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Short Stories

      The King, who knew the language of animals

Once there was a king who saw some of the young boys who were throwing stones on a Naga serpent. He stopped the boys from killing the snake and thus, he saved its life. The snake was the king of the Naga-World. He thanked him with a supernatural gift by which he could understand all the languages of any of the animal. But he warned him that if he declared the secret, it would cost him to loose his life.

One day, when the king was sitting in his garden and enjoying his delicious breakfast, a small portion of the sweet fell onto the ground. Soon he heard an ant shouting, “My God, what a big cart-full of sweet has fallen; and there is none to share with. Ah! I can enjoy all, now.” Hearing this the king smiled and giggle. The queen, who was sitting next to him, was sooner to note the changing expressions of the king. She asked him to tell her the reason for the smile. But the king kept silent; as the declarence of the secret would cost to loose him his life. The queen felt insulted and thought that there was something wrong about her look, which the king did not want to tell her in public.

At night, when the king was taking rest, the queen repeated the same question again and again and demanded for the answer. The king then told her that the declarence of that secret would cost him to loose his life. Nevertheless, the queen continued by winging and throwing her bad temper. Still when the king kept silence, she attacked his self-respect by calling him a “fake” and "liar" and muttered that all his expressions of sweet nothing like -“Darling, you are dearer to me than my very life” - were nothing but a pack of lies. The king, however, could not bear the attacks on his self-respect and eventually passed to declare the secret on the next day in the royal garden; and made up his mind to give up his life.

Sakka, who was the lord of the heaven, heard the king’s determination and decided to save him, because the king was sincere. So, he picked up one of his nymphets from the heaven and came down on the earth to save the King.

Next day, when the king and his followers were on the way to the royal park, Sakka in the form of a donkey, and the nymphet in the form of a goat, were conversing on one side of the path. The king heard the goat saying to the donkey, “You are a fool but not as big a fool as this king is.” Having heard so, the king was sooner to know as to why was he being called a “bigger fool”. So, he asked the goat “Why do you think that I am a bigger fool than a donkey?”

The goat replied, “look O king! Today you are going to die to just please your wife; but tomorrow when your wife succeeds to take all your wealth to enjoy it with a new mate would she ever think of you?”

This statement of the goat opened the eyes of the king and he realized his foolishness. He was then considered to cancel his decision to die to please his queen. He wanted to come out of the mess and not to give up his precious life. So, he said to the goat “Please, then tell me to break the standoff as I am now devoted to tell her the charm”.

The goat said, “If you want to come out of the mess then go and tell her that you are ready to reveal her the secret on the condition that she agrees to receive one hundred whips on her back”.

When the king reached the garden, he said to the queen, “O my darling! I am now ready to tell you the secret on the condition that you should be ready to receive one hundred whips on your back in return”.

The queen considered the condition a joke and nodded in agreement.

The king then waived at one of his guards to whip her with all his power. And as soon as she received two whips she moan and shouted “No! No! For God’s sake do not whip me more! I don’t want to know the secret, now”.

The king then said disrespectfully, “ You wanted to know the secret at the cost of my life; but now you don’t want to know because you have to save your skin. You deserve a few more whips.” But before he could order his man to give her a few more whips, the king’s responsible minister interfered and requested him to forgive her.

Thus, the queen was not whiped further, yet she never received the same honor and dignity.