The Monkey and The Log - Panchatantra Stories

Also Read

On the outskirts of a town, a merchant had started building a temple beneath the trees. Every day the carpenters and the workmen used to go into the town for their midday meals.

One particular day a troop of wandering monkeys arrived on the scene.

One of the carpenters, who was in the middle of sawing a log, put a wedge in it, to prevent the log from closing up, and then went off. 

The monkeys started playing on the tops of the trees and the high structures, without a care.

One poor monkey, not destined to live long, sat down on the half-split log, caught hold of the wedge with his hands and started pulling it out.

And Lo! The wedge came out all of a sudden and the log closed in. He was instantly killed.

Moral of The Story “And so,” continued Karatak “that’s why I said, that you should never meddle in other people’s business. And our business is to eat whatever has been left by the lion.”

“What!” retorted Damanak. “You think that our only concern is to find food? I don’t agree with you, for it is said that it is despicable crows that live off whatever is available for eating.” 

“Anyway,” said Karatak, “now that we are no longer in service to the king, why should we bother.

“No!” retaliated Damanak. “Don’t talk like that, ‘it is said that a man who is not a minister, becomes one who he serves the king well, but even a minister can be removed from his post, if he fails to serve him well, the servant who pays attention to what pleases or displeases his lord, can even get the upper hand over a wicked master. And how can a wise man fail to handle a king, when he sees that snakes, tigers, elephants and lions can be brought under control, one way or another!”

“So, what do you propose to do?” enquired Karatak.

“Today our master and his court are scared out of their wits,” replied Damanka. “I shall take it upon myself to find out the cause of their fear. Then I shall use one of the six Diplomatic Methods, which are - To make peace or war, to attack or to entrench, to take protection under a powerful ally, or provoke a quarrel between ones opponents.”

“How do you know that our master is scared out of his wits?” - asked Karatak.

“You don’t to know anything,” replied Damanak. Manu had said - That the thoughts of others can be ascertained by their faces, their gestures, their speech, and the twitching of their eyes.’ “And so through the power of my intelligence, I shall free the terrified Pingalak from his fear and, at the same time, get back my position as minister.”

“But you don’t know what service means,” told Karatak. “How then will you win him over?”

“Well,” said Damanka, “I have listened to the fables told by mahatmas and since then I have remembered the substance of them and have stored them in my mind.”

Saying this Damanak bowed, took leave of Karatak and then went straight to the king. As soon as Pingalak saw Damanak coming, he told to his guard, “Let Damanak, the son of my former minister, come in without any hindrance.”

When Damanak arrived, Pingalak spoke kindly to him.

—“Are you happy?” he asked. “Why have you come to see me after such a long time?”

-“Your Majesty!” replied Damanak. “Although my master has no particular work for me, yet I must still offer my services when the occasion demands. The king needs all three types of people-High middle and low. We were always with you as your servants, even followed you in bad times, yet our jobs were taken away from us. That was unjust on your part and I still dose not blame you.”

Hearing this the lion Pingalak said “It makes no difference whether you are high or low, you are the son of my former minister, so if you have anything to say, say it without fear.”

“My Lord!” said Damanak. “Indeed I have something to say.”

“Well then,” said Pingalak, “tell me.”

-“But, I want to tell you in confidence,” said Damanak.

The tiger, the wolves and the others understood the sign that pingalak made in response to Damanak’s request and went away.

Then Damanka said to the king. “You went to the river to drink water but you returned abruptly. Why was that?”

“Oh, for no particular reason,’’ - answered Pingalak with a smile.

“If it’s something that you don’t want to talk about. Said Damanak. There are some things that you can tell to wives, some to sons, some to the family, but you can’t tell everything to everybody.”

On this Pingalak thought to himself, “The fellow seems deserving enough. I’ll take him into my confidence. And then Pingalak asked Damanak, “Can you hear that terrifying noise in the distance?”

“Yes,” replied Damanak, “I can, what of it?”

“My friend,” said Pingalak, “I want to get away from this jungle.”

“Why so?” askded Damanak.

“Because,” replied Pingalak, “some monstrous animal has come here and it is he who makes this loud noise Probably he is as strong as his loud voice.”

“You mean that it’s just a noise you are afraid of!” exclaimed Damanak. “That’s not right. For generations, this jungle has belonged to you. It would be wrong for you to leave it suddenly. Besides, there are all kinds of noises made by drums, conches, vocal instruments and so on, so you should never be afraid of a mere noise, for. On this, I want to tell you that when the hungry jackal conquered his fear of a noise. He found food.”

“How was that?” enquired Pingalak. Then Damanak told this story. THE JACKAL AND THE DRUM

Previous Post Next Post