The Golden Bangle

Once in a forest a tiger had attacked a bandit who had some stolen jewelry with him. Seeing a brightly shining golden bangle the tiger was attracted by it and had kept the bangle with him.

As the days passed the tiger became old. His strength was waning and he gradually became too weak to hunt. So he resorted to a cunning method to catch his prey. The tiger would hide in the tall grass near a marshy lake. He would wave the golden bangle about, enticing travelers passing by. He would pretend to give the golden bangle as an offering of peace. When the unwary traveler came near, the tiger would pounce upon him and devour him.

One day a poor man named Hari was passing through the forest. Suddenly he heard a voice calling out to him. “My good man, I have no use for this bracelet. I want to give it to you come here and take it.”

Hari looked around in surprise but could not see anyone. Then he saw a golden bangle glittering in the sun. A tiger was waving it with its paw. Terrified he was about to flee when the tiger spoke again. “Wait! I shall not harm you. Please accept this bangle as a token of peace”.

Hari hesitated, wanting the golden bangle, yet afraid of the tiger. As the tiger seemed to have no intention of pursuing him, he became emboldened and asked “O tiger, how can I be sure you will not kill me if I come near you?”

“O traveler! you need not fear me. I am old and weak now. See, all my teeth have fallen and my nailes are not sharp any mor Besides I have given up all my wicked ways and as a sign of my repentance I am offering this to you” said the tiger in a gentle voice.

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Lured by the golden bangle, Hari lost all his prudence. He came near the tiger to accept the proffered bangle. Waiting for this chance, the tiger pounced upon him at once. His last thought before him at once. His last thought before he died was – ‘What a fool I was to trust a wild animal’.

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