The mice that ate balance

THE MICE THAT ATE BALANCE

Never try to deceive a friend
Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy merchant named Jveernadhana, in a village. He ran a big business. His village was situated near a river. Once, due to heavy rains the river was flooded. One night, the whole village was submerged in neck deep water. The crop, houses and factories in the village were destroyed and hundreds of people and cattle perished in the flood.

The merchant had to suffer heavy losses in his business. He decided to shift to some other town to try his luck. His plan was to earn a lot of money and then come back to his native village to start his business again.

Jveernadhana had a heavy iron balance lying with him. It belonged to his ancestors. It was not possible for him to carry such a heavy thing along with him. So, before starting on his journey, he decided to keep this ancestral item with his friend Janak. He met Janak and requested him, "My friend, as you know, I'm leaving for some distant place to earn money, so that I could start my business once again when I come back. I have an old iron balance with me. Will you please keep it safe with you till I return?"

Janak readily agreed to his friend's request and said, "Don't worry, I'll keep it safe for you. You can take it back after you return home."

Jveernadhana thanked Janak for his helping attitude. He kept the iron balance with Janak and left for some other distant town.

A few years passed by. By this time, Jveernadhana had done good business and had earned a lot of money. He returned to his native village, and went to his friend Janak's house to meet him. Janak showed his happiness in meeting Jveernadhana. Both the friends talked together for hours. When it was time to leave, Jveernadhana asked his friend to return his iron balance. At this, Janak looked sad and said, "Friend, I am sorry to say that I don't have your balance with me anymore. There are a lot of mice in my house. They ate up your balance."

Jveernadhana was surprised to hear Janak's explanation. 'How can mice eat iron,' he thought to himself, but apparently he said something different, "Don't feel sorry, Janak. The mice have always proved a menace to everyone. Let us forget about it."

"Yes," Janak said. "This is the only way out." He was happy that Jveernadhana believed his words. In fact he had expected a lot of heated arguments in this respect.

While taking leave from his friend, Jveernadhana said to Janak,"I'm going to temple to make an offering of laddoos. Could you please send your son with me. I would like to send some laddoos for you also. He would also look after my shoes outside the temple while I offer prayers inside."

Janak asked his son to go along with Jveernadhana. Then, Jveernadhana, instead, of taking Janak's son to temple, took him to a nearby hill and tied him with a big rock and came back home.

When Janak didn't see his son return, he asked Jveernadhana where his son was?

"I'm sorry," said Jveernadhana. "While your son was looking after my shoes outside the temple, a big vulture swooped down upon him and carried him away."

"What nonsense!" shouted Janak. "How can a vulture carry off a young boy?" But Jveernadhana repeatedly claimed that a vulture carried away Janak's son. The argument reached such a point that they began quarrelling with each other, using dirty words.

Ultimately the matter had to be taken to the court. The Judge listened to both the parties and ordered Jveernadhana to bring Janak's son to the court, otherwise, he would be sent to jail.

"My Lord", said Jveernadhana, "How can I, when a vulture has already carried away the boy."

"Shut up!" the judge reprimanded Jveernadhana. "How can a bird carry away a young boy in his talons?"

"It can, my lord," said Jveernadhana. "If mice can eat my iron balance, why can't a bird carry away a grown up boy." Then he narrated the whole story to the judge.

The judge then asked Janak to tell the truth. He warned him that if he didn't tell the truth he would be sent to prison. At last, Janak admitted his guilt. The judge ordered him to return the iron balance to Jveernadhana. He asked Jveernadhana to return the boy to Janak.

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

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