Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Stupid Tiger

Once upon a time, long long ago, there was a fox with red fur. He used to live near the King’s palace, on the outer side of the fort-wall. On the other side, the King’s goats would rest at night. They were fat and yummy. 

Whenever the fox looked at them his mouth drooled. But, he had never had a chance to pounce on one. The goats were always under tight protection, by the herdsmen, day and night. 

One night, too hungry, he could not keep his patience anymore,  and started digging a tunnel to the other side . At the end of the tunnel he reached the barn. But, no hope was in sight.

All the herdsmen, unfortunately, were there at that time. They caught him, and tied him up, to a pole. They did not have time to beat the pulp out of him. So, they left him in that condition, whispering to one another, “Now it’s already too late. Tomorrow let’s have some fun with this vermin, and after that kill it.”

So, they left and the fox sat there, tied up, stooping his head. At that time, a tiger was passing through,  and through the peep-hole on the wall he saw the fox sitting like that. The tiger got very surprised and asked the fox, “Hey nephew! What’re ya doing here like this?”

The fox said, “ Oh uncle! I'm getting married!”

The tiger got even more surprised, and asked, “Getting married? This way? Where’s the bride? Where’re the guests?”

The fox replied, “The Princess is the bride! People have gone inside to bring her here.”

The tiger asked again, “But why’re you tied up to the pole?”

The fox said, “You see, I was not eager to marry. They have tied me up like this, so that I can't run away.”

Hearing this, the tiger got even more surprised, “Really?! You don’t wanna marry?”

The fox said, “Seriously, uncle! I don’t wanna marry at all.”

Now, the tiger became restless. After a pause, he said, “I have a plan. Why don't you tie me up in your place and run away?”

The fox joyously said, “Sure! Untie me. Then, we'll swap.”

The tiger was really happy at the prospect of marrying the Princess. He jumped over the wall, and immediately untied the fox. The fox, in turn, tied the tiger tight to the pole, and said, “Remember uncle! Your brothers-in-law will come and make fun of you. Don’t get irritated.”

The tiger said, “Oh! Don’t worry! I won’t get irritated. Do you think I’ve no sense of humour?” The fox laughed out loud, and ran away. And the tiger sat there dreaming about the bride.

Next day, early morning, the herdsmen returned. The tiger saw them and thought, “Aha! Here are my brothers-in-law. Now they’ll poke me ‘n have fun. I must enjoy and laugh out with them too.”

Those herdsmen were prepared for the fox. Now they found the tiger instead. There was a big hue and cry for a few minutes. Some of them wanted to run away, others stopped them saying the tiger was tied. Finally, they brought rods, bamboo sticks, spades and spears.

First, a herdsman threw a big brick at the tiger.

Being hit, the tiger said, “Heeh! Heeh! Hihi! Hihi!”

Then another poked him with a spear.

And the tiger responded, “Hoho! Hawhaw!”

Then another beat him with a bamboo rod.

And the tiger said, “Oooooooooooooooohoho! Hehe! Hahahaha! I’ve got it! You’re my brothers-in-law.”

Then, again they poked him with the spears.

Now the tiger got angry. He tore the ropes apart and said, “Duuh! I don’t want to get married like this.” And he strode off to the forest.

Inside the forest, there was a place where woodcutters frequented most. That day, some of them left a huge tree trunk partially split, with a wedge in the cleft. The tiger came there and saw the fox taking rest on that tree trunk.

As the fox saw the tiger, he was alarmed. But, he calmly asked “Hey uncle! How did your marriage go?”

The tiger replied, “Ney nephew! They joked too much. So, I left that place.”

The fox said, “That’s fine. Let’s sit here and chat for awhile.”

As the fox spoke, the tiger jumped on the trunk and sat exactly where the cleft is kept apart by the wedge. His tail hung through the cleft.

The fox noticed that, and he thought it would be a funny thing to take the wedge out. So, he kept the tiger busy with nonsense ramblings and slowly moved the wedge out. After few minutes, the wedge came to such a position that it would come out of the gap if it moved anymore, and the cleft would join and grip the tiger’s tail. At this moment, the fox suddenly cried out, “Oooo uncle! I’m dead! And flicked the wedge out, and started rolling on the ground.

And the tiger? You can imagine what happened to him. As soon as the gap joined and smashed his tail, he let out a high-pitch shriek and bounced upwards. And his tail, like a rope, tore up into two. The tiger too began rolling on the ground, in pain.

He growled, “Nephew! I’m done for. My tail is torn.”

The fox replied, “Uncle! I’m dead. My hip is broken.”

They kept rolling on, for sometime, until they reached a poisonous berry bush. The tiger could not move anymore. But, the fox had nothing damaged, he was just lying from the beginning.

Inside that bush, there were lots of frogs. The fox caught and ate them up, lying there. The tiger was so numb in pain that he could not see that. After one day he was so hungry that he felt almost dead. He saw the fox eating. But, he could not make out,the details, from the distance. He asked the fox, “Nephew! What are you eating?”

The fox said, “Only berries, and now I have stomach pain.”

Seeing no other option, the tiger started chewing those poisonous berries. In a few minutes, his throat and face got infected, and inflated like a baloon.

The fox noticed everything. Now, he asked, “Uncle! Have you eaten anything?”

The tiger said, “I have. But my throat has got infected. You had stomach pain. Then why do I have my throat affected?”

The fox replied on that, “That’s because I’m a fox and you’re a tiger.”

The tiger had so much ache all over his body, throat and tail that he could not get over it in less than sixteen days. He became thin like a rope by starving for these sixteen days.

On the seventeenth day, when he saw the fox sprucing up his fur-coat and going away, the tiger got surprised. He asked the fox, “Hey nephew! How did you get well so soon?”

The fox turned back and said, “Uncle! I forgot to tell you. I discovered a very good way of recovering health. I chewed my hands and feet out, and immediately I got relieved from all pains. In a moment I got new hands and feet too.”

Hearing this, the tiger said, “Really?! Why didn’t you tell me so long?”

The fox said, “Can you chew your hands and feet out like me? I don’t think so. That’s why I didn’t tell you.”

The tiger became angry now. He said, “You can do that being a fox and you think I, a tiger, can’t?”

The fox said again, “You gave up such a grand marriage for few jokes! How could I know you’re able to chew your hands and feet out?”

The tiger angrily said, “See if I can!”

 He chewed  his limbs out. And after three days, he died of gangrene.

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