Saturday, July 28, 2012


A Teaching Story
Ancient Wisdom

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. 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 and the donkey would go to the wheat farms every evening, graze to his heart’s content till his stomach was full and return to his master’s house in the morning. The hapless farmers watched helplessly as they were scared of confronting the “tiger”, especially after 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 day, when 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 and began to respond to it in ecstasy, braying loudly at full pitch.

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

Soon the truth dawned on them and they recognised the creature as a donkey in a tiger skin.

So all the farmers attacked the dhobi’s donkey and killed him.

Dear Reader, please tell me the moral of this story.


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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. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU 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 short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, 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 research papers in journals and edited in-house journals 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. Vikram 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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