daily and gladly let him eat his leftover food. Soon, the elephant and the dog became very good friends. They ate together, slept together and played together. A time came when they were almost inseparable from each other.
Then one day, a farmer who came to visit the elephant-keeper, saw the dog. He liked it very much and asked the elephant keeper to sell it to him. Although The elephant keeper did not own the dog, He took some money from the villager and gave it to him. The king’s elephant became very sad after this incident. He missed his friend a lot and stopped eating, drinking and even bathing.
Three days had passed and the elephant had not moved an inch from his place. The elephant keeper had to report the matter to the king.The king asked his wisest minister to look into the matter and find out what was wrong with his elephant. The minister went to the stable and checked the elephant. He could make out that there was nothing physically wrong with the elephant. He then arrived to the conclusion that the big animal was perhaps missing something or someone. He asked the elephant keeper, “ I think that the royal elephant is grief stricken, possibly due to the loss of a dear friend. Do you know if this elephant shared a close friendship with any person or animal?”
The elephant-keeper hesitantly said, “Yes, Sir! There was a dog who used to eat, sleep and play with the elephant. A stranger took him away three days ago, but I do not know where he went.” The minister went to the king and told him, “Your Majesty, the royal elephant is fine but he is lonesome without his dear friend, the dog. Some stranger has taken away the dog and nobody knows his whereabouts.”
The king was concerned about the well being of his elephant. He asked the minister, “How can we bring back the dog and make my elephant happy again?” The minister suggested, “Your Majesty, make a declaration, that whoever has taken the dog that used to live at the royal elephant’s shed shall be penalised.” The king did the same and the farmer who had taken the dog, quickly let him loose.
Once freed, the dog found his way to the elephant’s shed easily. The elephant was so delighted to see the dog that he picked him up with his trunk and made him sit on his head. The king was content to see his elephant happy once again and suitably rewarded the minister for his wise judgement.
Both the elephant and the dog, lived happily thereafter.
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