The Cunning Snake – Panchatantra Stories 7: There lived a brown snake by the name of Mandvishya near a pond. The pond was full of frogs-big and small. They were all leading a happy life under the good rule of their king frog.
The big brown snake had become old and weak and could no more catch his prey easily for his meals. So he decided to play a ruse upon the frogs. One day, he went to the pond and lay there as if he was suffering from illness.
After sometime, the king frog happened to come out of water. He saw the brown snake lying by the side of the pond in a pitiable condition. When he asked for the reason in a frightened tone, the snake said, “A week before, I bit the son of a pundit by mistake, because he had tried to kill me with a stick. He died immediately. Now the pundit has cursed me. According to his curse, I’ll have to serve the frogs and have to eat whatever they offer me for food. So, I’m here to serve you.”
The king frog and his ministers were delighted to hear this. Other frogs also gathered around the snake. Many of the minister frogs and the king frog too jumped on to the back of the brown snake to have a joy ride. The brown snake swam round the pond with all the frogs riding on his back.
The next day also the frogs rode over the entire length of the snake’s back. The snake swam in the pond. Soon the king frog realized that the snake’s movement had slowed down. When he asked for the reason, the brown snake said, “Your Majesty, due to constant swimming and non-availability of food, I’ve gone weak. I can’t move any more now.”
The king frog, thinking that in view of the snake’s physical weakness, he might not be able to have joy rides in future, allowed the snake to eat a few frogs.
The brown snake, thus, started eating the frogs easily, one by one. One day, there were no frogs left in the pond, except the king frog. So the snake spoke to the king frog. “I can’t remain hungry anymore. There are no frogs now left in the pond except you. So, please excuse me for eating you.” And the brown snake attacked the frog with a lightening speed and ate him also.
Moral: Never trust your enemy.