Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From The Pearls of Bhutanese Folk Tales

The Pompous Tiger and Lazy Ass

Once in the time of ‘Eon of Great Gift’ when animals could talk like human beings, there lived two friends Tiger and Ass. They lived happily as friends till the cruel plot began to form in tiger’s mushy head.
The tiger thought salivating, ‘if I could only eat my friend, it will make a great meal. If only I could find excuse to kill.’ For many days, tiger scratched his head to find a way to kill his seemingly stupid friend. One day, he thought of competition which his friend could never win.
“My friend donkey, we will go to hunting competition. If you catch any game and if I don’t, you can kill me. On other hand if I killed the prey and if you don’t, I will kill you,’’ said the cunning tiger.
The stupid ass agreed and out they went hunting. The tiger sent his friend ass to meadow where there are no animals and tiger went to hill where forest is dense and animals were in abundance. The ass again agreed to do as bided. Donkey went to meadow and slept under the tree to escape from scorching sun. Ass shitted his sides still lying down as it felt so drowsy to stand up.
As the ass kept on lying, without even closing his bottom hole, three fowls walked by him. They thought that ass was dead. They pecked into red meat of his bottom. Assuming ass as dead, three fowls craned their neck inside donkey’s arse hole for more meat. The ass closed his ass. Three fowls necks got trapped and died after few flutters.
Unfortunately tiger couldn’t find a single prey that day. In the evening, tiger came empty-handed to his friend. “Have you caught anything ass,” the tiger asked confident that donkey would catch a fly. The donkey showed three dead fowls still struck in its bottom.
‘How could he do with his ass when I couldn’t catch with my ferocious teeth,’ tiger wondered.
The good natured ass didn’t want to kill lion. Ass even gave three fowls to lion who accepted the defeat with head hung down.
Few days later, tiger thought of suitable plan to defeat ass and regained its lost dignity. Tiger told ass, “ass, I will chase animals down the mountain. You wait at crossroad. If you let any animals escape, I will kill you.’’
Again the ass agreed without thinking twice. As usual, ass slept under shade of tree and slept. When ass woke up, there was no sign of tiger. So, the ass went in search of tiger and found near the base of cliff.
Tiger was attempting to pounce on big wild boar that had its back against the wall of cliff and trying to defend bravely with its strong mouth and tusk. Ass hid behind the bush for sometimes. His friend was not winning the battle.
The ass breathed deep in and brayed it so loud that wild boar ran away with fright. Even the tiger ran away frightened without even looking back. The ass chased away tiger. Even today, it is believed that tiger wouldn’t come to vicinity where donkey lives.
The greatest weakness is when you think you are strong

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