The Cunning Mediator

The Cunning Mediator


The moral of this story: Be careful about whom you trust.

Once upon a time, in a jungle, two partridges (birds similar to quails) lived in a certain tree. One lived on the branches, while the other lived inside a hole at the foot of the tree.

They were good friends and would spend hours together sharing stories and experiences. They lived happily in this way.

One day, one of them went away with some more partridges in search of food. When he didn’t return by sunset, which was unusual, his friend started worrying. He thought, “Why hasn’t he returned home today? Has he been trapped by a hunter? Or maybe even killed? I can’t live without him. There must be some reason why he hasn’t returned.”

When his friend didn’t return even after several days, the partridge gave up hope. During this time, a hare came to the tree and seeing an empty hole at the foot of the tree, took shelter inside. Since the partridge had given up hope, he didn’t object to the hare occupying the hole.

After a few days, the partridge returned. He had gone to a place where there was plenty of food to eat. He had grown fat but remembering his dear friend, he decided to return.

On his return, when he found that a hare had taken over his house, he objected strongly, “Hare! This hole is my home, and you have taken over during my absence. This is very unfair of you. I demand you to leave immediately.”

The hare disagreed, “This place is mine now. I am not leaving. I found this hole empty and therefore made it my home.” Thus, they began to quarrel.

The partridge realized there was no point in quarreling with the hare and suggested, “Hare! You seem to lack basic ethics. Let’s approach someone holy and knowledgeable. Let someone well-versed in holy books decide who is right and thus who shall have the right to occupy the hole.”

The hare agreed and they went to look for a holy man to settle their dispute.

Meanwhile, a wild tomcat learned that they wanted to settle their dispute through a holy man. He quickly posed as a learned animal. He held a blade of holy Kusha grass in his paw and stood on the bank of a river where he would be quickly spotted.

Standing on his hind legs with his eyes closed, he started chanting.

When the partridge and the hare came across him, the hare said, “He looks holy and learned. Let’s go and seek his advice.”

The partridge agreed but said, “Yes, let’s seek his opinion. But he is a wild cat by birth and a natural enemy for both of us. We should be careful and speak only from a distance.”

As decided, they approached the wild tomcat but stood at a distance and said, “Holy person! We have a dispute amongst us. Will you please settle our dispute and advise us who is right according to Holy Scriptures? If you decide that one of us has sinned, you may as well eat him!”

The tomcat replied, “Oh my friends! I have denounced violence as it leads to hell. Non-violence is the essence of true religion. I shall not harm any of you. However, I will hear both of you and settle your dispute with the knowledge I have gained.”

Both the partridge and the hare were impressed by his words. The wild tomcat continued, “But I am old and cannot hear you from that distance. Fear not! I do not even harm a lice or bug or mosquito. Come close and explain your dispute. I shall make the most just settlement.”

With all these sayings, he won their confidence. Both the partridge and the hare came near him and sat close to him to explain their dispute.

This was exactly what the tomcat was waiting for. As soon as they sat beside him, he jumped and seized one of them in his teeth and the other with his claws. He killed both of them.

The moral of this story “The Cunning Mediator” is Be careful about whom you trust.