In my last post, I recounted a story narrated to us by one of our Sunday school teachers. The moral of this story was: God knows what we think… and He sees what we do. There is no place in this world, where we can hide from Him. I was very small when I heard this story… and, as I told you in my post, some things in life, always, stay in our minds. This story has.
Another story comes to my mind.
Mrs. Satyawati was a lean, fair and gentle soul. She was our teacher in first standard. Yes, about forty-seven years ago. I still remember this Panchatantra story she had narrated to us. In fact, it was in the form of a musical; she had so beautifully sung it and enacted to us, the little ones. I still remember how I had cried in the class… and, how I had come home and recounted the story to my parents… So passionate was my teacher’s presentation that it would not go even till I go.
One late evening, a cow was returning to her home through a jungle. A hungry tiger came to attack her. She was the ideal dinner for the hungry tiger. “Master,” the cow cried before the hungry and fierce tiger, “I know you are hungry and need me for your dinner.” She continued, “But, please be little kind. I have my little child at home, who is hungry and waiting for me to come and feed. Please allow me to do it… I promise to you that I will come back and offer myself for your dinner.”
Obviously, the tiger did not believe the cow. It said, “You think I should believe you? Remember, I am not a fool.”
“Trust me Master, I will not go back on my word.” The cow pleaded. “Have mercy on my little child… I will return to you after I feed and send my child to sleep.”
“It is hard for me to trust,” the tiger announced. “I will not let you go.”
“Please my Master… for my little one’s sake,” the cow kept pleading, “Trust me, I will come back to you. I will not break my promise.”
“Alright then,” the angry tiger roared, “remember, if you break my promise, I shall have your child too along with you for my dinner. Understand?”
The cow thanked the tiger and headed towards her home.
After feeding its child and sending it to sleep, the cow proceeded back to the tiger. By now, the tiger had already concluded in his mind that the cow would not return. So, when he saw the cow back before him, he was shocked! “It is unbelievable,” he exclaimed in his mind, “What a rare species is this!”
“Master, I have come… I have kept my promise,” the cow said gently. “Please take your dinner.”
The tiger’s heart melted at this. “No, I can not do that with you. You are too good, too honest to be harmed.”
“My Maser, it is late and you must be hungry,” the cow cried, “please take me for your dinner.”
“I am moved by your honesty, O the truthful one,” the tiger repeated, “Please go back to your little one.”
The cow, too, was touched by the tiger’s gesture. She thanked him profusely and returned to her home.
The tigers are ruthless. The cows are docile.
But, the docile cow in this story trusts in the goodness of the tiger…
and till the end, she sticks to her values.
She doesn’t go back on her words.
Even the hardest heart has some compassion in it… some goodness.
I like this little story immensely. It helps me remain aligned to some of the values I believe in. When every one around keeps telling me, certain people can not be trusted, when every one around me keeps telling me to make a ‘fast kill’… I remember this story… My sweet teacher’s story.
Incidentally, my teacher’s name was Mrs. Satyawati. The truthful one.