The Partridge and The Hare - Panchatantra Stories

Also Read

Once upon a time in a certain forest. I was living in a tree. In the hollow, at the foot of the tree, there lived a partridge, by the name of Kapinjal.

In the course of time, we became good friends. Every day, at sunset, we would return home and tell stories and talk over together what had happened during the day.

In this way, we passed our time.

One day, kapinjal went off, with some other partridges, to another part of the country, which was full of ripe rice. When he did not return at night, I became very worried and thought to myself, “Oh dear, why hasn’t Kapinjal returned home today? Has he been caught in a trap or has somebody killed him? I am sure he would have returned if he was safe, for he can’t live without me!”

He didn’t retired next day also. I spent several days worrying. One day, at nightfall, a hare, sheeghrag, came and took over the hole in the tree. As I had given up all hope of ever seeing Kapinjal again, I did not object in any way to his occupying the hole.

Meanwhile, Kapinjal, who had become fat from eating the ripe rice, suddenly remembered his former home and came back.

When he found the hare living in his house, he objected very strongly and said to him.

“Hare! You have taken my home! That’s very unfair of you! Leave immediately!”

“Oh, but this place is mine now,” said the hare, for they say, ‘A well, a pond, a temple and a tree, once given up by their owners, cannot be reclaimed.’ So this place is mine and not yours.”

“Hare!” cried Kapinjal. “If you are quoting the holy books, then let us approach someone who is well versed in them and we’ll let him decide who is to have this place.”

‘Both agreed to this suggestion and set off together to have their dispute decided.
‘Out of curiosity,’ ‘I followed them, thinking to myself, “I would very much like to hear the decision in this case!”

‘A wild tomcat, by the name of Teekshadaunster, came to know about their dispute. He went and stood in their path, on the bank of the river.

In his paw he held a blade of grass. He closed his eyes, stood on his hind legs, facing the sun, and began giving a discourse on morals.

“Ah! Life is transitory and this world is futile. The company of loved ones is nothing but a dream and the presence of the family like the trick of a magician.”

When the hare heard this religious discourse, he said to the partridge, “Kapinjal! This fellow, sitting on the bank of the river, is an exponent of religion. Let us go and ask his opinion.”

“All right,” said Kapinjal, “but he is a wild tomcat and our natural enemy, so we should talk to him from a very long way off.”

‘Standing at a distance, they both said to him, honored tomcat. There is a dispute between us. Give us your opinion, and whichever of us is wrong, the wrong one you can eat.

“My friends,” said the tomcat, “Please don’t talk like that! I have given up that violent way of life which leads directly to hell. I will decide who wins and who loses in this dispute. But I am old and I can’t hear what it’s all about from so far away. So come nearer and present your case, so that I can decide the way. Have confidence in me and speak the facts clearly in my ears. What more is there for me to say?”

Wicked tomcat inspired so much confidence in the partridge and the hare, that they came and sat close to him. Immediately, he seized one of them in his teeth and the other in his claws, killed them both and ate them up.

The crow said, ‘that’s why I said, “The hare and the partridge were destroyed because they chose a sly and vicious arbitrator.” ‘Similarly, if you choose this blind-by-dav owl to be your king, you are following the path of the hare and the partridge. Realize this and act accordingly.’

When the birds heard the crow, they said to one another, ‘He is right. We’ll meet some other time and select another king.’

They all flew off, except the crow, the owl and the owl’s wife.

The owl was still waiting to be crowned king. He turned to his wife and said, ‘What is all this? Why hasn’t the ceremony to crown me begun yet?’

‘This crow has put an obstacle in the way of your being crowned,’ said his wife. ‘All the other birds have flown away, only this crow has stayed behind, for some reason. And so we had better go home too.’

When the owl heard this, he was disappointed and said to the crow, “Wicked crow! What harm have I done you, that you should put obstacles in the way of my being crowned king. From now on there shall be enmity between you and me, and between your kind and my kind, for they say, “They wound caused by an arrow or a sword may heal, but not the wound caused by sharp words’.”

With these words, the owl returned to his place, with his wife.

“When they had gone, the crow thought to himself, ‘Whyever did I talk like that and pick up a quarrel with the owl? They say, “A wise man, even if he is very strong, never makes enemies for himself.”

And, “with this thought, the crow too went home. “And that, Your, Majesty,” continued Sthirajeevi, “is the reason why, ever since, there has been enmity between crows and owls.” 

Then Meghavaran, the crow king, said to him, this is how things stand, what should we do?

“Your Majesty,” replied Sthirajeevi, intrigue is the only thing that will work. I mean to use this method personally and so destroy the enemy. As three crooks robbed a Brahmin.

“How was that?” asked Meghavaran.
Sthirajeevi told this story. THE BRAHMIN AND THREE CROOKS

Previous Post Next Post