42. The Lion and the Woodcutter

 The Lion and the Woodcutter

There lived a lion in a dense forest. He had two good friends, a crow and a jackal. The lion hunted the whole day for his prey. And after assuaging his hunger, he gave the remaining food to his friends. The jackal and the crow were very happy to eat free food. They ate their fill and lazed around since they did not have to exert themselves to earn their food. 

In the same village, there lived a woodcutter and his wife. Both husband and wife went to the forest to collect wood and returned home after hours of hard work. When they returned, the woodcutter’s wife cooked meals and they both ate sitting in front of their house. 

Once the lion saw the woodcutter and his wife sitting outside the p house and eating tasty meals. He could get the smell of the food fromquite a distance. He went near them. The woodcutter and his wife,instead of running away from the spot, very courageously welcomed the lion and asked him to take a seat beside them. The lion was surprised. He sat beside the couple and happily ate the meals offered by the woodcutter. The lion was very pleased to see the hospitality extended by them and he was all-the-more pleased to eat and enjoy cooked meals. This was for the first time that he got the taste of cooked meals, otherwise he had always had raw meals in the past. While returning to the deep forest the lion thanked the woodcutter and his wife for the tasty food. 

The woodcutter’s wife said to the lion, “You’re always welcome. Please do come everyday and share the food with us.” 

Once again the lion was astonished. This kind of behaviour was uncommon among them. The animals would never offer food to others; rather, they would snatch each other’s food and injure each other in the process. 

The lion bowed before them with respect and went away. He took his lunch the next day also with the woodcutter’s family. Gradually, he forgot to hunt for his prey and became lazy. 

This change in the lion’s habits was a matter of worry for his friends, the jackal and the crow. In fact, his friends had to go hungry as they no longer got the left-overs of the lion’s food. They decided to find the reason behind the change in his friend’s attitude. So both of them decided to keep a watch on the lion’s activities. 

One day, they saw the lion sitting beside the woodcutter and his wife and having a good meal. They decided to meet the lion on the spot. 

But as soon as the woodcutter and his wife saw the jackal and the crow, they climbed up a nearby tall tree. 

Moral:- Beware of cunning people.

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