Here is another interesting tale from the Panchatantra collection. Long ago, there lived a monkey named Raktamukha, on a Jamun (Black-berry) tree by the side of a river. The tree was always full of fruits, which were as sweet as nectar. The Monkey used to eat fruits from the tree. Raktamukha was happily passing his days jumping from one tree to another. Once, a crocodile named Karalamukha came out of the waters and took rest under the tree on which the monkey lived.
Raktamukha, who was sitting high on a branch, saw the crocodile taking
rest under the tree. The monkey became very eager to talk to the
crocodile. Since he had no friends, he wanted to make friends with him.
Addressing the crocodile, Raktamukha said, As youre taking
rest under the tree, youre my guest and its my duty to offer
you food. The monkey gave a lot of Jamuns to the crocodile to eat.
The crocodile ate them to his fill. He thanked the monkey for his
generosity and went home.
Karalamukha started coming ashore everyday and enjoy the fruits offered
by the monkey. Soon they became good friends. Both of them started
spending time with each other discussing the world. One day, the
crocodile asked the monkey for some Jamuns to take for his wife. The
Monkey happily gave the fruits to the crocodile. The crocodile took the
fruits cheerfully to his wife and also narrated the whole story to her.
After eating the fruits, the crocodile's wife was overjoyed and said to
her husband, "Dear, if these fruits are so tasty, then the monkey
who eats these fruits must be ten times tastier. Why don't you bring the
heart of this monkey for my meals? The crocodile was stunned to
hear such words from his wife. He replied, Sweetheart, the monkey
is my friend. It would not be fair to take his heart. The
crocodiles wife was shrewd and pleaded with her husband to bring
monkeys heart for her. The crocodile was unwilling to deceive his
friend, but then she insisted on not eating anything till he brought her
The Crocodile was left with no other option, but to bring monkeys
heart for his wife. He was afraid that how could he ask for such thing
from his friend. He devised a plan and rushed to the monkey. Raktamukha
was waiting for his dear friend for the daily meeting. Reaching ashore,
Karalamukha asked the monkey in a sad tone, "My wife and I invite
you to our home for a dinner. My wife is very angry with me for not
having invited you earlier". He stated that his wife is anxious to
meet such a nice friend.
Poor monkey didnt know about the plan and believed the story of
crocodile. He asked the crocodile, I accept your invitation, but
how will I go with you? I dont know how to swim? The
crocodile replied, Dont worry. Come and sit on my back. Ill
take you to my house. The monkey happily sat on the back of the
crocodile and they started their journey. The crocodile entered in the
deep waters with an intention to kill the monkey. The monkey got scared
to see water all around and asked the crocodile to move slowly.
The crocodile thought that now he could reveal his real intentions to
the monkey, as it was impossible for him to escape from the middle of
the river. The crocodile gullibly said to the monkey, I am taking
you to my home to please my wife. She wants to eat your heart. She says
that since you eat tasty fruits day and night, your heart must be ten
times tastier than those fruits."
The monkey was taken aback to hear these words. He had never expected
this type of a request from a friend. He kept cool and said wittingly, "Oh
dear! Why didnt you tell me earlier? It would be my privilege to
offer my heart to your charming wife. I usually keep my heart safely in
the burrow of the tree. In order to serve my heart to your wife, I have
to go back to get my heart.
The foolish crocodile swiftly then swam back to the tree where the
monkey lived. On reaching the bank the monkey quickly jumped off the
crocodiles back and climbed up his home tree. The crocodile was in
a hurry and realized that the monkey was taking too long in getting his
heart. Impatiently he asked, What is the delay? Get you heart. My
wife will be very happy.
By the time, the monkey had realized that this was a rebirth for him.
The monkey laughed and answered, "My dear foolish friend. You've
deceived me as a friend. Can any one take out his heart and keep that in
a burrow. It was all a trick to save my life and teach a lesson to an
unfaithful friend like you. Now go away and dont ever come back."
The crocodile was ashamed for his act and went home with his head bent
Moral: At times, presence of mind pays well.