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Three Cheats

2006-07-14 00:25

  Once there lived a Brahman in a village. He used to go from village to village for alms. One day a villager gave a lamb the Brahman in alms. Lifting it onto his shoulders, the Brahman set out for his village. His way lay through a forest. While crossing it, the Brahman came across three wicked men who were cheats. Seeing a lamb on his shoulder, their mouth began to water.

  One of the cheats said, “How stocky the lamb is.”

  The second cheat added, “No doubt; it will make a nice meal for us all. But how can we lay hands on it? The Brahman will never hand it to us willingly free of cost.”

  “Listen to me,” said the third cheat, who had been silent so far. “I have made a plan to grab the lamb.”

  “What is your plan?” asked the two cheats in one voice. The third cheat whispered his plan to both his companions. Happy to hear it, they said, very good plan indeed. Let us see how successfully it works.“

  “Succeed it must”。 Saying so, the third cheat got up and moved towards the Brahman. The other two followed suit.

  Approaching the Brahman, the third cheat said, “Where are you carrying this dog, O Brahman? It does not look nice that a Brahman carry a dog. I am surprised to see you with it. It is sure to bring disgrace and defame to the Brahman community at large.”

  “Dog!” exclaimed the Brahman, “What nonsense? Are you blind? You are telling me that this lamb is a dog.”

  “Excuse me, sir. Don't be cross. I have said what I have seen. And it is all for your good. But if you take it ill, I am nobody to say anything.” Saying so, the cheat went away.

  Grumbling in anger, the Brahman advanced on his way home. He had not gone far when he came across the second cheat. The cheat said scornfully, “Good God! What do I see? A Brahman is carrying a dead calf on his shoulders! Is it proper? How shameful it is for a Brahman to do a hider's job?”

  “A dead calf! What do you mean?” shouted the Brahman in anger. He added, “have you also gone blind? Why can't you see that it is living lamb, not a dead calf? I have got it in alms from a rich farmer.”

  “Why should you be so enraged, sir? It is your own will to carry a dead calf or a living lamb on your shoulders. I am nobody to say anything at all.” Saying so, he also went away.

  The Brahman moved further. But a light shade of doubt came to engross his mind. He looked at the lamb again and again.

  Soon the first cheat came across and said, “Excuse me, O learned man! With deep anguish, I venture to say that it does not behave you at all.”

  “What? … What does not behave me? Come on clearly,” asked the Brahman in an angry tone. “It doesn't behave a learned man like you to carry a foal on the shoulders. It is shameful for a Brahman even to touch such an untidy animal. I would suggest you to throw it on the ground before anyone else sees you with it,” said the cheat.

  The Brahman was in a fix now. Three different persons had told him that the animal he was carrying was not a lamb at all. They mentioned it as a dog, a dead calf, and a foal.

  The Brahman thought, “this lamb must be a demon. That is why it is changing its form again and again.” So, he flung it on the ground and ran towards his village.

  The cheats had come out successful in their plan. They lifted the lamb and went away. They feasted on the lamb that night.

  Moral :

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