Story Of A Lizard A Tiger And A Lame Man

Once upon a time in a certain jungle, a lizard and a tiger were

fighting, and a lame man, who was tending goats near by, saw them. The

tiger being beaten by the lizard was ashamed to own it, and coming to

the lame man said, "Tell me which of us won." The lame man being in

great fear lest the tiger should eat him, said, "You won." On another

occasion the lizard was compelled to flee, and took refuge in an

ant hill. The tiger pursued him, but not being able to get him out,

sat down to watch.

The lizard seeing his opportunity, crept stealthily up to his

inveterate enemy, and climbing up his tail, fixed his teeth into his

haunch, and held firmly on. The tiger felt the pain of the lizard's

bite, but could not reach him to knock him off, so he ran to the lame

man, and said, "Release me from this lizard." When he had caused the

lizard to let go his grip, the tiger said, "Oh lame man, which of us

won in the encounter?" The poor man in great fear said, "You won."

The same scene was enacted daily for many days. The tiger always came

to the lame man and said, "Knock off this lizard," and after he had

done so, would say, "Which of us won?" The lame man invariably replied,

"You won." This had happened so often that the lame man began to feel

annoyed at having to tell a lie every day to please the tiger. So one

day after an ignominious flight on the part of the tiger, he being,

as usual, requested to give his opinion as to who won, said, "The

lizard had the best of it." On hearing this the tiger became angry,

and said, "I shall eat you, my fine fellow, because you say the lizard

defeated me. Tell me where you sleep." The poor lame man on hearing

the tiger threaten him thus, trembled with fear, and was silent. But

the tiger pressed him. He said, "Tell at once, for I shall certainly

devour you." The lame man replied, "I sleep in the wall press." When

night fell, the tiger set off to eat the lame man, but after searching

in the wall press failed to find him. In the morning the lame man

led his goats out to graze, and again met the tiger, who addressed

him as follows, "You are a great cheat. I did not find you in the

wall press last night." The lame man replied, "How is it you did not

find me? I was sleeping there." "No," said the tiger, "you were not,

you have deceived me. Now, tell me truly where you sleep." "I sleep

on a rafter," said the lame man. About midnight the tiger went again

in search of him to eat him, but did not find him on the rafter, so

he returned home. In the morning the lame man as usual led his goats

out to graze, and again encountered the tiger, who said to him, "How

now! Where do you sleep? I could not find you last night." The lame

man rejoined, "That is strange, I was there all the same." The tiger

said, "You are a consummate liar. Now tell me plainly where you sleep

at night, for I shall without doubt eat you." The lame man replied,

"I sleep in the fire-place." Again the tiger went at night, but could

not find him. Next morning he met the lame man, and said to him,

"No more tricks, tell me where you sleep." He, thrown off his guard,

said, "In the gongo." [4]

The tiger then withdrew to his den to wait till night came on, and

the lame man, cursing his indiscretion, with a heavy heart, drove his

goats homewards. Having made his charge safe for the night, he sat down

feeling very miserable. He refused the food that was set before him,

and continued bewailing his hard lot. In the hope of inducing him to

eat, they gave him some mohwa wrapped in a sal leaf. This also failed

to tempt him to eat; but he carried it with him when he crept into the

gongo to sleep. At night the tiger came and lifting up the gongo felt

it heavy, and said, "Well, are you inside?" He replied, "Yes, I am." So

the tiger carried off the gongo with the lame man in it. By the time

the tiger had gone a considerable distance, the lame man became hungry

and said within himself, "I shall have to die in the end, but in the

meantime I will appease my hunger." So he opened his small parcel of

mohwa, and the dry leaf crackled as he did so. The noise frightened the

tiger and he said, "What is it you are opening?" The lame man replied,

"It is yesterday's lizard." "Hold! hold!" exclaimed the tiger, "Do

not let him out yet, let me get clear away first." The lame man said,

"Not so, I will not wait, but will let him out at once." The tiger

being terrified at the prospect of again meeting his mortal enemy,

the redoubtable lizard, threw down the gongo and fled, calling out,

"I will not eat you. You have got the lizard with you."

In this way the lame man by means of the lizard saved his life.

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