Orissa News

The Story of the Singing Donkey

In a certain town, there lived a donkey owned by a washer man.During the daytime, he carried the washerman's heavy loads, while at the night, he was allowed to wander, as he liked. But every morning, the donkey would return to the washerman on his own as he was afraid that if he failed to do so, the washerman would keep him tied up all night.

One night, while the donkey was wandering about in the fields, he met a jackal and got friendly with him.Now, the donkey, being fat, could break down the hedges, and he and the jackal used to get into the cucumber fields.While the donkey was gorging himself on the cucumbers, the jackal would eat poultry from the nearby farm.Then, in the morning, they would return to their respective homes.

One particular night, the donkey was standing in the middle of the cucumber fields, when he suddenly said to the jackal, 'Nephew, Look at the full moon and the beautiful cloudless night. I feel like singing.Tell me, what Raaga (Note combination,)shall I sing?' 'Uncle", replied the jackal, 'you have come to steal and you'll only be asking for trouble if you sing.Thieves should always stay quiet. Besides, your singing isn't all that pleasant. It sounds as though somebody is blowing a conch.And you can be heard a long way off. The farmers are sleeping.If you wake them up , they'll come out and beat us. So, eat some of these nectarous cucumbers and give up the idea of singing'.

When the donkey heard this, he said, 'My dear nephew ! You are a wild animal, so you talk like this, You don't appreciate the value of music.That's why, you are talking like this'.'Uncle,' said the jackal, 'if you're so determined to sing, I'll stay outside the hedge and be on the lookout for the farmers.Then, you can sing to your heart's content.'

And the jackal hid himself behind the hedge.Now when the farmers heard the donkey braying, they clenched their teeth angrily and ran to the spot, with sticks in their hands.When they saw the donkey, they beat him so hard that he fell to the ground. Then they picked up a wooden mortar, with no bottom in it, and tied it to the donkey's neck with a rope.Then they returned to their quarters and went back to sleep.When the donkey jumped over the hedge, with the wooden mortar hanging from his neck, the jackal saw him and said with a smile 'Uncle! What a song! This I exquisite necklace is your reward for singing!'

Moral: There is always a proper place and time for doing anything.