Once upon a time, there lived a washerman in a village. He had a donkey by the name of Udhata. He used to carry loads of clothes to the river bank and back home everyday.
The donkey was not satisfied with the food, that was given to him by his master to eat. So he wandered into the nearby fields stealthily and ate the crops growing there.
Once, the donkey, while wandering around, happened to meet a fox. Soon, both of them became friends and began to wander together in search of delicious food.
One night, the donkey and the fox were eating water-melons in a field. The water-melons were so tasty, that the donkey ate in a large quantity. Having eaten to his appetite, the donkey became so happy that he was compelled by an intense desire to sing.
He told the fox that he was in such a good mood that he had to express his happiness in a melodious tone. “Don’t be a fool. If you sing, the people sleeping in and around this field will wake up and beat us black and blue with sticks:’ said the fox worriedly.
“You are a dull fellow”, the donkey said hearing the words of fox. “Singing makes one happy and healthy. No matter what comes, I’ll definitely sing a song.”
The fox became worried to see the donkey adamant to sing a song in the midst of the field, while the owner was still sleeping only a little distance away.
Seeing his adamant, he said to the donkey, “Friend, wait a minute before you start. First, let me jump over to the other side of the fence for my safety.”
Saying so the fox jumped over to the other side of the fence without losing a moment.
The donkey began in his so-called melodious tone. Hearing, suddenly, a donkey braying in the field, the owner woke up from his sleep.
He picked up his stick lying by his side and ran towards the donkey who was still braying happily. The owner of the field looked around and saw the loss caused by the donkey.
He became very angry and beat him so ruthlessly that the donkey was physically incapacitated temporarily. He, somehow, managed to drag himself out of the field with great difficulty.
The fox looked at the donkey and said in a sympathetic tone, “I’m sorry to see you in this pitiable condition. I had already warned you, but you didn’t listen to my advice.”
The donkey too realized his folly and hung his head in shame.