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Tales of Hitopadesha
Short Stories
The Foolish Ass
In a distant town lived a washerman. He had an ass which had worked for him for many years. Now that it had become old and feeble the washerman had no further use of the ass. Wrapping up the ass in an old tiger's skin, the washerman took it to a corn field near a forest and let it free to fend for itself.

The ass was very happy. It had plenty to eat and nobody to bother it anymore. It did not even have to do work any longer. Now the farmer who owned that field, saw the yellow and black stripes of the tiger's skin from a distance and ran away in fear. Day by day the ass regained its strength by eating the corn from the field and the green grass in the forest.

One day during harvest time the farmer covered with a grey blanket and armed with shot-gun came to guard his field. As he bent over to light a fire the ass in the tiger skin mistook the bent form of the farmer to that of another ass. It started to bray loudly in pleasure and began to run towards it. From its braying the farmer knew that it was not a tiger but an ass and he shot it dead.
Next >>
  • The Golden Bangle
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  • The Greedy Jackal
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  • The Donkery and the Dog
  • The Lion, the Mouse and the Cat
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  • The Crows and the Cobra
  • The Foolish Ass
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  • The Foolish Barber
  • The Cranes and the Serpent
  • The Wily Crow
  • The Gunning Merchant
  • Humor, you can't exist without it. You have to be able to laugh at yourself. Otherwise you suffer. Next
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