Long ago, there lived a lion by the name of Kharanakhara. He had been trying to hunt for his prey for the last two days, but could not succeed due to his old age and physical infirmity. He was no longer strong to hunt for his food. He was quite dejected and disappointed. He thought that he would die of starving. One day, while he was wandering in the jungle hopelessly, he came across a cave.
‘There must be some animal who lives in this cave’; so thought the lion. ‘I will hide myself inside it and wait for its occupant to enter. And as soon as the occupant enters the cave, I shall kill him and eat his flesh.’ Thinking thus, the lion entered the cave and hid himself carefully.
After sometime, a fox came near the cave. The cave belonged to her. The fox was surprised to find the foot-marks of a lion pointing towards the cave. ‘Some lion has stealthily entered my cave’, he thought to himself. But to make sure of the presence of the lion inside the cave, the fox played upon a trick.
The fox stood at some distance from the cave to save himself in case of a sudden attack and shouted, “Hello cave! I’ve come back. Speak to me as you have been doing earlier. Why’re you keeping silent, my dear cave? May I come in and occupy my residence?”
Hearing the fox calling the cave, the lion thought to himself, that the cave he was hiding in, must in reality be a talking cave. The cave might be keeping quiet because of his kingly presence inside. Therefore, if the cave didn’t answer to the fox’s question, the fox might go away to occupy some other cave and thus, he would have to go without a meal once again.
Trying to be wise, the lion answered in a roaring voice on behalf of the cave, “I’ve not forgotten my practice of speaking to you when you come, my dear fox. Come in and be at home, please.”
Thus, the clever fox confirmed the presence of the lion hiding in his cave and ran away without losing a single moment, saying, “Only a fool would believe that a cave speaks.”
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