This is another interesting story / tale from the Jataka collection. Once upon a time, there was a royal elephant that used to reside in the premises of the kings palace. The elephant was very dear to the king, so he was cared, well-fed and well-treated. There was a Dog who used to live in the neighborhood of the Elephant shed. He was very weak and skinny. He was always fascinated by the smell of the rich sweet rice being fed to the royal elephant.
One day, the Dog could not resist the aroma of the rice and somehow, he
sneaked into the Elephants shed. He ate the sweet rice that fell
from the Elephants mouth. He liked the rice so much, that he
started coming daily to eat the rice. For days, the huge Elephant didnt
notice the small dog as he was busy in enjoying the delicious food.
Gradually, the Dog became bigger and stronger by eating such rich food.
He came under the notice of the Elephant.
The Elephant used to enjoy the company of the Dog and started sharing
his food with him. Both of them also started sharing time with each
other and soon, they made good friends. They ate together, slept
together and played together. While playing, the Elephant would hold the
Dog in his trunk and swing him back and forth. It didnt take long,
when neither of them was happy without the other. They became great
friends and didnt want to get separated from each other.
Then one day, a man saw the Dog and asked the Elephant-keeper, I
want to buy this Dog. What price do you seek for the Dog? The
Elephant-keeper didnt own the Dog still he sold the Dog and
extracted a sum of money out of this deal. The man took the Dog to his
home village, which was quite far away. The Kings Elephant became
very sad after this incident. He missed his friend a lot and started
neglecting everything. He didnt want to do anything without his
dear friend, so stopped eating, drinking and even bathing.
Ultimately, the Elephant-keeper reported this to the King; however he
didnt tell anything about the Dog. The King had a wise minister,
who was known for his understanding of animals. At once, the King asked
the minister, Go to the Elephant shed and find out the reason for
the Elephants condition. The intelligent minister went to
the Elephant shed and found the Elephant very sad. He looked the
Elephant all over and asked the Elephant-keeper, There is nothing
wrong with this Elephants body, then why does he look so sad? I
think this Elephant is grief stricken, possibly due to the loss of a
dear friend. Do you know if this Elephant shared a close friendship with
The Elephant-keeper said, There was a Dog who used to eat, sleep
and play with the Elephant. He has been taken by a stranger three days
ago. The Minister asked, Where is the Dog? and he
replied,I dont know. The minister went back to the
King and said, Your majesty, as per my opinion, the royal Elephant
is not sick, but he is lonesome without his dear friend, the Dog.
The King said, Youre right, friendship is one of the most
wonderful things of life. Do you know where that Dog is?
The Minister replied, Elephant-keeper has informed that a
stranger took him away and he didnt know about his whereabouts.
The King asked, How can we bring back my Elephants friend
and make him happy again? The Minister suggested, Your
Majesty, make a declaration, that whoever has the dog that used to live
at the royal Elephants shed will be penalized. The King did
the same and the man who took the dog, instantly turned him loose when
he heard the proclamation.
When got free, the Dog ran back as fast as he could to reach the
Elephants shed. The Elephant was so delighted to see the Dog that
he picked his friend with his trunk and made him sit on his head. The
Dog waved his tail, while the Elephants eyes sparkled with
happiness. The King was contented to see the happy Elephant once again.
He also rewarded the minister for his wise judgment. Both, the Elephant
and the Dog lived happily thereafter.
The Elephant and the Dog is one of the most interesting stories/ tales from the collection of Jataka Tales.