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Short Stories

      The Little Bowman

Once there was a dwarf who had experienced all the Vedas and eighteen other branches of Studies under the management of the greatest teacher of the time in Taxila. As he was also a great archer and  he was also called as "The Little Bowman".

The Little Bowman had the dream to become the royal archer but because of his short figure he was not anywhere found to be suitable for the same. However, he still, without being upset he thought, "Why don't I find out a person who is big in size to enter into this royal service, behind whom I shall actually act as a bow man!"

Very soon, he found a muscular weaver, who he come close to and questioned, "What is your name friend?"

"Bhimasena", the weaver replied.

"Weave no more, O friend! I shall soon make you very rich. No country has an archer like me. Yet, no king employs me because I am a dwarf. But you have a look that attracts every king to employ you. So I will take you to the king where you would pretend that you are a great archer. I would perform the duty of the archer by hiding behind you. The king will surely employ you and pay you ample salary. In this way we shall both earn."

The weaver agreed and they both went to the king. Bhimasena was employed as a royal archer and the little man became his page.

One day, the local people came to the king to complain about the danger of a area man-eater tiger. The king called Bhimasena and hand over the responsibility to kill the tiger. As Bhimasena had no experience of hunting he was very much distressed by the royal authority. Then Little Bowman advised him,

"You must go to the place where the tiger lives but don't contact the tiger alone. You must gather up the people of that area with bows and arrows and continue to the spot. After reaching there you stay behind some thicket and let the people move forward and kill the tiger. When the tiger be killed you then make a sudden appearance and annoy them for killing the tiger, which you wanted to catch alive to follow the royal order. You then ask the people to bring the offender, who had disobey the royal order. The people would then keep their lips tight and no one would come forward to tell who had killed the tiger. Thus, the king would believe that you are the one, who had killed the tiger."

In the same way, the Little Bowman kept on helping Bhimasena. But the person as the time passed on became unappreciative, self-important and insulting to Little Bowman. This made the dwarf think of teaching a lesson to the fake archer at an suitable time.

A few months later, when a unfriendly neighboring king begin with a dynamic battle and attacked, the patron king ordered the Bhimasena to go and shoot the enemy parade. Following the command of the king, he marched towards the battle-field on an elephant's back. And behind him sat the little bowman. But when he looked at the advancing enemy parades he was terrified and fell down on the loads of the elephant's dung.

Little Bowman, who was sitting behind him, then took the opportunity of taking the command. He first shouted at Bhimasena, "O Bhimasena! You show off too much. You promised that you can kill the enemy king but when the time comes you can't even stay on the elephant's back. Now, you go and wash yourself clean. I will save you and this kingdom."

He hoist the battle cry and dashed into the fight. Soon, he broke the enemy camp and captured the enemy king alive and brought him before his king. This made the king very contented. He honored him and selected him as the chief of the royal army in the credit of his bravery. Little Bowman then sent back the weaver to his native place and provided him with some earnings.