The Monkey and The Log
"A merchant had started building a temple beneath the trees on the outskirts of a town. Everyday the carpenters and workmen used to go into the town for their midday meals. Now, one particular day, a troop of wandering monkeys arrived on the scene. One of the carpenters, who was in the middle of sawing a log, put a wedge in it, to prevent the log from closing up, and then went off.
"The monkeys started playing on the tops of the trees and the high structures, without a care in the world. One poor monkey, not destined to live long, sat down on the half split log, caught hold of the wedge with his hands and started pulling it out. And behold! The wedge came out all of a sudden and the log closed in, but not before the monkey's leg had been trapped in the gap. He was instantly killed.
"And so," continued Karataka, "that's why I said, that you should never meddle in other peoples bussiness. And our bussiness is to eat whatever is left by the Lion."
"What!" retorted Damanaka. "You think that our only concern is to find food? I don't agree with you, for they say: 'It's despicable crows that live off whatever is available for eating.'"
"Anyway," said Karataka, "now that we are no longer in service to the King, why should we bother our heads about it?"
"No!" retaliated Damanaka. "Don't talk like that, for: 'A man who is not a minister, becomes one when he serves the King well, but even a minister can be removed from his post, if he fails to serve him well. The servant who pays attention to what pleases or displeases his lord, can even get the upper hand over a wicked master. And how can a wise man fail to handle a King when he sees that snakes, tigers, elephants and lions can be brought under controll, one way or another!'"
"So, under circumstances, what do you propose to do?" asked Karataka.
"Today our master and his court are scared out of their wits," replied Damanaka. "I shall take it upon myself to find out the cause of their fear. Then I shall use one of six Diplomatic Methods, which are: To make peace or war, To attack or to entrench, To take protection under a powerfull ally Or provoke a quarrel between one's opponents."
"But how do you know that our master is scared out of his wits?" asked Karataka.
"You don't have to know anything," replied Damanaka. As it is said: 'The thoughts of others can be ascertained in their faces, their gestures, their speech, and the twitching of their eyes.'
"And so through the power of my intelligence, I shall free the terrified Pingalaka from his fear and, at the same time, get back my position as minister."
"But you don't know what service means," said Karataka. "How then will you win him over?"
"well," said Damanaka, "while I was playing on my father's lap, I listened to the fables told by Teachers and since then I have remembered the substance of them and have stored them in my mind. Listen: 'Brave men, scholars, and those who know how to serve, only these collect golden roses on this earth.' And, 'to serve a King, who fails to appreciate the meritsw of the learned, is like ploughing a barren land.'"
"But, do tell me," said Karataka, "What will you say to him to begin with?"
"Whatever I say," said Damanaka, "must be said at the right time for, even if the wise shall speak at the wrong moment, he will be insulted."
"But it's so difficult to influence Kings", said Karataka. "They are hard and heartless as the mountains and are surrounded by wicked people."
"That is true," said Damanaka, "but: 'If a King is angry he must be flattered. His friend should be considered a friend, his enemy, an enemy. And his presents should be appreciated. In this way he can be won over without magic.'"
"If that's the case," said Karataka, "then it's up to you. May God protect you." Damanaka bowed, took leave of Karataka and then went straight to the King. As soon as Pingalaka saw Damanaka coming, he said to his guard, "Let Damanaka, the son of my former minister, come in without any hinderance." When Damanaka arrived, Pingalaka spoke kindly to him.
"Are you happy?" he asked, "Why have you come to see me after such long a time?"
"Your Majesty!" replied Damanaka. "Although my master has no particular work for me, yet I must still offer my services when the occaision demands. The King needs all three types of people: High, Middle, and Low. And it is said: 'If the King needs a little stick to pick his ear or tooth, how much more does he need a man who has hands and the power of speach?"
"Although we were always with you as your servants, even followed you in bad times, yet our jobs were taken away from us. That was unjust on your part and I blame you, not the man who replaced us, for: 'A King who does not understand the difference between glass and diamonds, does not deserve to be served. For how can a person of intelligence remain even for a moment in a place, where men are unable to differentiate between right and wrong. And conversely the servant who deserves to serve, is the man who, when honored, remains humble, when insulted, keeps a scowl from his face and thus remains equally detached from honour and insult. For Kings and servants mutually depend upon each other: There can be no Kings without a servant and no servants without a King. When a King is pleased, he gives to his servants gold in abundance and they in return for such honour, sacrifice themselves to him.'
"It is unbefitting that you should think us inferior just because we are Jackals, for: 'Silk comes out of the worm, Gold out of the rocks, the Lotus from filth, Fire from a piece of wood.'
"So, too," continued Damanaka, "virtue can come out of people humbly born." said Pingalaka, "It makes no difference whether you are High or Low, you are the son of my former minister, so if you have anything to say, say it without hesitation."
"Master!" said Damanaka. "Indeed I have something to say."
"Well then" said Pingalaka, "tell me."
"But, I must tell you in confidence," said Damanaka, for: 'Whatever is heard by six ears can never remain secret. and so a wise man should not allow his secrets to reach six ears.'"
The Tiger, the Wolves and the others understood the sign that Pingalaka made in response to this and went away.
Then Damanaka said to the King, "You went to the river to drink water but you returned without doing so. Why was that?"
"Oh, for no particular reason," answered Pingalaka with a smile.
"If it's something that you cannot talk about, then so be it," said Damanaka, for: 'There are some things that you can tell to wives, Some to sons, some to the famiy, but you can't tell everything to everybody.'"
When he heard this, Pingalaka thought to himself, "The fellow seems deserving enough. I'll take him into my confidence, for: 'When a man can share his sorrows with a trusted friend or a devoted servant, a kind master or a faithfull Wife, that man finds relief.'" So Pingalaka asked Damanaka, "Can you hear that terrifying noise in the distance?"
Yes," replied Damanaka, "I can, what of it?"
"My friend," said Pingalaka, "I want to get away from this jungle."
"Whatever for?" asked Damanaka.
"Because," replied Pingalaka, "some monstrous animal has come here and it is he who makes this loud noise, Probably he is as strong as his voice is loud."
"You mean that it's just a noise you are afraid of!" exclaimed Damanaka. "That's not right. For generations this jungle has belonged to you. It would be wrong for you to leave it suddenly like that. Besides, there are all kinds of noises made by drums, conches, and so on, so you should never be afraid of a mere noise, for: 'When the hungry Jackal conquered his fear of a noise, he found food.'"
"How was that?" asked Pingalaka.
And Damanaka told the story of The Jackal and The Drum...