pachai maamalai pol mene

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

All that was left was the bell and the string tied to it.

another episode from Panchatantram of Vishnusharma

In a town there lived a carpenter by name Ujjwalaka. He was very indigent.. He was feeling sad that everyone in the city did some productive work and earned money and respect. But his labour with timber earned him neither. So he left his town and went away to another city.

En route, he saw a female camel in labour pain. With his help she delivered a calf and the carpenter came back to his house leading the lady camel and her newborn camel boy. He fed the camels with great care. The camel-calf in time ate a lot of fodder and grew into a fully grown strong camel. The carpenter was in turn doing well financially selling the milk of the female camel. The carpenter thought that the camel boy was the harbinger of good luck for him and so he was very proud of him. He tied a bell around the neck of this camel boy, and the calf was ecstatic when he heard the ringing sound whenever he moved his neck.

In course of time the carpenter purchased some more camels and they begat many a foal, and now the carpenter was a successful dealer in camels, and their products. He groomed and sold many camels in the process and was immensely prosperous. But he never could think of selling off his first find, the camel with a bell tied around his neck.

One day all the camels of the household went to a nearby forest for grazing and having water. They had tummy-full of grass and tender plants and bellyfuls of clean cool water. In the evening they returned home very jubilant. Our camel with the bell was, as usual, in the lead. Being the pet of the group he was arrogant, and he was shaking his neck and the bell attached to it with flourish giving out loud noise, attracting all around including predators. Other camels were very disturbed.

" This foolish fellow is showing off with his bell. And he is coming far behind separated from the group.. We pray that he may not fall into the mouth of some wild predator."

While the procession was on, one lion happened to hear the chime of bells and came out to see what the mess was . Seeing the lion all the camels who were walking ahead of the young camel with the bell bolted and escaped to the town. The camel with the bell was far behind and he could not divine the approach of the lion till it was too late to escape.


All that was left was the bell and the string tied to it. And maybe a few pieces of bones left-over.

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