BEST PANCHATANTRA STORIES
The monkey and the crocodile
Once stood an apple tree on the banks of a river, which was full of sweeet apples . On this tree lived a monkey. He passed his day happily by playing and eating apples . One day, a crocodile came out of the river to take some rest under the tree. The monkey gave him some apples to eat . The crocodile loved the sweet fruits, and started coming to the apple tree every day, and they became good friends. They would talk and play and enjoy eating the sweet apples together.
One day, the crocodile wanted to take some of the apples for her wife to let her know of the sweetness of these fruits. So, the monkey gave some apples to the crocodile to take home. The crocodile took those fruits and offered to his wife , and narrated the story of his friendship with the monkey who lives on the sweet apple tree.
She said, “Oh Dear, these fruits are as sweet as honey. If the monkey eats these fruits every day, his heart must be tastier than these apples . Please bring the monkey’s heart for me.”
The Crocodile hearing this said ,” I cannot kill the monkey for his heart. He is my friend. It is unfair to think of such a thing”. But his wife got angry and said, “I would rather die if you will not bring the monkey’s heart for me .The crocodile had no other choice rather than to agree to his wife.
The crocodile went to the monkey and said, “Oh Friend, my wife loved the fruits very much and she is anxious to meet you. So, she has invited you to our home for dinner. Please accept our invitation. The monkey accepted the invitation and said ,” I could not swim” . The crocodile said, “Sit on my back, and I shall carry you to my home”
The monkey sat on the crocodile’s back and they went deep into the river. At this moment, the crocodile thought that it was not possible for the monkey to escape from him so he disclosed his plan, “Oh monkey, the truth is I am taking you to make my wife eat your heart, because she believes that your heart is much tastier than those apples.”
Upon hearing this, the monkey was in surprise but he did not panic. Instead, he wittingly said, “Oh Friend, Why didn’t you say that before? It would be my pleasure if I could serve your wife with my heart. You are such a good friend, and you should have told me earlier. I keep my heart in the burrow of the apple tree. Let us go back and bring my heart for your wife”.
The foolish crocodile believed him, and turned around. As soon as they reached the banks near the tree , the monkey jumped off the crocodile’s back. he climbed up to a high branch . He said to the crocodile ,”how foolish you are to believe that I could have kept my heart out of my body”. The crocodile turned very sad and returned home with a sorry face.
The Monkey And The Wedge
A temple was getting built in the middle of a garden. Many masons and carpenters were working for the construction of the temple . One day while they left for having lunch a group of monkeys reached the spot . They played with whatever was lying there. One of the monkeys saw a partly branched log of wood and a wedge fixed in it so that it does not close up.
Thinking of the wedge in curiosity , the monkey tried to remove the wedge. At last the wedge came off, but trapping the legs of the monkey into the rift of the log. Very soon, not able to get his legs out of the closed wood, the monkey died.
Moral: “it is not wise to poke our nose into affairs that are not our concern. “
The Crafty Crane And The Craftier Crab
An old crane lived near a large lake . Because of his age, it could not catch any fish or other insects. The crane thought of a plan to overcome hunger. One day , the crane stood on the edge of the lake and began crying loudly . Moved at the sight, a crab passing by asked the crane, “Friend, what happened? Why are you not hunting for food today?”
The crane said,” I have heard that there will be no rains for the years to come. Astrologers have predicted that , this lake will go dry in the next few days . All creatures in the lake will die and I will be alone without them.”
The crab carried this information to all the fishes and other creatures in the lake. They became restless and reached to the crane to seek advice as to how they could overcome this danger . The crane as planned earlier told them that he will carry them to a larger lake not far away , albeit one by one .
The fishes and other water creatures agreed to the proposal. Every day, the crane would take one of them in the pretext of saving their life. After flying a small distance he would smash them against a stone and eat them. He would then return to the lake next day to carry and eat another .
One day it was the crab’s turn to be carried by the crane . The crab rode on the back of the crane. The crane was about to reach the spot where he ate all the fish, the crab saw a heap of fish bones and grew suspicious. He asked the crane where is the lake ?
The crane revealed the truth as he was sure that the crab could not escape from his back. “You are a fool to trust me. There is no lake. I am going to eat you like I have eaten all the fishes . ” The clever crab caught the neck of the crane in his claws and at once tore through it to death. The crab then reached the lake where all his friends were worried.
The crab said, “we were fooled , the crane was eating us one by one .There is no such lake as the crane had told . I was about to be eaten but saved myself by slicing his neck .”