The cruel Elephant and the old Jackal [Hitopdesh Katha]
Written by Swati Joshi
August 10, 2019
Elephants are usually kind but Karpurtilaka was very brutal and mean. He used to roam in the jungle without any control. He never cared for the other animals. He also used to ruin the trees and ripped the branches without any purpose. In doing so, he everyday destroyed countless nests with eggs and smashed the young birds under his hefty feet.
Karpurtilaka was very much pleased with the praise thrown by the jackal. Jackal finding the time appropriate, further added, “All the animals are eagerly waiting for your kingship ceremony to be held today. They have already gathered in the middle of the forest to get a glimpse of their great king.
Karpurtilaka thought that the crowning ceremony will be a matter of honor for him. He instantly got ready to accompany the old jackal. They started towards the place where the ceremony was to be held. The jackal led Karpurtilaka deep into the forest walking through a swampy area near the lake.
The jackal easily walked across the muddy area. But, as soon as Karpurtilaka stepped on the mud, he got stuck in it. He tried to come out of the swamp but nothing helped. The more he tried to come out, the more he went deep into it. He got frightened and started calling for help. He asked the jackal to help him. He said, “Friend, please help me get out of this mud. I’m sinking deeper. Call the other animals quickly or their king will die here.”
The jackal replied, “No one is going to save you. You deserve this. You are a ruthless animal. You’ve killed our siblings and kids. You’ve destroyed our burrows and nests of poor birds. You knew everything but had never showed sympathy or concern for us. I’m sorry to say that this is your end.”
Saying this much, the old jackal left the place and the elephant kept crying for help. As it is said that a bad deed always brings a punishment with it, Karpurtilaka sank completely into the deep mud.
The wise, old jackal acknowledged all the other animals about the downfall of the brutal Karpurtilaka. All of them cheered with joy and thanked the old jackal for the great help.
This Hitopadesha story tells us that every bully is bound to meet his doom. No bad act ever remains without punishment. Tyrants have their downfall sooner or later. Here, the pitiless act of the elephant made all the others suffer a lot. Equally, the elephant had to meet his fate. So, we must keep others’ well-being in mind before we act in all manner of ways.