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THE FOOLISH DONKEY - Part 1

This is a story from Junglepur, a very big jungle on the outskirts of Shangmari City. This is the story of an old lion, the dreaded animal who once used to rule the whole of Junglepur and its inhabitants. But being very weak and becoming old, he could not kill any prey. So, as days passed by he almost started starving. One day the lion pondering over his future said to himself, “How long can I live without food? I am sure that one day I will be starved to death. So, I must do something to get a prey easily for food every day.” And then started thinking deeply of how to do so. Making some plan in his mind, the lion sent a call for the jackal, an old friend of the lion and said, “ Hey, Jagu, you know very well that I hold you in high esteem. I haven't ever thought of making you my food, because I know that you are the wisest animal in my kingdom and the whole of Junglepur. So, after thinking a lot, I have decided to appoint you as my Prime Minister or rather Prime Minister of Junglepur. As the character of Jackal goes who is always clever and cunning, he did not believe a word with what the lion had said. However, thinking wisely, he spoke in his peculiar cunning voice, “Your Majesty, it is a big honor to me. I have always been a humble servant of yours. I shall serve you wholeheartedly, sir.” The lion was very pleased to hear those kind words from the jackal and said, “Very good, that is what I had expected. So from now, you will look after my affairs. As you know, that I am the king of the forest. So it is not wise and good on my part to go hunting out there. So, it is now your duty and work to provide me an animal daily to satisfy your King’s hunger. And as I know you from long time, I am sure that you can easily perform this duty.” The jackal, nodding his head replied vehemently that “Your majesty, you need not worry at all. As you have now made me the Prime Minister, I will take all of your needs. Saying so, the jackal went away to look for an animal for the lion. AS the jackal was strolling along, he saw a donkey who was quite hale and hearty. He said, “Friend, where have you been hiding so long? I have been looking for you since so many days”. The donkey replied in wonder, “Why? What happened? I was here only. Why were you looking for me?” “I have got a good news for you. Your luck is very bright indeed and of course your future too,” said the jackal. The donkey looked amazed and said, “How will that change, Mr. Jagu?” “The king of the forest has decided to you appoint as his prime minister”, the jackal replied. “He has sent for you and I have come as a special messenger to take you to the lion. So be kind enough to go with me in order to take your office and duties," said the jackal. Hearing about the lion, the donkey got frightened and said, "My God, I fear the king like anything. Secondly, I am not capable of becoming his Prime Minister." The jackal then used his wit and told him, "How can you be your own judge, sir? We know how capable and good you are. Your attitude displays a sense of humility, which is a great virtue indeed. It is this quality that have earned this high office for you." argued the jackal. The simple foolish donkey was taken in by the oily words of the jackal and he got ready to accompany him. After going a short distance, the donkey stopped short. The lion's cave was just at hand and so the jackal went to the lion's cave and said, "I have brought a donkey, sir. But he is hesitating to come near the cave." "Never mind; I like such people as they are shy and simple. I will come out to receive him." Saying so, the lion came out of the cave. The lion had been hungry for many days. So, seeing a fat-donkey, he could not help springing at it. But the donkey was already on his alert and since he was young and brave, he succeeded in saving himself. Seeing the prey going away from his hands, the old lion said to the jackal, “Your trick has miserably failed, I am awfully hungry. Go at once and bring the donkey back otherwise you will be killed.” “Don't be cross; Your Majesty. I shall try to bring the donkey back.” Saying so, the jackal went to the donkey and said, “What a strange fellow! Why did you run away like that? The lion got so angry with me.” “I got frightened, friend. I thought that the lion was going to eat me up. So, I took to my heels,” replied the donkey. The jackal then spoke in a very sweet voice, “Oh donkey, you are such a fool, After all you are a donkey. Had the lion wanted to kill you, he would not have run away? He was coming to you to talk about some important matter. He never wanted it to be heard by anyone else and so he was trying to come near to you. But you did not stay there even for a minute and this is really an insult to our King," argued the jackal. The jackal further said, “You have put me in an awkward position. The lion is very cross with me. So, you must come with me again and beg his pardon and you must do so if you want to hold the high office of the Prime Minister. How can you expect other animals to respect you if you do not honour the king.” The foolish donkey as they are was again taken in by the jackal's flattery and he set out for the lion's den with him. Both of them arrived at the lion's den standing outside. By this time, the lion's hunger was on supreme stage. But he did not act in a hurried manner this time. He smiled and said, “Hello friend! I welcome you with open arms. Why did you run away. Do not fear from me. I have changed and seeing your qualities I have appointed you as my Prime Minister. So come near me; I have to discuss some very important and secret matters with you.” Feeling himself very proud, the foolish donkey went near to the lion who killed him in no time.

 
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