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The Donkey in tiger’s skin


The Donkey in tiger's skin

Image source – Panchtantra

Once there was a poor washer man named Krishan who had an old donkey who used to work for the washer man. The washer man had a large family, a wife and seven children to feed. His donkey had a large appetite and whatever food washer man used to give him was not enough and as a result his donkey turned thin and weak. Washer man thought to himself, “I am working hard. But I am not earning a lot of money. I can’t feed my wife and children well. How can I feed this donkey?”

One day while returning home from work Krishan saw a tiger-skin in the fields. He immediately thought of a plan. ” I shall cover the donkey with this skin and drive him into the nearby field and this way my donkey can enjoy his full appetite and grow healthier.”

Panchtantra - Donkey in tiger's skin

Image source – Panchtantra

The next night he donned his donkey in the tiger-skin and drove it into the fields. The villagers were frightened to see a tiger roaming around in their fields and they ran away. At night the donkey enjoyed his full meal in the fields and by morning he used to return back to the washer man. Both the donkey and washer man were happy with this settlement and this carried on for many months. The donkey grew stout and strong.

One night when the donkey in tiger-skin was enjoying his meal in the fields, he heard another donkey braying (“Ee-Aw, Ee-Aw” ) in the nearby fields. Listening to this the washer man’s donkey couldn’t stop himself from singing. He lifted up his head and brayed too. Hearing this the villagers figured out that it was a donkey disguised as tiger and this made them very angry. The angry farmers went to the field with big sticks and beat the donkey to death.

Panchtantra - Donkey in tiger's skin

Image source – Panchtantra

In the morning when the donkey didn’t return from the fields Krishan came to check on him and he was shocked to see his beloved donkey dead on the ground.

Overcome with grief, he could not figure out what had happened. After giving the situation much thought, the reason occurred to him. He sadly shook his head and said, “I wish he had kept quiet.”

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