The fox and the elephant


Even a tyrant has to meet his doom
There lived a huge elephant in a dense jungle. 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. In 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, "Iíve 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 an 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.

Panchatantra Stories

1. A poor brahmin's dream
2. Beware of mean friends
3. Brahmadatta, the crab and the snake
4. Courtesy
5. Dantila the trader and gorambha the sweeper
6. Death and lord indra's parrot
7. Dharambuddhi and paapbuddhi
8. Hello! cave
9. King chandra and the monkey chief
10. King nanda and vararuchi
11. Somilaka the weaver
12. The bad lady and the wolf
13. The bats
14. The bear and golu and molu
15. The bird with two heads
16. The brahmin and the delicious dishes
17. The brahmin and the diamonds
18. The brahmin and the snake
19. The brahmin and the three thugs
20. The bullock and the lion
21. The camel with a bell round his neck
22. The cat, the rat and the hunter
23. The clever jackal
24. The cow and the tiger
25. The crow and the monkey
26. The crow and the water pitcher
27. The cunning judge
28. The cunning snake
29. The devta and the weaver
30. The dhobi's donkey
31. The dog in a foreign country
32. The donkey and the cunning fox
33. The donkey and the leopard's skin
34. The donkey who sang a song
35. The fake king
36. The falcon and the crow
37. The fool and the crooks
38. The foolish jackal
39. The four foolish brahmins
40. The four friends and the hunter
41. The fox and the elephant
42. The frog and the serpent
43. The giant and the helpless brahmin
44. The giant and the horse thief
45. The golden bird and the king
46. The golden birds and the golden swans
47. The golden goats
48. The hermit and the jumping rat
49. The horse and the lion
50. The hunter and the doves
51. The jackal and the arrow
52. The jackal and the drum
53. The king and the parrots
54. The king cobra and the ants
55. The lapwings and the sea
56. The lion and the hare
57. The lion and the woodcutter
58. The lion's bad breath
59. The lioness and the young jackal
60. The little mice and the big elephants
61. The louse and the bed-bug
62. The marriage of a snake
63. The merchant and the barber
64. The merchant's son
65. The mice that ate balance
66. The mongoose and the baby in the cradle
67. The monkey and the crocodile
68. The monkey and the log
69. The monkeys and the red berries
70. The mouse and the bull
71. The old greedy crane
72. The old wise crow
73. The peacock and the fox
74. The potter's truth
75. The prince and the bear
76. The prince and the seedling
77. The rabbits and the elephants
78. The revenge of the elephant
79. The rich mohan and the poor sohan
80. The rotating wheel
81. The sage and the mouse
82. The shepherd and the wolf
83. The stag and his antlers
84. The talkative tortoise
85. The thief and the sanyasi
86. The thief, the giant and the brahmin
87. The trick of the crow
88. The useful thief
89. The village mouse visits town mouse
90. The visit of the swan
91. The wind and the sun
92. The wise crab
93. The wolf and the crane
94. The wolf and the lamb
95. Three fish and the fishermen
96. Two fish and a frog
97. United we stand: divided we fall
98. When the lion came back to life
99. Who will bell the cat
100. Why the owls became enemies of the crows

Chourishi Systems