Reading A: Tales from India (100 Words)

You will find the texts of the stories below the audio, and the titles are linked to individual blog posts where you can learn more about sources, see notes, etc.
You can also find storytelling ideas here: Teaching Guide, see #85-111.


~ 1. The Lion and the Rabbit ~
Every day, the lion demanded that the animals send him a victim to eat.
One day, it was the rabbit's turn. The rabbit took his time on the way, thinking of a plan to escape the lion.
"Why are you late?" the lion roared.
"My apologies," said the rabbit. "I saw an even bigger lion, and I was frightened."
"Show me!" the lion commanded.
The rabbit took the lion to a well. "The lion's in there," said the rabbit.
The lion looked in and saw the other lion. Infuriated, he jumped in the well and drowned, attacking his own reflection.

~ 2. The Lion-King and the Camel ~
The lion-king was starving.
"You must eat the royal camel," the crow advised.
"But he's my devoted courtier!" the lion protested.
"Don't worry," said the jackal.
"He'll agree!" said the leopard.
So the lion-king summoned his courtiers. "I'm starving!" he roared.
"Eat me!" said the crow.
"You're just skin and feathers," the jackal scoffed. "Eat me!"
"You're too scrawny," observed the leopard. "Eat me!"
This show of loyalty inspired the camel, who assumed that another courtier would speak up to save his life also. "The leopard's meat is tough," the camel exclaimed. "Eat me!"
So the lion ate the camel.

~ 3. The Lion-King and the Jackal ~
The lion-king had grown old. "Fetch me something easy to kill!" he said to the jackal, his minister.
The jackal found a she-donkey in a dusty stable.
"I'll take you to a pasture of fresh green grass!" he said.
The donkey followed the jackal eagerly straight to the lion, but he was too weak; when the lion lunged for her, she escaped.
"Come back!" said the jackal. "The lion loves you! He wants to make you his queen."
"Me? Queen?"
The foolish donkey followed the jackal again. This time, the lion killed her. "Delicious!" he exclaimed, and the jackal agreed.

~ 4. A Story for the Lion-King ~
"Tell me a story that goes on forever," the lion king shouted, "or you will all die."
"You're the best storyteller," the animals said to the jackal. "Please save us!"
The jackal smiled and began. "O King, a fisherman went fishing with his net."
"What next?" asked the lion.
"He caught many fish, but the net was torn, and a fish escaped."
"What next?"
"A second fish escaped."
"What next?"
"A third fish escaped."
The lion yawned.
"And a fourth. A fifth… A sixth..."
The lion fell asleep listening to the endless story, and so the jackal saved the animals.

~ 5. The Lion and the Cat ~
A lion lived in a cave where there was a mouse who kept nibbling his mane, so the lion decided to hire a cat.
"I'll pay you to defend me from that mouse!" he promised.
The cat prowled the cave, and the terrified mouse stayed hidden in its hole.
The happy lion shared his food with the cat, and she had never eaten so well!
Finally, though, the mouse had to come out to look for food, whereupon the cat caught the mouse and killed it.
Then the lion stopped feeding the cat, and she died of hunger, poor thing.

~ 6. The Lion in the Jackal's Cave ~
A hungry lion hid inside a cave. "I'll eat whoever comes in," he thought to himself.
The lion waited there all day.
The jackal who lived in that cave finally came home and said, "Hello, Cave!"
The lion said nothing.
"Cave, you know you're supposed to answer!" said the jackal.
The lion was uncertain what to do. "Hello to you!" the lion roared, and the cave made his roar sound even louder.
The jackal laughed as he ran away. "You foolish lion!" he shouted. "That's how I know whether the cave is safe or not. Next time, remember: keep quiet."

~ 7. The Blue Jackal ~
There was once a jackal who fell into a vat of blue indigo dye. The other animals were amazed when they saw the blue jackal!
"The gods have sent me to be your ruler," the blue jackal explained. He made the lion his prime minister, the tiger was the royal treasurer, and the elephant was his doorkeeper.
One day, though, the blue jackal heard other jackals howling in the distance. He could not resist; he began howling too.
"He's just an ordinary jackal!" shouted the other animals.
So the lion and the tiger attacked their former king and killed him.

~ 8. The Jackal and his Brothers ~
A lioness had given birth to twins.
The lion went hunting and caught a baby jackal. "Eat this!" he told her.
The lioness, however, nursed the jackal, who grew up with the lions.
One day the cubs saw an elephant; the lions wanted to attack, but the jackal warned them away.
"It's too dangerous!" he said.
The lion twins snarled. "You're such a coward!"
The lioness feared for the jackal. "You aren't really a lion," she told him. "You should run away before your lion brothers kill you."
So the jackal went away and found his jackal brothers at last.

~ 9. The Tiger Cub and the Goats ~
A she-tiger died giving birth.
Wild goats found the cub and cared for him.
The cub ate grass like the goats, bleated like the goats, and thought he really was a goat.
A tiger then attacked the goats and found the cub. "Why are you eating grass? Why are you bleating?" he asked.
"That's what goats do," replied the cub.
"But you're a tiger!" he said.
Then he took the cub to a pond. "Look: that's your face! That's you!"
Thus the big tiger became a teacher to the cub who finally learned how to be a tiger after all.

~ 10. The Lion and the Ram ~
A ram once strayed from its flock and wandered into the forest.
In the forest there lived a lion who had never seen a ram before.
So when the lion first saw this ram, he stared in amazement. "Look at those horns! That creature might be even more powerful than me!" he thought, and he carefully avoided the ram.
A few days later, though, he saw the ram again. It was eating grass.
"This creature is a grass-eater!" said the lion to himself. "It is surely no match for me."
The lion then sprang on the ram and killed it.

~ 11. The Jackal and the Dead Elephant ~
A jackal found a dead elephant but couldn't chew through the elephant's tough hide.
Then a lion arrived.
Terrified, the jackal said, "I saved the elephant for you!"
"I don't eat what others kill," said the lion. "You may have it."
The lion left, and a leopard arrived.
The jackal shouted, "Hurry! Let's eat the lion's elephant before he returns."
The leopard bit into the elephant, tearing the hide with her sharp teeth and claws.
Then the jackal shrieked, "The lion's coming!"
Fearing the lion, the leopard ran off, leaving the jackal to feast on the whole elephant by himself.

~ 12. Lion, Jackal, and Camel ~
The lion was starving, as were his attendants: a jackal and a camel.
The jackal proclaimed, "I dreamed that Yama, God of Death, will grant rebirth to the devoted courtier who offers his body as food."
Without hesitation, the camel declared, "I accept Yama's promise of rebirth!"
So the lion and the jackal killed the camel.
Then, in the distance, they heard the jingling bells of a camel caravan.
"It's Yama and his Death-Caravan coming to avenge the camel!" shouted the jackal. "Run away, O King, run away!"
The lion ran, and the jackal had the whole camel to himself.

~ 13. The Jackal and the Crow ~
A crow perched high in a tree, eating some delicious fruit.
A jackal decided to flatter the crow, hoping she would drop the fruit so that he could catch it.
“Fair lady, you look like a peacock up there!” he said to the crow. "Your feathers are dazzling. I've never seen anyone as beautiful and as graceful as you!"
The crow then flattered the jackal in return. “Kind sir, you look like a handsome young tiger!” she said, and as she spoke, all the fruit fell out of her mouth.
The jackal then grabbed the fruit and ran away, laughing.

~ 14. The Jackal and the Peacock ~
A jackal and a peacock were friends.
One day the peacock ate some plums, while the jackal ate a lamb.
The peacock then planted the plum-pits. "I'll grow some plums!"
The jackal planted the bones. "I'll grow some lambs!"
The plum-pits sprouted, but not the bones.
The peacock mocked the jackal. "Your crop is a failure," he said, laughing.
Then one day the jackal didn't catch anything for supper, and he thought about how the peacock had mocked him.
"If I can't have lamb," the jackal decided, "I can have peacock!"
So the jackal killed the peacock and ate him.

~ 15. The Jackal and the Otters ~
There were once two otters who caught a fish, and then they quarreled about how to divide it.
“The middle is mine," one otter said. "You can have the head and the tail."
“No!” said the other otter. “I want the middle! I'll give you the head and the tail.”
A greedy jackal came by. "I'll be glad to judge between you," he said.
The otters explained what had happened.
"Oh, that's easy!" the jackal exclaimed. "You take the head... and you take the tail..." and then the jackal ran away with the middle part of the fish for himself.

~ 16. The Jackal and the Rams ~
There was once a greedy jackal who was prowling around, looking for food.
He saw two angry rams fighting, running at each other and butting heads. The jackal noticed that each time the rams butted heads, blood dripped down on the ground.
"I bet that blood would be tasty!" thought the jackal.
So the jackal ran up and licked the blood off the ground.
"That is delicious," he thought. "I want to get every drop."
Foolish jackal! While he was licking the blood, the rams butted their heads together again, and the jackal was crushed to death between their horns.

~ 17. The Jackal and the Bullock ~
A jackal once noticed the big balls that dangled from a bullock's behind, and they made his mouth water.
"What a delicious meal those would make!" the jackal thought. "And his balls are so heavy and so big. Surely they will fall down soon!"
So the jackal began following the bullock everywhere, waiting for the balls to fall down.
But they didn't fall down.
"Such big balls!" the jackal thought. "Why don't they fall down?"
Ever hopeful, he kept following the bullock.
Finally, though, he gave up.
"You can keep your balls!" he shouted. "They probably wouldn't taste good anyway."

~ 18. The Jackals and the Elephant ~
The jackals were stalking an especially large elephant, thinking that they could feast on him for days.
Finally the most cunning of the jackals went to the elephant and said, "O Great One, the animals met and elected you to be their king. I am to escort you to the coronation."
"I'm honored!" said the elephant happily.
The jackal then led the elephant into a swamp.
"Help!" shouted the elephant as he sank into the mud.
"Your courtiers are all coming to help you, Your Highness!" promised the jackal.
But the jackals did not help; instead, they devoured the elephant.

~ 19. The Elephant and the Sparrow ~
A raging elephant knocked down a sparrow's nest, killing her chicks.
The mother vowed revenge.
"Help me, Woodpecker!" she said.
"Agreed," said Woodpecker. "Help us, Gnat!"
"Agreed," said Gnat. "Help us, Frog!"
"Agreed," said Frog.
Then Frog told them all what to do.
Gnat buzzed in the elephant's ear; the music made him shut his eyes.
Then Woodpecker stabbed the elephant's eyes so he wanted to jump in the water for relief.
Meanwhile, Frog croaked at the edge of a pit; the elephant ran towards the sound, thinking it was a pond, and he fell in the pit and died.

~ 20. The Elephant-King and the Mice ~
The elephant-king was a wise ruler who had a kind heart.
When he led his elephants through the fields, they crushed many mice under their big feet.
"Have mercy!" cried the mice, so the elephant-king ordered all the elephants to spare the mice by taking a different path.
Later, elephant-hunters came and caught some of the elephants in snares.
"Help us!" the elephants shouted, and the mice all came to their rescue, using their tiny teeth to chew through the ropes and free the elephants from the snares.
Thus the elephants learned that even small friends can be great friends.

~ 21. The Elephants and the Rabbits ~
There was a drought.
The elephant-herd searched for water and found a beautiful lake. When the elephants rushed to drink, they crushed many rabbits underfoot.
A brave rabbit spoke to the elephant-king as he drank. "I am the Moon's envoy!" proclaimed the rabbit. "The Moon says: you trampled my beloved rabbits."
"I'll ask forgiveness!" said the elephant-king, and he kneeled in the water.
The moon's reflection in the water shook violently.
"The Moon is even more angry!" said the rabbit. "Go away and never come back!"
The elephant-king, fearing the Moon's heavenly powers, departed, and the elephant-herd departed with him.

~ 22. The Elephant and the Monkey ~
An elephant and a monkey were boasting.
"I'm mighty!" said the elephant.
"I'm nimble!" said the monkey.
"But which of us is better?" asked the elephant.
"Let the owl judge!" said the monkey.
"I propose a test," said the owl. "Bring me mangos from across the river."
So they ran to the river, but the monkey couldn't cross.
"I'll carry you!" said the elephant.
They got to the mango tree, but the elephant couldn't reach the mangos.
"I'll fetch them!" said the monkey.
They brought the mangos to the owl who said, "Now you see: you two are better together!"

~ 23. The Wealthy Toad ~
A toad once happened to find a copper coin.
He grasped the coin in his mouth and carried it back to his hole.
"I am now a toad who possesses both wealth and power!" he thought to himself.
Then one day an elephant walked over the toad's hole.
The toad leaped forth, angrily shaking his foot at the departing elephant as if he were going to kick him.
"How dare you walk over my head!" he shouted. "I am a toad who possesses both wealth and power!"
Money can make you lose all sense of proportion, just like that toad.

~ 24. The Boastful Beetle ~
There was once a tiny beetle who one day wandered into a place where people had enjoyed a wild party the night before.
Seeing a puddle of liquor on the ground, the beetle started drinking, and soon he was drunk.
"I am so mighty," he yelled, "that the world cannot bear my weight!"
An elephant wandered by.
"I'm going to fight you, elephant!" the beetle boasted. "We'll see who is the most mighty!"
The elephant laughed as he pooped and peed on top of the beetle, killing the insect instantly.
The elephant then ran into the forest, trumpeting in triumph.

~ 25. The Self-Important Insect ~
A farmer was walking through his fields one evening, headed home. The setting sun was a blazing ball of fire, while the rising moon glowed a brilliant silver.
"How glorious are the sun and the moon!" he exclaimed.
As he continued walking, he heard a tiny voice.
He stopped, looking for the source of the voice.
It was a firefly!
"They are cousins of mine, you know," said the firefly. "I am a creature of fiery light, just like my relatives, the sun and the moon."
The farmer laughed, amused at this tiny creature and its enormous sense of self-importance.

~ 26. The Monkey and the Firefly ~
A monkey found a firefly.
The evening was cool, so the monkey said, "I'll warm myself by the light of this fire!"
At just that moment, a bird flew by, and she decided to enlighten the monkey. "That's not fire," the bird explained. "That's just a firefly."
The monkey ignored the bird, so she chirped more loudly. "That won't work: a firefly isn't the same as a fire!"
On and on she chattered, making the monkey more and more angry.
Finally, the monkey grabbed the bird and squashed her.
Moral of the story: Be careful when correcting someone else's errors.

~ 27. The Monkey and the Peas ~
A monkey high up in a tree saw some peas lying nearby on the ground.
He jumped down and gathered all the peas in his hands, and then went back up the tree to enjoy his feast.
"Delicious!" he said.
As he was eating, one of the peas fell out of his hand.
"Oh no!" he shouted.
He jumped down to grab the lost pea, and as he did, all the other peas fell out of his hands.
Hearing his shout, more monkeys came and started eating.
Because he couldn’t let one pea go, the monkey lost all the rest.

~ 28. The Crocodile and the Monkey ~
Craving Monkey's heart for supper, Crocodile swam to the riverbank where Monkey lived.
"Let's go to Banana Island, Monkey!"
"But you know I can't swim."
"Don't worry! I'll carry you."
Greedy for bananas, Monkey jumped on.
Crocodile plunged deep under the water.
"What are you doing?" Monkey shrieked.
"I'm going to eat your heart for supper."
"But I left my heart in the tree!"
Monkey pointed to the fig tree on the riverbank.
"Well, go get it!" shouted Crocodile.
Crocodile swam back to shore, and Monkey leaped into the tree.
"You might fool me once," he cackled. "But only once!"

~ 29. The Monkey and the Rock ~
Crocodile noticed Monkey using a rock to cross the river, jumping from riverbank to rock, and then from rock to riverbank.
"I'll make my back look like a rock," thought Crocodile. "He'll jump on me, and I'll catch him!"
Monkey saw a suspicious new rock in the river, so before he jumped, Monkey said, "Hello, Rock!'
Crocodile said nothing.
Monkey shouted, "Hey, Rock! Why don't you answer me like you usually do?"
Crocodile realized he had to answer. "Hello, Monkey…" he said cautiously.
"Hello to you, Crocodile," Monkey cackled. "And goodbye! I won't be jumping on you today… or ever!"

~ 30. The Crow's Revenge ~
A snake raided a crow's nest and ate her chicks.
The crow vowed revenge.
She knew where the royal ladies bathed, leaving their jewelry beside the pool. The crow squawked loudly to make sure the queen saw her, and then she flew off with a golden necklace in her beak.
"Guards!" screamed the queen. "Go get my necklace!"
The crow then dropped the necklace in front of the snake's hole.
When the guards arrived, they saw the necklace and they saw the snake. They clubbed the snake to death and retrieved the necklace.
That's how the crow got her revenge!

~ 31. The Crab's Advice ~
There were two herons who lived in a tree, and at the foot of the tree was a snake.
One day, the snake ate the herons' chicks.
"We need help!" said the father heron.
"Let's ask the crab for advice," said the mother heron.
So they went to see the crab.
"You should scatter some fish from the mongoose hole to the snake hole," said the crab. "The mongoose will follow the fish and eat the snake!"
The herons did what the crab advised.
The mongoose ate the snake as they had hoped, but then it ate the herons too.

~ 32. The Partridge and the Rabbit ~
A partridge had a lovely home, but he left that home, temporarily, in search of food.
When he came back, he found a rabbit was living there.
"Get out of my home!" shouted the partridge.
"This is my home now!" the rabbit shouted back.
They went to a pious cat who lived by the Ganges to ask him to judge their case.
"My dear creatures," the cat said, "I am old and deaf. You must come closer... I still cannot hear you... Closer... That's better, just a little closer."
And then the cat ate the partridge and the rabbit too.

~ 33. The Vulture and the Cat ~
A vulture, old and nearly blind, lived in a tree hollow.
The other birds pitied the vulture and fed him, and he looked after their chicks.
A cat approached the tree, but the vulture squawked, "No food for you here, cat!"
"I follow the spiritual path," replied the cat. "I no longer eat meat. I seek only to learn from elders like yourself."
Flattered, the vulture began preaching.
Meanwhile, the cat ate the chicks, carefully depositing their bones in the vulture's hollow.
The cat then left, and when the birds found the bones, they attacked the vulture and killed him.

~ 34. The Hawks and the Crows ~
The hawks and the crows agreed to go hunting together.
One day, they found a fox nearly dead of starvation.
"We'll eat the upper half of the fox," said the crows.
"And we'll eat the lower half," said the hawks.
The fox laughed. "I always thought hawks superior to crows. Surely the hawks, not the crows, deserve the upper half."
"Yes, we do!" shouted the hawks.
"No, you don't!" shouted the crows.
A great fight broke out, and the fox recovered her strength by feasting on the fallen birds.
Thus the weak can profit when the powerful quarrel amongst themselves.

~ 35. The Jackdaw and the Glow-Worm ~
A jackdaw had caught a glow-worm and was about to eat her.
"Wait!" the insect said. "I know where you can get hundreds of glow-worms."
"Show me!" said the greedy bird. "Take me there now!"
The glow-worm took the jackdaw to a potter's workshop where there was a fire burning.
"See that light?" said the glow-worm. "Go eat those glow-worms there, and then I'll show you more."
The jackdaw ran up to the fire and tried to eat the sparks, but the fire burned his mouth… and when he went back to complain, the glow-worm had already made her escape.

~ 36. The Bharunda Bird ~
Have you heard of the bharunda bird? This strange creature has two heads attached to a single body.
One day, a bharunda bird found a flower filled with nectar. The first head drank the nectar eagerly, and the nectar went into their shared stomach. "Delicious!" it said.
"Give me some!" shouted the other head.
"No!" shouted the first head. "I found it; I drink it!"
The second head was so angry that it found a poisonous fruit and ate it.
"Ha!" shouted the head. "That's my revenge."
The poisonous fruit went into their shared stomach, and the bharunda bird died.

~ 37. The Hawk and the Fish ~
A hawk had caught a fish.
Holding the fish in his talons, he rose up from the water, ready to fly home and enjoy his meal.
But crows suddenly swarmed all around him, a hundred or more, each one trying to snatch the fish.
The hawk flew up and he flew down... still the crows pursued him.
Left and right... the crows kept on chasing him.
Finally, the hawk let go of the fish.
The crows all flew off, chasing after the fish and leaving the hawk alone.
He settled on a branch and sighed thankfully, "At last, I'm free."

~ 38. The Crow and the Sunrise ~
A foolish crow was convinced that his shrill caw-caw-caw caused the sun to rise each morning. Each day, he cawed in the darkness before dawn, knowing that the whole world depended on him to bring the sun.
One morning, however, the crow slept late.
He awoke to see the sun already high in the sky.
"Thank goodness another member of the crow family was awake this morning!" he thought to himself. "Otherwise, the earth might have spent the whole day in darkness."
This foolish crow shows us that the way you see yourself is a matter of opinion, not fact.

~ 39. The Animals Boasting ~
"My great valor makes me king of the jungle," roared the lion.
"But I am the most cunning of all," countered the fox.
"Just look at my feathers!" shrieked the peacock.
"Feathers are nothing compared to tusks!" trumpeted the elephant.
Meanwhile, a little toad croaked her own opinion:
"Lion, as king of the animals, you're a coveted trophy for hunters! Your fur, Fox, will be made into a coat. Humans will kill you for your feathers, Peacock, and they will kill you for your tusks, Elephant!"
"So I say," the toad concluded, "it's better to be small rather than mighty."

~ 40. The Animals Change Places ~
The animals and fish had gotten bored with their lifestyles and decided to switch places: the fish would live on the land, and the animals in the sea.
The result was a complete disaster.
As the fish came crawling over the land, eagles and hawks swooped down and devoured them.
The animals, meanwhile, couldn't breathe underwater, and most of them couldn't even swim, and thus they died in the sea.
"We need to go back to the land!" cried the surviving animals.
"And we need to go back to the sea!" cried the surviving fish.
They never switched places again.

~ 41. The Crabs and the Fox ~
The crabs found a fox weeping on the beach.
"What's wrong?" they asked.
"The other foxes were planning to devour you," he replied, "but I said we should not harm such pretty creatures."
The crabs were glad to meet a friendly fox.
Then the fox said to the crabs, "Let's go dancing in the moonlight!"
The fox danced happily together with the crabs.
"Come dance, my friends, come, come!"
The fox and the crabs danced up the sand and into the grass-covered dunes… where all the other foxes were waiting.
And so the foxes devoured the crabs, every last one.

~ 42. The Crane and the Fish ~
The lake was drying up.
"Don’t worry, fish-friends!" said a crane. "I'll carry you to my home, a big lake nearby."
"Thank you!' said the fish, and she carried them off one by one.
But the crane wasn't relocating the fish; she was devouring them.
Finally only a crab remained.
"Come on!" said the crane.
Then, as they were landing, the crab looked down and saw fishbones, so he grabbed the crane's neck with his pincers.
"Let go!" the crane said, but the crab squeezed.
SNAP!
The crane died, and the crab lived happily ever after in the big lake.

~ 43. Big-Wit, Half-Wit, and Witless ~
There were three fish living in a pond: Big-Wit, Half-Wit, and Witless.
Fishermen came to their pond, looking for fish to catch.
Big-Wit realized the danger at once and went swimming through the pond's outlet before the fishermen blocked it up. Thus he made his escape.
Half-Wit was unsure what to do, but finally he pretended to be dead, floating on top of the water, and the fishermen had no interest in a rotten fish carcass.
As for Witless, terror made him splash in the water, so the fishermen seized him and he became fish stew for the fishermen's dinner.

~ 44. The Two Fish and the Frog ~
Two fish named Smart and Very-Smart lived in a remote lake together with a frog named Not-So-Smart.
One day fishermen discovered the lake. "We'll come fish here tomorrow," the fishermen said.
The frog was very upset. "What can we do?" he said.
"Don't worry!" said the fish named Very-Smart. "We'll figure it out tomorrow." The fish named Smart nodded confidently. "We're smart!"
But Not-So-Smart decided to leave the lake right away and hide nearby.
The next morning he saw the fishermen hauling Very-Smart and Smart away in their nets.
"Sometimes it's better not to be so smart!" said the frog.

~ 45. The Frog in the Well ~
A frog was born in a well and lived there all her life.
Another frog was born and lived in a lake.
The lake-frog went exploring, and when she hopped up on the edge of the well, she fell in.
She tried to tell the well-frog what the lake was like. "It's big!" she said.
"As big as this?" asked the well-frog, hopping from one side of the well to the other.
"Bigger!" said the lake-frog.
"But there's nothing bigger than the well. You've lost your mind!" shouted the well-frog. "That 'lake' is something you dreamed; it can't be real."

~ 46. The Frog-King in the Well ~
The frog-king ruled the frogs of the well. The king had many enemies, so he hopped out of the well and found a snake.
"Snake," he said, "please kill my enemies."
"But I cannot swim!" replied the snake.
"You can hide in a hole in the wall of the well," explained the frog-king. "I'll show you my enemies, but you must spare my friends and family."
So the greedy snake ate all the frog-king's enemies.
Then his friends.
Then his family.
Terrified, the frog-king ran away.
"Frog-King, come back!" shouted the snake.
But the frog-king now knew not to listen.

~ 47. The Snake and the Frog ~
A snake and a frog lived in the same pond, and they became friends.
"I’ll teach you how to hiss!" the snake said to the frog one day.
"And I'll teach you how to croak!" said the frog to the snake.
After the snake learned how to croak, he would hide in the reeds and croak just like a frog, luring the other frogs to come near, and then he would eat them.
Eventually, the other frogs learned about the snake’s trick, so the snake had no more frogs to eat.
That’s when he decided to eat his so-called friend.

~ 48. The Frog-King Rides the Snake ~
A snake came to the frogs and said, "A brahmin has cursed me to be your vehicle. I must carry you on my back wherever you want to go."
The king of the frogs jumped on the snake's back. The other frogs did the same, and the snake did indeed carry them wherever they told him to go.
The next day, however, the snake was moving slowly.
"I'm hungry!" the snake said.
"Eat some frogs!" suggested the frog king.
Day by day the snake ate the frogs until only the king was left.
And then the snake ate him too.

~ 49. The Snake and the Ants ~
There was a mighty snake, the terror of the neighborhood. Nobody dared to challenge this snake.
Then one day the snake decided to slither through a narrow space between some rocks, and there he got stuck, bleeding where the rocks had scraped his skin.
Drawn by the smell of blood, the ants began to swarm. The ants were tiny, but they came in hundreds. Then in thousands.
The snake squirmed and thrashed as the ants crawled all over him, but there was nothing he could do.
And thus the tiny ants killed the mighty snake, bite by bite by bite.

~ 50. Deer, Tiger, and Crocodile ~
A deer had gone to drink, and a tiger lay in wait in the bushes nearby.
"That deer will make a delicious meal," the tiger thought.
Meanwhile, there was a crocodile in the water who also had his eyes on the deer.
As the deer finished drinking, the tiger leaped, but he missed and fell.
Then, as he tumbled with a splash into the water, the crocodile seized him.
They fought, and both died of their wounds.
The deer, watching the unexpected drama, exclaimed, "It's a good day for the deer when the tiger and the crocodile destroy one another."


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