The lion and the hare:
Every Panchatantra tale has its own moral and is very interesting to read. This is another classical panchatantra tale which tells that any crisis can be resolved if we use our intelligence.
It was late afternoon and in the scorching heat all the animals were tired of searching for food. The lion king was very tired as even after searching for the whole day the king could not find any animal for eating. All the animals in the jungle were scared of the lion king as it would kill and eat them. So the animals decided to call for a meeting along with the lion.
All the animals including the lion king were present in the meeting. One of the animals came forward and put up a proposal to the lion king. It said that there was a time when the lion king would go hunting and kill whichever animal he would like. As a result of this all the animals in the forest had to live everyday with fear and anxiety.
So the animal said instead of lion hunting us we would offer one animal as your noon meal every day. This would help other animals in the forest to live without fear. The lion happily agreed but placed a condition. The king said “ If the lion does not reach my den on time, then I would kill any animal.” The animals agreed to this condition.
As the time passed everyday one animal would reach the den and offer itself as his meal. One day it was the chance of the hare to offer himself to the king. The hare did not want to die and hence thought of a plan to save himself.
Read stories from Jataka Tales here
The hare reached the lion’s den very late. The lion king was very angry and was getting impatient. He saw a hare approaching his den and said “ So you are my meal today. Why are you so late? The animals have sent me such a tiny animal as a meal today? I need to teach them a lesson.”
But the lion decided first to eat the hare and then later teach animals a lesson. The lion asked the reason for his late coming. The hare who was brave and courageous said “ I am sorry my king but while coming on my way there was another lion who was claiming to be the king of the Jungle.”
The hare further said that, "when the other lion approached me to kill and eat I told him that I am your meal. So the other lion who claimed himself to be the king laughed at me and further said that a real king always hunts and eats and not just sits and eats like you."
The lion was shocked and surprised and asked hare to show him the other lion. So the hare said, "even the other lion who claims to be the king wanted to meet you. So he spared my life so that I can take you to him." The hare was very happy to see his plan succeeding.
The hare took the lion king to a stone well which was filled with water. The hare said that the other lion lives inside this den. The lion looked down and saw his own reflection in the well and thought it was the other lion. The foolish king lion did not realise it as his own reflection and roared loudly
At once the lion king got angry and jumped into the well to kill his own reflection. The lion king died instantly. The hare went and narrated the whole story to all the animals in the forest. They were very happy and relieved. All the animals thanked the hare for his brave act.
Moral: Wisdom can win the might
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