Excerpt for BEDTIME STORIES & LOVE POEMS : A Collection of Illustrated Short stories by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




A Collection of Illustrated

Short stories

Book 1 to 5

Mohammed Ayya


This book is a collection of 47 short-stories and 17 Love Poems. These stories have been collected to depict various emotions like love, pain, happiness, etc. that one goes through in life.

Hope it is appreciated as I hope it to be.

Sincerely yours,

Mohammed Ayya


1.Bad things have bad end

2.Johnny the Elephant

3.The Bird and the Crab

4.The Hare

5.The Day Dreaming Man

6.The Three Fish

7.The Fox & the Crocodile

8.The Tiger, the Ox, the Fox and the Raven

9.The Cunning Fox

10.The Fox and the Drum

11.The Jackal & the Deer

12.The Four Friends

13.Hippopotamus and Rabbits

14.The Bison and the Warbler

15.The Untimely Advice

16.The Tiger & the Silly Mule

17.The Tigress & the Young Hyena

18.The Wild Pigeon & the Poacher

19.The Two Serpents

20.The Clever Hare and the Tiger

21.The Trader and the Servant

22.The Greedy Holy man

23.The Mamba and the Ravens

24.The Bed Bug & the Poor Louse

25.The Story of the Green Fox

26.The Bird Pair & the Eggs

27.The Tiger and the Fox

28.The Bird and the Baboon

29.The Young Bear Brothers & the Jackal

30. Jack & Mack

31.The Foolish Stork

32.The Trader’s son

33.The Selfless Robber

34.The Hermit & the Mice

35. Wild Buffalos & the King of Mice

36.The Story of the Vendor's Son

37.The Unlucky Tailor

38.The Clever Cat

39.The Priest & the Thugs

40.The Priest & the Snake

41.The Pastor, the Thief, and the Devil

42.The Marriage of the Mice

43.The Tale of the Golden Droppings

44.The Talking Cave

45.Serpent’s ride

46.The War of Ravens and Owls

47.The Baboon and the Alligator

48.Love Poems (17 Poems)



1.Bad things have bad end

There lived a notorious monkey named Jack in a thick forest. He used to harass the small, weak animals and birds. Sometimes, he destroyed the birds’ nests and threw away their eggs. Rabbits were afraid of being scratched by him. He used to twist the tail of foxes’. Almost all the animals were afraid of the monkey and wanted to teach him a lesson. But how could they do that?

There was a clever fox in the same forest. He decided to teach a lesson to Jack. He went to the monkey and said, "Your body is very attractive. The golden hair further adds beauty of your body, still one thing is wrong in you."

The monkey said with surprise, "What is wrong with my body?"

The fox replied, "Your body is red which does not suit your body. If you do as I tell, your face will shine like the moon."

The monkey was overjoyed and became restless to know the method to beautify his face and asked excitedly, "Tell me the method quickly to make my face glow."

The fox said "If you eat the fruit of heaven, your face will shine like the moon."

The monkey again asked, "How can I get this fruit?"

The fox replied, "It lies in the forehead of an elephant. When you see an elephant, hit his forehead with a stone and this way the fruit will come to his trunk, and when the elephant tries to catch you, quickly take out the fruit from his trunk."

The monkey waited for an elephant to pass. After some time, an elephant happened to pass by that route. As soon as he came near, the monkey hit him hard with a stone on his forehead. Blood oozed out from the forehead. The wounded elephant cried at the top of his voice in anger.

The whole of the forest trembled in fear. But the foolish monkey thought that the fruit must have slipped to the trunk of the elephant and hit another stone so that the fruit may fall out of the trunk immediately. But the second stone made the elephant mad, and he ran in search of the hidden enemy.

Soon he saw the monkey who was coming to him to take the fruit. Jack was determined to approach the elephant for the fruit which he wanted even at the cost of the elephant’s life.

In his excitement, Jack rushed to the elephant. The elephant also ran towards the monkey and caught hold of him with his trunk. In a fit of anger, the elephant threw Jack far away in the forest. The monkey was very badly hurt. Thus, after this incident he never again messed with other animals.

A wave of happiness spread all over the forest. All the animals thanked the elephant & the clever fox, for teaching the wicked monkey a lifelong lesson.


2. Johnny the Elephant

Johnny the Elephant was big, very big and­ very lonely. For years he had wanted nothing to do with anyone, and he had become sadder and sadder. Whenever anyone tried to talk to him and cheer him up, Johnny would move off.

Many thought that he was the most unpleasant elephant in the world, and they started ignoring him. They did so; despite the fact that they were told that Johnny had always been a good, kind elephant.

One day, Jill, a young deer, heard the whole story, and decided to secretly follow the elephant. He found out that Johnny behaved very strangely. The elephant would beat his mouth against the rocks, endanger himself by running between the biggest trees and eat sand.

No one knew it, but Johnny had terrible bad breath because a little fruit had got trapped in a corner of his mouth. This problem embarrassed Johnny so much that he didn't dare to speak to anyone.

When Jill realized this, he offered to help, but Johnny didn't want to bother him with his bad breath. Nor did he want anyone to find out. "I don't want them to think I have bad breath," said Johnny.

"Is that why you've spent so much time away from everyone?" answered Jill, unable to believe it. "They don't think you've got bad breath, they think you're unpleasant, boring, and ungrateful, and that you hate everyone. Do you think that's better?”

Johnny realized that his pride, his exaggerated shyness, and not letting anyone help­ had created an even greater problem. Full of regret, he asked Jill to remove the remains of the fruit in his mouth. When this was done, Johnny began speaking to everyone again.

However, he had to make a big effort to be accepted again by his friends. Johnny decided that never again would he fail to ask for help when he really needed it.


3. The Bird and the Crab

A bird lived near a big lake, which was full of fishes and other water creatures. The bird had grown so old, that he could not catch fishes from the lake anymore. He became lean and weak with every passing day due to lack of food.

Unable to bear the hunger anymore, he hit upon a plan. As planned, he sat at the edge of the lake for everybody to see, and began crying. On seeing this, a crab took pity on him and went near, "Uncle, What is the matter? Why are you crying instead to catching fishes?"

Continuing to pretend, the bird replied, "My child, I would not touch any fish anymore. I have decided to renounce all worldly matters, and vowed to undertake a fast unto death.”

The crab asked, "If you have indeed renounced worldly matters, why is it that you cry?"

The bird explained, "My child, I have been in this lake from my birth. I have grown here. And it now that I have grown so old that I hear that this lake will dry up as there will be no rains for the next twelve years".

The crab was surprised to hear this, "Uncle, please tell me if it is true. Please tell me where you have heard such thing."

The bird replied, "I have heard the news from a wise astrologer that there will be no rains for the next twelve years. You see, there is already not much water in the lake. And very soon, due to lack of rains, the lake will dry up completely very soon."

The crab was taken aback by the news of what is to befall on them, and went to tell this to the other water creatures.

On hearing this piece of news, everybody started to panic. They believed the bird, as he was not trying to catch any fish at all. So, they met the bird to seek advice, "Please guide us to save us from this disaster"

The bird said, "There is indeed a lake not far from here. It is full of water, and beautifully covered with lotus flowers. There is so much water in the lake, which it would not dry even if it did not rain for twenty four years. I can take you there, if you can ride on my back." He had already gained their confidence.

So, they gathered around him and requested to carry them one at a time to the other lake and save them.

The wicked bird had succeeded in his plan. Every day, he would carry on of them on his back pretending to take them to the other lake. After flying a little away from the lake, he would smash them against a rock and eat them up. He would then return after some time to the lake and relate false messages –‘how they are happy in the other lake’.

This happened for many days, when the crab said to the bird, "Uncle, you take others to the lake but it is me who is your first friend. Please take me to the other lake to save my life." The bird was happy to hear this.

He thought to himself, "Having a fish everyday has become monotonous. It is good that I will get to eat a crab today, for a change." Having thus decided, the bird started carrying the crab to the same rock. The crab looked down from above and saw the heap of bones and skeletons. At once, the crab understood what the bird was up to. He remained calm, and said to the bird, "Uncle, the lake seems far and I am quite heavy. You must be getting tired, let us stop for some rest". The bird was confident that there was no way the crab can escape from him in the sky.

The bird replied, "There is no lake for real. This trip is for my own meal. As I do every day, I will smash you against a rock and make a meal out of you."

When the bird confessed the truth, the crab got hold of the bird's neck with its strong claws, and strangled him to death.

The crab laughed at himself that he had saved himself and the other water creatures from the trick played by the bird. He dragged the bird back to the lake. The other water creatures in the lake were surprised to see him back. They became curious, and asked all sort of questions.

The crab laughed and replied, "We were being made fools! The bird was an imposter and what he told about the lake drying up was all false. He was taking one of us every day for his meal in a rock not far from here."

He proudly said, "I understood what he was up to, and have killed the trickster. There is no need to worry, for we are safe in this lake. It is not going to dry up at all."


4. The Hare

One day Hare was taking a walk through the jungle and ran into a Rhinoceros, who was making a fine meal of the treetops. "Hello, brother," said Hare. "Fine day, isn't it?"

Rhinoceros paused to look down at the tiny little creature at his feet and snorted. "Leave me alone, Hare. I don't have the time to waste on someone so small."

Hare was shocked to be talked to in such a manner. He wasn't sure what to do, so he left quietly to go and think about what had happened. As he walked along, he spied mighty Whale far out to sea and decided to ask her what she thought about Rhinoceros’s rudeness. He cupped his tiny paws and yelled as loud as he could, "Whaaale!! Come heeere!!"

Whale swam over to see who was calling her and looked about. After a few minutes she spied tiny little Hare jumping up and down on a cliff. “Hare," Whale said impatiently, "Did you just call me over here?"

"Of course," said Hare.

"Just who do you think you are? You are far too small and weak to have anything to say to me." And at that she turned, flipped her huge tail, and set off back into the deep ocean. But just then Hare had an idea.

He called out to her one more time, "Whale! You think that I am weak, but in fact, I am stronger than you! You wouldn't be so quick to ignore me if I beat you at Tug-of-War."

Whale looked at him for a moment before falling into a fit of laughter. "Very well little one," said Whale. "Go get a rope and we will see who is stronger."

Hare ran off to gather up the strongest and thickest vine he could. When he found it, he went to Rhinoceros and said to the giant animal, "Rhinoceros, you had no cause to treat me with such discourtesy this afternoon. I shall have to prove to you that we are equals.

Rhinoceros looked down at the Hare and laughed hard. "And how will you do that, small one?"

Hare stood up as high as he could, looked Rhinoceros right in the eye and said, "By beating you at a game of Tug-of-War."

Rhinoceros laughed so hard he nearly choked on his leaves, but agreed to humor the tiny animal. He tied the vine around his huge, hefty waist, snickering the whole time.

Hare took the other end and started off into the jungle. He called back to Rhinoceros, "Wait until I say 'pull' and then pull with all of your might." Hare took the other end of the rope to Whale and said, "Tie this to your tail and when I say `pull' you swim with all of your might."

Whale tied the vine to her tail, all the while smirking at Hare’s foolishness.

"I will now go and tie the other end to my own waist," said Hare, and hopped off into the jungle. Hare hid in the bushes and then called out, at the top of his lungs, "PULL!!"

Rhinoceros started to walk away with a smile on his face, but the smile soon turned to a look of surprise when the vine stopped following him. "My goodness," he said to himself, "Hare is much stronger than I expected!" The look of surprise soon became a frown as Rhinoceros pulled harder and harder, unable to make the tough vine budge any further.

Meanwhile, Whale began to swim away from the shore, but almost lost her breath when the vine pulled tight and refused to come with her. She pulled harder and harder, but she could not pull it any further. "That little Hare could not possibly be stronger than me," she said in outrage. Soon the vine could take no more strain and, with an ear-splitting sound, snapped into two pieces.

When this happened, poor Rhinoceros went sailing through the jungle and tumbled head over heels down a steep valley. The end that was tied to Whale caught up to her suddenly and she went sailing through the ocean and smashed into a very scratchy and uncomfortable coral reef.

Hare left without a word and never mentioned the matter again. Rhinoceros and Whale were completely confused and never did figure out how such a tiny creature as Hare could have beaten the largest of the animals.

And to this day, they are very careful to greet little Hare with great respect, whenever they meet.


5. The Day Dreaming Man

Long time ago there lived a man who was extremely lazy and poor at the same time. He did not want to do any hard work but used to dream of being rich one day. He got his food by begging for alms. One morning he got a pot of milk as part of the alms. He was extremely delighted and went home with the pot of milk.

He boiled the milk, drank some of it and put the remaining milk in a pot. He added slight curds in the pot for converting the milk to curd. He then lay down to sleep. Soon he started imagining about the pot of curd while he lay asleep.

He dreamt that if he could become rich somehow all his miseries would be gone. His thoughts turned to the pot of milk he had set to form curd.

He dreamt on; "By morning the pot of milk would set, it would be converted to curd. I would churn the curd and make butter from it.

I would heat the butter and make oil out of it. I will then go to that market and sell that oil, and make some money. With that money I will buy a hen. The hen will lay eggs which will hatch and there will be many chickens.

These chickens will in turn lay hundreds of eggs and I will soon have a poultry farm of my own."

He kept on imagining. "I will sell all the hens of my poultry and buy some cow, and open a milk dairy. All the town people will buy milk from me. I will be very rich and soon I shall buy jewels.

The king will buy all the jewels from me. I will be so rich that I will be able to marry an exceptionally beautiful girl from a rich family. Soon I will have a handsome son.

If he does any mischief I will be very angry and to teach him a lesson, I will hit him with a big stick."

During this dream, he involuntarily picked up the stick next to his bed and thinking that he was beating his son, raised the stick and hit the pot. The pot of milk broke and he awoke from his day dream regretting what he had done.


6. The Three Fish

There were three big fishes living in a lake, who were very close friends. All three of them were very different from one another.

The first one believed in fate. It thought things cannot be changed and what had to happen will happen no matter what.

The second one was intelligent. It thought it knew how to solve a problem, if it had one, with his intelligence.

The third one was the wise one. It thought long and hard before acting.

So one day, the wise fish was happily playing around in the water, when it over heard a fishermen talking to another. "Look at that one, what a big fish... This lake is full of big fishes like this one. Let us come tomorrow and catch them."

It hurriedly swam to its friends to warn them. "Let us get out of this lake before those fishermen come back. A canal I know can take us to another lake," the wise one said.

The intelligent fish said, "I know what to do if the fishermen come and catch me."

The fish which believed in fate said, "Whatever to happen will happen, I was born in this lake and I am not going to leave it."

The wise fish didn't want to risk its life, so it took to the canal and went to another lake. The fishermen came back the next morning and cast their net. The rest of the two friends were caught in it along with many other fishes. The intelligent fish thought of a way to escape, it acted as if it were dead. The fishermen threw it, along with other dead fishes, back into the lake. But the other fish, which believed in fate, was still jumping in the net and the fishermen struck him dead.

Thus, it never hurts to try, no matter what one’s fate might be.

7. The Fox & the Crocodile

There was once a little fox, which lived near the banks of a great river. Every day he went down to the water to catch the little crabs that were there.

Now, in that same river there lived a cruel crocodile. He saw the little fox come down to the river every day, and he thought to himself, “What a nice, tender meal this little fox would be, if only I could catch him.”

So one day the crocodile hid himself in the mud of the river, so that just the tip of his nose stuck out, and it looked almost exactly like the back of a crab.

Very soon the little fox came running along the bank of the river, looking for crabs. When he saw the end of the crocodile’s nose, he thought, “That looks like the back of a fine big crab,” and he put in his paw to scoop it out of the mud.

As soon as he did that, snap!—the teeth of the crocodile came together, and there he had the fox by the paw.

The little fox was terribly frightened; for he was sure the crocodile would pull him into the river and eat him. However, he began to laugh, though the crocodile’s teeth hurt him terribly. “Oh, you stupid old crocodile,” he cried. “You thought you would catch my paw, and you didn’t catch anything but a bulrush root that I stuck down there in the water to tickle your nose. Ah, silly, silly crocodile!”

When the crocodile heard that, he was much disappointed. “I certainly thought I had caught that little fox,” he said to himself, “and it seems I have caught nothing but a bulrush root. There is no use in holding on to that.” So he opened his mouth.

Then the little fox snatched his paw out. “Oh, stupid one!” he cried. “You did have me, and you let me go again. You’ll never catch me again.” Saying so, away he ran up into the jungle.

The crocodile was furiously angry. “Well, he tricked me this time,” he said, “but the next time I catch him he will not get away so easily.”

So he hid himself again in the mud and waited and watched. But the little fox came no more to the river. He was afraid. He stayed up in the country and lived on figs that he gathered under a wild fig-tree.

But the crocodile was determined to have the fox, so when he found the fox came no more to the river he crawled out one morning very early, and dragged himself to the wild fig-tree and gathered together a great heap of figs, and hid himself under them.

In a little while the fox came running toward the fig-tree, licking his lips, for he was very hungry. When he saw the great heap of figs he was delighted. “How nice!” he said. “Now I will not have the trouble of gathering the figs together, they are there all ready for me.”

He went nearer and nearer to the heap of figs, and then he stopped. “It really looks almost as though something might be hidden under those figs,” he thought. Then he cried out loud, “When I come to the fig-tree all the figs that are any good roll about in the wind, but those figs lie so still that I do not think they can be fit to eat. I will have to go to some other place if I want to get good figs!”

When the crocodile heard this, he thought, “This little fox is very particular. I will just shake myself and make the figs roll about a little, or he will not come near enough for me to catch him.” So he shook himself, and away the figs rolled this way and that.

“Oh, you stupid old crocodile!” cried the fox. “If you had stayed quite still, you might have caught me. Thank you for shaking yourself and letting me know you were there!” And then he ran away as fast as his legs would carry him.

The crocodile gnashed his teeth with rage. “Never mind! I will have this little fox.” he cried, and he hid himself in the tall grass beside the path that led to the fig-tree. He waited there for several days, but he saw nothing of the fox. The fox was afraid to come to the fig-tree. He stayed in the jungle and fed on such roots and berries as he could find there, but as he could find but little, he grew very thin and miserable.

Then one morning the crocodile made his way to the fox’s house while the fox was away. He squeezed himself in through the doorway (for it was very narrow), and hid under the heap of dead leaves that was the fox’s bed.

In the evening, the little fox came running home, and he was very hungry, for he had found little to eat all day, and he was very tired too. He was just about to go in and throw himself down on his bed, when he noticed that the sides of the doorway were scraped and broken as though some big animal had forced its way in.

The little fox was terribly frightened. “Is it possible,” he thought, “that the wicked crocodile has come to hunt for me here in my own house and is waiting inside to catch me?” Then he cried out aloud, “What is the matter, little house? Every day when I come home you say ‘All is well, little fox,’ but to-day you say nothing, and I am afraid to come in.”

This was not true; the little house did not really speak to him, but he wanted to find out whether the crocodile was there. But the stupid crocodile believed him. He thought to himself, “I will have to speak in place of the little house, or this tiresome little fox will not come in.” He made his voice as small and soft as he could, and said, “All is well, little fox.”

When the fox heard the crocodile speak and knew he was really inside the house, he was more frightened than ever. However, he answered quite cheerfully, “Very well, little house! I will come in as soon as I have been to the brook for a drink of water.”

When the crocodile heard that he was filled with joy, but he lay quite still under the leaves without moving. “Now I will have that little fox at last,” he thought. “This time he shall not escape me.”

But while he waited the little fox gathered together a great heap of dead-wood and leaves and piled it up against the door of the house. When it was big enough he set fire to it, and it blazed up with a great noise and burned the wicked crocodile to death, and that was the end of him.

And always after that the little fox could go wherever he pleased in safety, and he ate so many ripe figs and so many crabs that he grew as fat as fat could be.


8.The Tiger, the Ox, the Fox and the Raven

There was once a jungle that was ruled by a tiger that had a leopard, a fox and a raven at his service, along with other animals. 
As they did regularly, they were wandering about the jungle one day, when the tiger saw an ox at a distance. This ox had separated from its caravan and was feeding itself on the green grass of the jungle. 
The tiger took a fancy on this animal that he had not seen before, "Let us go and ask this extraordinary animal, where he comes from." 
The raven, which flies to far-off places was aware and replied, "Master, it is called an ox and this animal lives in villages. The flesh of this animal tastes good, let us kill and eat it." 
But the tiger disagreed, "He does not belong to the jungle, so he is our guest. I will not kill it. Please go and assure him that no harm will be done, and bring him to me".

As per the tiger's instruction, they went to the ox and assured him that they were to bring it to the tiger. They won its confidence, and they brought the ox to the tiger. 

The ox stood before the tiger and bowed. He also narrated how he had gotten separated from his caravan and how he had reached the jungle. 
On hearing this, the tiger said, "Oh Ox, if you return to the village you will be made a beast to carry burden again. Stay in the jungle under my kingdom instead. You can feast on the abundant green grass of the jungle without any fear." The ox accepted the offer, and they began to live together in peace.

Later one day, the tiger got severely wounded in a fight with a mad elephant. Such were his injuries that he could not take a few steps, let alone go out of his for hunting. Due to lack of food, the tiger became weaker. The animals who served him were also starving since they were dependent on the tiger for their food. When the tiger could not bear anymore, he called them and said, "Go and find any animal that I can prey upon even in my weak condition. This way I can provide food for you, and also for myself." 
All the animals wandered about the jungle without any success to find such an animal. On their way back, the fox had a plan. 
He said to the raven, "There is no point wandering about the jungle when the food is right in front of us. The ox can provide us with the food for all of us for a long time." 
The raven replied, "Indeed, what you say is correct. But the master has assured the ox of his safety under his rule. He will refuse to kill him." 
The fox said, "Leave that to me. I will influence the master in a manner that he will agree to feast on the ox. You wait till I return after a discussion with the tiger". The fox met the tiger and said, "Master, we have been looking all around the jungle but could not find an animal for you. All of us have not had food for so long that we can hardly walk properly. Under this circumstance, if you agree to kill the ox, his flesh can provide food for all of us". 
The tiger disagreed, "Shame on you! How can I kill the ox when he has my assurance that his life will be safe under my kingdom. It is a sin to think likewise." 

But the fox continued, "Master, it would indeed be a sin to kill him after you have given him the assurance of his safety. But if he offers himself as your food by himself, it would then not be a sin to kill him and accept his offer." The fox continued, "What good are we, if we cannot be of our master's service in his time of need. Please kill one of us for yourself, and the others to save the rest of us from dying of hunger." 

The tiger failed to justify the fox and said, "Please do what you think would be in the best for all of us." 

After this, the fox returned to the other animals and declared, "Our master is sick and weak. If something happened to him, there would not be anyone to protect us. We have failed to get any animal after wandering throughout the jungle. The only way now to repay our debts to our master would be to offer ourselves to him. This way the rest of us would be saved from dying of hunger too." 
As planned, all of them stood before the tiger and bowed. They informed the tiger that they did not succeed to find any animal for their food. 
The raven said, "Master, we could not find an appropriate animal for your food. So, I offer myself. Please eat me to save yourself from hunger." 
The fox interrupted, "You are too small to provide flesh for the master. Even if he agrees your offer, it will not be enough for his survival. Indeed, you have proven your devotion and by offering yourself, you have already freed yourself from the debts of the master." 
He turned to the tiger and said, "Please accept my offer instead." 
The fox stood humbly before the tiger, "Master, please eat me to save yourself from hunger. If you accept my sacrifice, I will be honoured with a place in heaven". On hearing this, the tiger shook his head in refusal. This way, the other animals started offering themselves, but the tiger kept refusing to accept their offer. 
The ox who was observing all this thought, "All of them speak beautifully about offering themselves, but the master refuses to kill any of them. I shall seek to impress the master in a similar fashion." 
Thinking such, the ox said to the other animals, "You have offered yourself, but the master cannot eat you because all of you are carnivores and belong to the same category as the tiger himself. Stand by, for I shall offer myself". With this, the ox came forward and bowed before the tiger. He said, "Master, you need not kill any of these animals. Please eat me instead. I offer myself in return to your debts. I shall find my way to the heaven, if you may please accept my offer". 
No sooner had he made the offer, the other animals cheered. Having already been influenced by the fox, the tiger jumped on him. He was killed, and eaten by all the animals together.


9. The Cunning Fox

One day a clever fox was wandering about in the forest in search of food. He had not eaten for three days and was extremely hungry. He knew, if this went on for another day, he may die. Therefore, he sat and thought of an idea on how to get some food.

He was aware that a farmer named Theo, had a wheat field on the border of the forest. Theo’s wheat fields had grown and he was planning to harvest them. He had fenced the boundaries of the farm so wild animals would not invade and destroy the wheat. Theo had built a small tree house, so he could stay up there and watch the farm at night.

One night as he was sitting on his tree house, the clever fox approached him. He told the farmer, “Dear Sir, your farm is soon going to be invaded by a huge elephant. There was shortage of food in the forest, so the big elephant living in the forest had decided to invade his farm. So be ready with your weapons.”

Theo got worried hearing the Fox’s advice. He had put so much effort in the farm and it would be a pity if the wheat fields were destroyed. He was left with no choice, but to take his bow and arrows and lay in wait for any intruders.

After visiting Theo, the clever fox went to the elephant. The elephant was grazing near a pond. The fox went up to him and asked, “Dear Sir, it appears that you are not getting enough food to feed yourself. The problem is that you are a vegetarian and that you eat only a select lot of plants.” The elephant replied, “You are right. I cannot eat all plants and am forced to travel from forest to forest, in search of food. It is a tedious task and there are days I even go without food. However, this forest is a bit better than the rest.”

The clever fox smiled to himself and said, “I have some good news for you. There is a place where you can feast for at least one week.”

“That’s interesting. Please tell me more about it,” said the elephant.

The fox told the elephant all about Theo’s wheat fields. He added the harvest was to take place tomorrow or the day after. The wheat fields are ripe and will be a real feast for you.

The Fox added, “He has fenced it, but the fence is no match for your might. You can go there tonight and feast until you are full. So don’t miss this opportunity.” Thank you for providing me with this information. “I shall go there in the evening and creep in at midnight, when the farmer is asleep,” said the elephant. “That is a great idea, as Theo sleeps like a log.”

The Fox then visited the boundary of the field, where a huge and ancient oak tree stood, and was home to many animals. Theo was standing close to the next tree and it appeared he was making plans for the night. “What are you doing here”, asked the Fox.

Theo replied, “I am searching for a place where I can have a clear shot at the elephant. “ The fox then advised Theo to stand under the nearby old oak tree as it had a great view. He added that he could also stand behind the oak tree and the elephant will not be able to see him.
Theo was happy at the fox’s advise, as he too had thought the same. Therefore, he decided to go to his hut, have an early supper and return.
The cunning fox then went to the oak tree. He was aware that a snake was staying on the base of the tree. He called out to the snake and told him, “Dear Sir, you are in great danger. The farmer, who owns the wheat field, plans to kill you tonight. Have you ever seen him?”
“Yes, yes! Isn’t his name Theo?” “Well, he has decided to destroy you and your family because you are a nuisance to his livestock”, said the fox.

“What shall I do my dear fox? He is big and always carries weapons.”

The fox said, “Don’t worry, he plans to come here tonight and will be hiding behind the tree. Before he can react, go and bite him twice or thrice and that will be the end of Theo”.

The fox wished him success and bade good-bye. He was sure that his plan would work and if all goes well, he would have a dead elephant, man, and snake by the next day. That should be enough meat for a month and a half. The elephant as planned slowly entered the sugarcane fields at midnight. The farmer noticing the elephants took out his bow and arrow, and shot three arrows at the elephant. The elephant cried in pain and fell.

Theo got down from the tree and no sooner he stepped down, he felt a sharp pain on his ankles. He felt as if an insect had bitten him a couple of times. Looking down, he saw a snake slithering away. Quickly, he raced after it and trampled it, and the snake was dead. Shortly, Theo too fell down and died. The elephant also had died by now.

The fox slowly ventured close to the hunter. He noticed the bow lying next to the hunter. He bit it to remove it from the way and in the process cut the bowstring. The tension in the string was so much that the sharp end of the bow entered the fox’s throat and that was the end of the cunning fox.


10.The Fox and the Drum

One day, a fox was very hungry, and was wandering about in search of food. After some time, he wandered out of the jungle he lived in, and reached a deserted battlefield.

In this deserted battlefield, a battle was fought recently. The fighting armies had left behind a drum, which was lying near a tree. As strong winds blew, the branches of the tree got rubbed against the drum. This made a strange noise.

When the fox heard this sound, he got very frightened and thought of running away, "If I cannot flee from here before I am seen by the person making all this noise, I will be in trouble".

As he was about to run away, he had a second thought. "It is unwise to run away from something without knowing. Instead, I must be careful in finding out the source of this noise".

He took the courage to creep forward cautiously. When he saw the drum, he realized that it was only the wind that was causing all the noise. He continued his search for food, and near the drum he found enough food and water.


11.The Jackal & the Deer

Once, there lived a group of Jackals in the forest. They hunted animals in the forest and the nearby village every day, but did not have a leader.

Therefore, one day, they decided to select a leader amongst themselves.

Thus, a Jackal was selected as the leader. The leader lectured others about the deeds they should do, but did not do them himself.

One morning, the leader called all the other Jackals and said, “My friends! What I am about to say is very important. All of us should be selfless, because it is evil to have greed. Therefore, I have made a law. While hunting, if you see that any of our brothers is hungry, then you shall give your food to him.”

The other Jackals were very impressed. They said, “We have a great leader. We should do as he says.”

A deer who was listening to them said, “O leader Jackal! Let us begin your teachings with the goat that you killed last night and hid in your cave.”

The leader Jackal ran quickly to his cave, so that no one could eat his goat.


12.The Four Friends

There lived four friends in a certain village. Although, all four of them were young men, one of them was a complete ignorant in matters of learning but had good common­sense. The other three were very learned in matters of the black magic, but lacked common­sense.

One day, as the four friends were assembled together, they decided, "The knowledge that we have over the black magic is no good, if we cannot use it to impress the king or otherwise to earn money!"

They decided to travel, in order to earn money using their knowledge. But the fourth friend was not learned, so they thought of leaving him behind. They agreed, "What good is common­sense? His talents would not help in earning money, let only three of us travel."

After much pleading by the fourth friend, they decide, "It will not be correct to behave like this to a dear friend, Let us take him along with us! We should also share a part of our earnings with him!"

As decided, the four of them started travelling. As they were travelling through a forest, they noticed the bones of a dead lion, lying on their way.

One of them said, "Let us start using our teachings! We have a dead lion in front of us. Let us test our learning and try to bring life into it!"

While the three friends agreed, the fourth friend did not like the idea. But his preference was ignored by the other three friends, and they started holy rituals.

One of the friends collected the bones of the lion and using his knowledge, created a skeleton of the lion. Another friend used his knowledge to cover the skeleton with flesh and skin.

As the lifeless lion stood in front of them, the third friend initiated the rituals to put life into the lion.

The fourth friend was alarmed, "O friends, if the lion comes to life, he will kill all of us! Please stop what you are doing!"

All others ridiculed him, "After reaching so far, are we going to waste our hard work? You say so, because you are jealous of our knowledge!" The fourth friend knew there was no point in arguing with them. He pleaded, "Please give me a moment. I wish to climb a tree before you make use of you knowledge."

He started climbing up a big tree and could see from above the third friend use his knowledge, to put life into the lion. As soon as the lion became lively, he noticed the three friends, who were celebrating their successful implementation of their knowledge.

The lion immediately jumped on them and killed them. The fourth friend could do nothing but wait till the lion had gone. Then, he climbed down the tree and returned home safely.


13.Hippopotamus and Rabbits

Deep in the forest, there lived a big group of Hippopotamus. The Hippopotamus lived in a certain place beside a lake, and did not require venturing out.

There came a time, when the lake started drying up due to lack of rain for a few years. Some of the Hippopotamus met the king of the Hippopotamus, and said, "Your Majesty! We do not have any more water. Some of our little ones are on the verge of death. We must find some other place which has plenty water."

After thinking a while, the Hippopotamus king said, "I remember knowing a place where there was a very big lake. It must still be full of water. Let us go there."

Next morning they started to march. After travelling for three days and three nights, the Hippopotamus finally reached the place. There was indeed a big lake, full of fresh water. There were innumerable holes in the soft earth around the lake, in which a group of rabbits lived.

When the Hippopotamus saw so much water in the lake, they rejoiced, and started jumping into the water without a care in the world. All this sudden commotion caused the holes to be destroyed. Many rabbits were crushed under the Hippopotamus. While many died, many others were seriously injured. But the rabbits could do nothing to stop this misery, and only those who ran away could save themselves.

When the Hippopotamus left in the evening, the rabbits that had run away started returning. They assembled in sorrow, "Oh dear! Because of scarcity of water everywhere else, the Hippopotamus will come here every day. We must think of something, or more of us will get crushed tomorrow. What can we do against the mighty Hippopotamus? We must leave this place to survive."

One of the rabbits disagreed, "Friends! This is our home. If we can frighten the Hippopotamus off, they will not return. I can think of a way to frighten them away. We may be only small rabbits, but we are capable of executing my plan."

As planned, a rabbit sat on a hillock which was on the path of the Hippopotamus. After a while the king of the Hippopotamus came with the rest of his herd.

The rabbit shouted, "You wicked Hippopotamus! I prohibit you to enter the lake. This lake belongs to the Star God. Go back at once!" The king of the Hippopotamus was taken aback. But he would not dare to enrage any God either. He asked what message the rabbit had for him.

The rabbit said, "I am the messenger of the Star God. He has sent me to inform you that he forbids you from entering his lake. Yesterday, many rabbits were trampled due to your visit. The rabbits live under the protection of the Star God, and he is very angry with you. If you wish to survive, you should not enter the lake again."

The Hippopotamus king kept quiet for some time, and then said, "If that is so. Tell me where your Star­ God is, and I will go away with my herd, once we have asked for his forgiveness." It was already evening, so the rabbit said, "The Star God has come down to his lake to console the families of the rabbits who got killed yesterday. If you want to meet him, come with me!" The clever rabbit led the king of the Hippopotamus to the bank of the lake from where the reflection of the Star could be seen in the water.

He said, "He is very aggrieved today, please bow to him silently and leave. You must not disturb his meditation. Otherwise, he will be furious."

The king of the Hippopotamus was wonder­struck on seeing the Star in the water. He believed the rabbit, and left trembling as soon as he bowed respectfully. And so, the rabbits lived happily, without being disturbed by the Hippopotamus anymore.


14.The Bison and the Warbler

A couple of warblers lived happily in their nest on top of a huge tree in a jungle. The female warbler had laid her eggs in the nest and they were expecting their newborns soon.

On a particular day, unable to bear the heat of the summer sun, a bison went crazy. He crashed into all trees in his way.

On his way, he broke the branches of the tree that supported the nest of the warbler couple. As the branches fell, so did the nest and all the newly laid eggs smashed against the ground. Although the warblers managed to escape by flying away, they were heart­broken to see that they had lost the eggs. The female warbler began to cry and wail loudly.

A woodpecker, who was at a little distance, was touched by cries. He went to her and said, "Dear warbler! There is nothing you can do by crying. What is destined to happen will happen for sure." The female warbler replied, "That is indeed true. But all my children were killed by this wicked bison, this is also true. We had done no harm to him." "If you consider yourself to be a friend", continued the female warbler, "Please suggest me a way to destroy this bison and avenge the death of my children".

"So I will", replied the woodpecker, "I have a mosquito as a friend. Let us go and ask for her help to destroy this cruel bison ".

Thus, the woodpecker and the female warbler went to meet the mosquito. The woodpecker explained, "My friend, please meet this warbler. She is a dear friend of mine. Her eggs were destroyed by a wicked bison; please help us find a way to destroy this cruel bison."

"I will certainly help you", the mosquito said after hearing the events, "How can I be your friend, and yet not help you when you need me. I have a toad as a good friend, let us seek his help to destroy this wicked bison." Thus, the female warbler, woodpecker and the mosquito went to the toad, and explained him of all the events for which they had come to him for help.

The old toad said after hearing everything, "The bison is big, but he is alone. What can this bison do, if we work together to destroy him? I have a plan!"

He explained, "Mosquito! When the sun is up high, your task would be to buzz in his ears. When he closes his eyes in sheer irritation, the woodpecker's task would be to peck his eyes and make him blind. In this heated summer, he will certainly search for water, but being blinded already he will not be able to do so. I will then sit on the edge of the nearby pit and croak at the top of my voice."

He continued, "When the thirsty bison hears me, he will think there is a pond or lake nearby and follow my voice. And when he does so, he will fall into the pit and perish. This way, we can avenge the death of the warbler’s children!" The others agreed to the plan, and organized to do their part of the tasks as laid by the old toad and the bison fell into a muddy pit and was severely wounded. Thus, they had executed their tasks as they planned, to their satisfaction.


15.The Untimely Advice

Once upon a time, all the birds ­- the storks, quails, pigeons, hornbill, woodpecker, swans, guans and the rest of them­ decided to meet. They had to discuss a subject of utmost importance. Unfortunately, no raven had joined yet, but they could not wait any longer.

They debated, "Eagle, who is the king of all birds, is always busy in serving his master. He has neither the time, nor the interest to bother about us! There is no point in having a king who does not care, protect and remains at the position of the king only as a namesake."

And so the birds discussed, "Let us choose a king amongst us!" On this, they started looking at each other. Suddenly the features of hornbill attracted everybody. He was strong, had impressive features. They agreed that the hornbill would be a perfect king for themselves.

They shouted, "The hornbill should be our king! Let us prepare for the coronation at once!" As decided, the birds collected 115 holy roots, water from the holy rivers, and prepared a lavish and highly decorated throne. They even spread the ground in front of the throne with leopard skin. The priests, they had invited, started chanting from holy books, while the birds beat drums, and beautiful maidens blew horns and sang songs of joy.

With a map of all the continents and oceans drawn, the hornbill was prepared to be crowned. At the moment the hornbill was being accompanied to the throne to be crowned, a crow arrived. He asked curiously, "Please let me know the reason of this great gathering, and lavish celebration!" The crow was indeed known for his smartness, and the birds decided to explain and take his opinion.

The birds explained, "O Crow, Eagle has no time to bother about us. So, we have decided to denounce him as our king and have elected the hornbill to be our new king. Since, you have just joined; please provide us with your opinion also."

The crow smiled and replied, "In my opinion, I should advise against crowning hornbill as our king!" He continued to explain, "The hornbill is so ugly, firstly. Look at him. Why have an ugly king, when the birds are known for their beauty. We have the peacocks, swans, nightingales, pigeons and so many more that look so beautiful. And look at him; he looks so cruel with his crooked nose and squint eyes. How would he look if he was angry? I certainly advise against crowning him."

The other birds started considering his points, and the crow continues with his arguments, "And what do we gain from electing him as our king? We already have Eagle as our king. The mere mention of his name would keep our enemies away! It is not important at all, for us to elect a new king and denounce Eagle!"

On hearing his logic, the birds started pondering, "His reasoning is right. The entire purpose of our makes no sense. Let us think awhile and meet some other time."

One by one, the birds started flying away. Even the priests and beautiful maidens started to leave. The crow was still sitting on the branch of a tree. Unable to understand the commotion, the hornbill and his wife were still waiting to be crowned king and queen.

The hornbill asked his wife, "What is happening? Why is the crowning ceremony yet to begin? Why have all the birds left?" His wife replied, "As I understand, the crow put an obstacle in the crowning ceremony. He persuaded all the other birds to fly away. Only he, with ulterior motives, stayed behind. We should return home, too."

On hearing this, the hornbill got very disappointed. He shouted to the crow, "You are a wicked bird. I did not harm you in any way, and yet you put obstacle to my crowning ceremony. From today, I end all friendly relationship with you. From now onwards, our kind and your kind will be nothing but enemies." The hornbill left with his wife, to return to his home. The crow was left alone. With everybody else gone, he decided to leave too.

While flying off, he thought, "Why did I speak my mind? My advice to the birds was not required. It is because of my advice, that crows will always have the hornbills as their enemies."


16.The Tiger & the Silly Mule

There was a tiger, who was always accompanied by a fox, as his attendant. One day, the tiger was severely injured in a fierce battle with a buffalo. He could not walk properly, let alone hunt for prey. As a result, the fox had no food either.

As days went by, without food, the fox said, "O My lord, I am not being able to serve you because I am too weak. I have not eaten for several days." The tiger replied, "O Fox, please find an animal that I can kill even in my present weakness. Otherwise, we will both die of starvation."

Thus, the fox went out of the cave in search of food. He wandered in a jungle and reached close to a village. He noticed a mule from the village had strayed into the borders of the jungle to eat green grass. The fox greeted the mule warmly, "Greetings uncle! I see you have grown thin and look tired. Why is that so?"

The mule replied, "I have a wicked master! He would make me work the entire day in lifting heavy burdens, and hardly provide me a handful of green grass. Although there is danger here, I could not stop myself from grazing in these green grasses."

The fox replied, "Uncle! Come with me! Deep inside the jungle, my master protects all animals from the cruelty of humans. There are green pastures all around that shines like jewels. You can finally lead a relaxing life!"

Persuaded in this manner, the mule believed the fox and followed him to the tiger's cave. The tiger on the other hand, saw the fox bring a mule with him; He was too excited to wait for them to come closer and jumped on the mule. The tiger had grown weaker than he could have anticipated himself, and missed the mule. The tiger fell on the ground near the mule.

When the donkey saw this, he ran as fast as he could, to save his life. The tiger was ashamed of his actions, and the fox said, "Today, even a mule can escape from you! I will try to bring him back. But this time, please wait for us to come closer. You are not strong to jump much distance now"

Saying this, the fox ran after the mule. Knowing the ways of the jungle, he was able to overtake him and stop him on the way. The mule said, "Some nice place you took me to! You took me to the very jaws of death. What animal was it, which tried to jump on me?"

The fox at once replied, "O Uncle, you ran because you misunderstood! It was a female mule who wanted to embrace you! She had not seen a male mule for years, and could not stop herself from jumping on you." The fox continued, "If it was any other animal, a lion or a tiger, would he have missed you? Could you be able to escape from him?"

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