The Fox And The Elephant – Panchatantra Stories 1
There lived a huge elephant in a dense forest. He was cruel and arrogant by nature. He roamed freely in the jungle, pulling down small trees and branches. Those animals who lived in the trees were very much afraid of this elephant. When he pulled down the trees and tore off the branches, many a nests with eggs and nestlings came down crashing on the ground and got destroyed.
His movement in the jungle created an all round havoc. Even the tigers and lions kept themselves at a safe distance from this rogue. In his ruthless march in the jungle, many holes of the foxes were trampled. This led to dissatisfaction among the foxes and among the other animals alike. Many of them wanted to kill the elephant. But this task was very difficult, because of his huge size.
“He is so huge”, said the foxes amongst themselves. “It’s nearly impossible to kill him.”
Then a meeting of all the foxes was called. the meeting this rather impossible task was assigned to a very cunning fox to perform. The fox, before executing his plan studied the elephant’s behaviour for many days.
One day, the fox went to meet the elephant and said to him, “Your Highness. It’s urgent to talk to you. It’s a matter of life and death for us.”
The elephant trumpeted at his highest pitch and asked, “Who’re you and why do you want to see me?”
“Your Highness”, said the fox. “I’m the representative of the whole of the animal community. We want to make you our supreme head- the king. Kindly accept our offer.”
The elephant lifted his trunk with great pride and asked for details.
The fox further explained, “I’ve come to take you with me. The coronation ceremony will take place in the middle of the jungle, where thousands of animals have already gathered and are chanting holy mantras.”
The elephant was very glad to hear this. He had always cherished a dream to become a king. He thought that the coronation ceremony will be a matter of pride to him. He readied himself hurriedly to accompany the fox to the deep jungle. “Come, Your Highness,” said the fox. “Follow me.”
The fox led the elephant to some imaginary spot of ceremony. On their way, they had to walk through a swampy area by the side of a pond. The fox being light bodied, crossed the small swampy patch without any difficulty. The elephant too walked on it, but being heavily built, he got stuck into the swamp. The more he tried to come out of the swamp, the more he went deep into it. He became scared and called out the fox, “Dear friend. Please help me. I’m sinking in the mud. What’ll happen to my coronation now. Call your other friends also to help me.”
“I’m not going to save you”, said the fox. “You deserved this treatment. You know, how cruel you have been to other animals all along. You pulled down branches of trees mercilessly, without caring for the eggs and for the lives of the nestlings. You knew everything, but remained indifferent. You trampled upon the burrows of the foxes. You saw our siblings being crushed under your heavy feet. You saw us crying, begging for mercy; but nothing bothered you. And now you are begging for your life? I am sorry to tell you that though, your coronation couldn’t take place, but your cremation will definitely take place.” And the fox left.
The elephant couldn’t come out of the swamp and died there.
Moral: Even a tyrant has to meet his doom.