Thursday, April 25, 2013


Ancient Wisdom
A Teaching Story

Here is a story from the Panchatantra:

There once lived, in a small village, a poor dhobi (washerman). 

The dhobi had a donkey to carry heaps of clothes for washing to the ghat (riverbank) and back. 

Since the poor dhobi could not afford to properly feed his donkey every day, the donkey started to become weak and could not carry his load properly.

One day, the dhobi found the dead body of a tiger while he was collecting wood from the forest. 

The dhobi was very happy and thought, “I am lucky. I can skin the dead tiger and cover my donkey with the tiger’s skin and drive it into wheat farms where he will have plenty to graze. Once my donkey is covered with tiger skin, everyone will think that my donkey is a tiger. Thinking that he is a tiger, people will get scared and keep away from him. This way, my donkey will have plenty of food.” 

He acted on his plan. 

The dhobi would cover his donkey with tiger’s skin every evening.

Then, after dark, the donkey would go to the wheat farms every night.

Thye donkey would graze to his heart’s content till his stomach was full and return to his master’s house early in the morning. 

The hapless farmers watched helplessly as they were scared of confronting the “tiger”, especially after dark, in the eerie darkness in the night.

This went on for sometime. 

Soon the donkey became so strong and sturdy that he carried heavy loads effortlessly and the dhobi was very happy. 

One night, the dhobi’s donkey (in tiger’s skin) was happily grazing at the wheat farms. 

Suddenly the donkey heard the voice of a female donkey. It was a donkey mating call.

The donkey was so excited on hearing the mating call of a female donkey that he began to respond to it in ecstasy, braying loudly at full pitch.

The astounded farmers ran out of their huts and watched in amazement as they heard the “tiger” braying like a donkey instead of roaring like a tiger. 

Soon the truth dawned on them. 

This was no tiger. 

This creature was a donkey wearing a tiger’s skin who had been grazing merrily in their wheat farms and eating up their valuable crop.

The farmers decided to take revenge and teach this “tiger” a lesson.

So all the farmers attacked the dhobi’s donkey.

They severely beat the hapless donkey in tiger’s skin with sticks.

Soon the dhobi’s donkey collapsed in pain. 

His head was smashed and his bones were broken. 

A few hours later, the donkey died of his injuries.

Moral of the Story:

A Donkey Should Not Act Like a Tiger. Do not pretend to be what you are not. Be Yourself. If you are a donkey then behave like a donkey.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

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Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013. All Rights Reserved

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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