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The Ugly Duckling

One upon time, a mother duck sat on her eggs. She felt tired of sitting on them. She just wished the eggs would break out.
Several days later, she got her wish. The eggs cracked and some cute little ducklings appeared. "Peep, peep" the little ducklings cried.
"Quack, quack" their mother greeted in return.
However the largest egg had not cracked. The mother duck sat on it for several days. Finally, it cracked and a huge ugly duckling
waddled out. The mother duck looked at him in surprise. He was so big and very gray. He didn't look like the others at all. He was like a
turkey.
When the mother duck brought the children to the pond for their first swimming lesson. The huge grey duckling splashed and paddled
about just as nicely as the other ducklings did. "That is not a turkey chick. He is my very own son and quite handsome" the mother said
proudly.
However, the other animals didn't agree. They hissed and made fun of him day by day. Even his own sisters and brothers were very
unkind. "You are very ugly" they quacked.
The little poor duckling was very unhappy. "I wish I looked like them" he thought to himself. One day, the ugly duckling run away and hid
in the bushes. The sad duckling lived alone through the cold and snow winter. Finally the spring flowers began to bloom. While he was
swimming in the pond, he saw three large white swans swimming toward him. "Oh, dear. these beautiful birds will laugh and peck me
too" he said to himself. But the swans did not attack him. Instead, they swam around him and stroked him with their bills. As the ugly
duckling bent his neck to speak to them, he saw his reflection in the water. He could not believe his eyes. "I am not an ugly duckling but
a beautiful swam" he exclaimed.
He was very happy. From that day on, he swam and played with his new friends and was happier than he had never been.

The Golden Swan


This is another nice story from the album of Jataka Kathaye (Tales). Once upon a time, there was a swan / goose that had striking
golden feathers. This swan lived in a pond. There was a house near this pond, where a poor woman lived with her two daughters. The
people were really poor and were leading a tough life. The swan found that the poor mother was passing a hard time with her
daughters.
The swan thought, If I give them one after another my golden feathers, the mother can sell them. She and her daughters can live in
comfort with the money raised from it. After thinking this, the swan flew away to the poor womans house. On seeing the swan inside
the house, the woman said, Why have you come here? We have nothing to offer you.
The Swan replied, I have not come to take anything, but I have something to give you. I know your condition. I will give my golden
feathers one by one and you can sell them. With the money raised through it, you people can easily live in comfort. After saying this,
the swan shed one of her feathers and then flew away. This became a regular feature and from time to time, the swan came back and
every time left another feather.
Like this, the mother and her daughters were happily leading their life by selling the feathers of the golden swan. Each golden feather
got them enough money to keep them in comfort. But the mother became greedy to get all the feathers as soon as possible. One day,
she said to her daughters, Now, we will not trust this swan, possibly she may fly away and never come back. If this would happen, we
will be poor again. We will take all of her feathers, when she will come the next time.
The innocent daughters replied, Mother, this will hurt the swan. We will not cause any pain to her. But the mother was determined to
catch hold the swan the very next time she comes. Next time, when the swan came, the mother caught her and pulled out all of her
feathers. Now, the golden feathers of the swan changed into some strange feathers. The mother was shocked to see such feathers.
The Golden Swan said, Poor Mother, I wanted to help you, but you wanted to kill me instead. As per my wish, I used to give you the
golden feather. Now, I think there is no need to help you. Now, my feathers are nothing more than chicken feathers for you. I am going
from this place and will never come back. The mother felt sorry and apologized for the mistake committed by her. The Golden Swan
said, Never be greedy and flew away.
Moral: Excess greed brings nothin

The Rabbits and the Elephants

This is another nice story from the Hitopadesha collection. Once upon a time, there lived
a herd of Elephants in a forest. A mighty Elephant by the name of Chaturdanta was their
king. There was a big lake in the middle of the forest where all the animals used to go to
drink water and to take a bath. Once it so happened, that there was no rain for the whole
year and the lake dried up. Many of the birds and the animals died of thirst. The
Elephants got worried that if they didnt get water soon many of them would die of
thirst.
The Elephants decided to take the matter to their king, Chaturdanta. So they approached
their king and said, You Majesty, as you know there is no water in our forest, many of
the birds and animals have died due to thirst. We require water in order to survive. If we
will stay here soon many of us will die. We have to find out water as soon as possible.
The King Elephant considered the idea and asked the Elephants to go in different
directions to find water. Fortunately, one of them found a large lake full of water in
another jungle far away.
The King Elephant got happy to hear this news. He ordered all his followers to make their
way towards the lake. This lake was full of water and never went dry even if it didnt rain.
On the way to this lake, there was a settlement of Rabbits. The Elephants had to pass
through this settlement of Rabbits. Thousands of Rabbit got crushed under the heavy
feet of the Elephants and many of them got wounded. The Rabbits fled in terror. The
situation was getting severe, so the King of the Rabbits called up a meeting.
In the meeting, the King said, A herd of Elephants is passing through our area. They
have killed thousands of our friends. We are in a critical need to avoid more deaths. I
want all of you to think of a way to save our race. All the Rabbits underwent a thought
process. Suddenly, a little Rabbit derived a plan and said to the King, Your Majesty, if
you will send me as your messenger to the King of the Elephants, I might find a solution
to this problem. The Rabbit King gave his approval to the idea. The little Rabbit rushed
towards the lake.
When he saw the herd of Elephants returning from the lake, he realized that it was
impossible to get near to them. Then he thought that how could he talk to the King of
Elephants. Thus, he climbed up a hill and shouted, O, King of the Elephants. Please
listen to me. On hearing the Rabbits voice, Chaturdanta stopped for a while and
replied, Who are you? From where have you come? The smart Rabbit answered, I am
a messenger sent to you by the Moon God. The King of the Elephants said, Why you
have come here?
The Rabbit replied, Moon God has sent a message for you. A messenger speaks only
truth. Please consider that a messenger is never punished for what he has to say. He is
only doing his job so you must not be angry with me. Chaturdanta confirmed him that
he wont be harmed in any way.
The little Rabbit said, The Moon God is angry with you because you have brought your
herd to his holy lake and have disturbed the peace. You have crushed thousands of
Rabbits to death on the way to lake. Rabbits are under the special protection of Moon
God. Since you have bothered the Moon God and his special creatures, he is extremely
annoyed with you and wants you to leave his kingdom at once. If not, then you might
face terrible consequences.
The King Elephant was scared to hear this message from the Moon God. He said, You
are right. We have killed many rabbits on our way to the lake. But really that was done in
ignorance. I will see that you do not suffer anymore. I want to request the Moon God to
pardon me for my sins. Please advise me what I should do. The Rabbit replied, Ok. I will
take you to the Moon God. Pay your homage to the God and ask him to forgive you for
the crime you have committed. Come with me.
At night, the Rabbit led the King of Elephants to the lake. Both, the Rabbit and the
Elephant stood near the bank of the lake. There they saw the reflected image of the
Moon in the still water. Just then, a mild breeze blew disturbing the waters of the lake
and the moon seemed to move to and fro. When Chaturdanta saw this, he thought that
the Moon God was really angry with him. He bowed to the Moon God in panic. The Rabbit
said, Oh Moon God, The King of Elephants has done a sin in ignorance. Please forgive
him. He is taking away his herd from here and promising never to come back.

Frightened Chaturdanta bowed once again to the Moon God and left the place with his
herd immediately. And the Rabbits lived happily in their settlement ever after.
Moral: Wit can win over might.

The Rabbits and the Elephants


Once upon a time, there lived a herd of Elephants in a forest. A mighty Elephant by the
name of Chaturdanta was their king. There was a big lake in the middle of the forest
where all the animals used to go to drink water and to take a bath. Once there was no
rain for the whole year and the lake dried up. The Elephants got worried that if they
didnt get water soon many of them would die of thirst.
The Elephants decided to approach their king and said, You Majesty, as you know there
is no water in our forest, many of the birds and animals have died due to thirst. We
require water in order to survive. We have to find out water as soon as possible if its not,
we will die. The King Elephant considered the idea and asked the Elephants to go in
different directions to find water. Fortunately, one of them found a large lake full of water
in another jungle far away.
The King Elephant got happy and ordered all his followers to make their way towards the
lake that full of water. On the way to this lake, there was a settlement of Rabbits. The
Elephants had to pass through this settlement of Rabbits. Thousands of Rabbit got
crushed under the heavy feet of the Elephants and many of them got wounded. So that,
the King of the Rabbits called up a meeting.
The rabbit King said, A herd of Elephants is passing through our area and have killed
thousands of our friends. I want all of you to think of a way to save our race. Suddenly,
a little Rabbit derived a plan and said to the King, Your Majesty, if you will send me as
your messenger to the King of the Elephants, I might find a solution to this problem. The
Rabbit King agreed. And then The little Rabbit rushed towards the lake.
When he saw the herd of Elephants returning from the lake, he realized that it was
impossible to get near to them. Thus, he climbed up a hill and shouted, O, King of the
Elephants. Please listen to me. On hearing the Rabbits voice, Chaturdanta stopped and
replied, Who are you? The litte Rabbit answered, I am a messenger sent to you by
the Moon God. The King of the Elephants said, Why you have come here?
The Rabbit replied, Moon God has sent a message for you. Please consider that a
messenger is never punished for what he has to say. So dont be angry with me.
Chaturdanta confirmed.
The little Rabbit said, The Moon God is angry with you because you have disturbed his
holy place. You have killed many of us. Rabbits are under the special protection of Moon
God. Since you have bothered the Moon God and his special creatures, he is extremely
annoyed with you and wants you to leave his kingdom at once. If not, then you might
face terrible consequences.
The King Elephant was scared and said, You are right. We have killed many rabbits . But
really that was done in ignorance.Please advise me what I should do. The Rabbit replied,
Ok. I will take you to the Moon God. Pay your homage to the God and ask him to forgive
you.
At night, the Rabbit led the King of Elephants to the lake. There, both of them stood near
the bank of the lake. and saw the reflected image of the Moon in the still water. Just then,
a wind blew disturbing the water of the lake and the moon seemed to move to and fro.
When Chaturdanta saw this, he thought that the Moon God was really angry with him. He
bowed in panic. The Rabbit said, Oh Moon God, The King of Elephants has done a sin in
ignorance. Please forgive him. He is taking away his herd from here and promising never
to come back.

Frightened Chaturdanta bowed once again and left the place with his herd immediately.
And the Rabbits lived happily in their settlement ever after.
Moral: dont sacrifice others to fulfill our satisfaction