The Donkey And The Leopard’s Skin

There was a washerman. His name was Shuddhapata. He had a donkey. The donkey had an insatiable appetite for food, but was least interested in doing his master’s work. And Shuddhapata was very poor.

It was not possible for him to feed his always-hungry and lazy donkey. Therefore, as a result the donkey became lean and thin.

Once the washerman had to go to the town to purchase soap etc. for washing clothes. He had to pass through a jungle on his way to the town. While returning from the town, he found a leopard’s skin in the jungle.

He immediately thought of a plan to feed his lazy donkey.

When the night fell, he donned his donkey with the leopard’s skin and drove him to the nearby fields. The farmers were frightened to see a leopard roaming in their fields and ran away.

The donkey ate his fill and returned home in the early hours of morning. This continued for months together. Soon the donkey became fat and healthy. No farmer ever dared come near him. The donkey passed his days and nights happily.

One night, as the donkey was feeding itself in a neighboring field, it heard another donkey braying in a nearby village. The donkey became very happy to hear it and instinctively started braying in reply, “Dheechoon, Dheechoon”.

Soon the farmers realized that the animal they were frightened of was not a leopard but a donkey. They became very angry. They came out of their houses with lathis in their hands and beat the donkey so badly that it died on the spot.

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