Digital Dimdima

ANIMAL TALES

Uneasy Neighbours

Four animals a wildcat, a mongoose, a mouse and an owl had made their home in a huge banyan tree in the country of Videsha.
The mouse and the mongoose lived at the foot of the tree in two different holes. The cat lived in a large hole halfway up the tree and the owl lived in the branches.
The cat feared of its neighbours and moved about fearlessly. The owl and the mongoose were afraid of the cat and kept a safe distance from it. The mouse lived in mortal dread of all three neighbours.
One day the cat was caught in a trap laid by a hunter. Its three neighbours watched with glee as it struggled to get out of the net in which it had been ensnared. They knew it was a hopeless task. Soon the hunter would come and they would be rid of their enemy forever. The rat's joy, however, was shortlived because even as it watched the cat struggle, it became aware that the mongoose was moving menacingly towards it. Looking up, it saw that the owl too was getting ready to swoop down. The rat realised that it was in grave danger and that the only one who could save it was its arch enemy, the cat.
It leaped on the net in which the cat was caught and began nibbling at it. Within a short time it had made a hole big enough for the cat to squeeze through. Seeing the cat come out, the owl and the mongoose fled.
The rat too ran away. It knew it could not expect any gratitude from the cat, but in saving it, it had saved its own life.

-A Tale from the Kathasaritsagara





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