Monday, November 28, 2011

Glimpses from Mahabharata # 28 - Farmer and Tiger

Let us see one more interesting short story from the Maha Bharata:

In a forest near his village a farmer was grazing his cow. A tiger suddenly appeared in the scene.

The farmer sat down and started to cry. The tiger was puzzled at the farmer’s behavior. Out of curiosity he asked the farmer what was the reason for his grief.

The farmer told the tiger, “O lord of the jungle. I have a beautiful and highly accomplished daughter. It is time to get her married. I have been searching everywhere but could not find a match for her.”

The tiger asked the farmer, “What kind of a boy are you looking for?” The farmer replied, “He should be handsome, strong and intelligent. In fact he should be someone like you.”

“Why then,” the tiger said. “I can marry her myself.” “That is precisely what I was thinking,” the farmer said.” But you and I belong to different species. Even if I am agreeable, my kith and kin might oppose the idea. I shall therefore go to the village and consult my friends and relatives whether they would accept your proposal.”

The farmer left the tiger and returned after some time. “O noble tiger,” he said. “My kinsmen are delighted at the prospect of having you as a groom. I am however yet to ask my daughter.” The tiger bade the farmer to go post haste to his daughter and get her consent.

The farmer disappeared for a short while. When he reappeared, he had a worried look on his face. He told the tiger, “O King among animals, my daughter is agreeable but she is afraid of your claws and teeth. They should not injure her while you lovingly embrace her.”

It was then agreed that the tiger would make himself less dangerous. The farmer went to the village and this time fetched a carpenter. The carpenter chiseled the claws and teeth of the tiger.

The next moment the farmer took a stick and showered a few blows on the tiger. The beast who had lost his teeth and claws had to run away to save himself. The intelligent farmer thus saved himself and his town from an impending danger, with his smart thinking.

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