The Loaded Carts – Jataka Tales

A line of carts, with earthen pots well loaded,
Had reached and must descend a steep hill’s side, The master, leaving his other beasts to bide
Their turn, led gently down …

Kriloff’s Original Fables
A line of carts, with earthen pots well loaded,
Had reached and must descend a steep hill’s side, The master, leaving his other beasts to bide
Their turn, led gently down the first ungoaded.
The well-trained horse upon his quarters wide
Bore up the cart so well, ’twas not once shaken
;
When a young horse above for each step taken
Reviled the old one with abuse and sneers : “A fine steed that, a very wonder ! A crab that crawls and sideway steers ! That stone had nearly sent him under ! He can’t keep straight
!
Stumbling again ! Ah, what is it he fears ? No, to the left ! Too late
!
Oh, what an ass ! Were it to mount the hill, Or in the night
;
But going down, and in the broad daylight
!
It is enough to make one ill
!
To pull a water-cart thou’st barely skill
!
Look then at us, see how we do it smart,
An instant is not lost ; when once we start Our load we drag not, but glide on as sailing !

This said, his burden he began to pull, Holding his head up, and his breast out full, But half way down the hill his skill’s found failing
;
The load bore heavily, the cart plunged wide,
Striking the horse’s tail, and now his side. The horse is off, his feet in air, To win a race ; No stones, no ruts for him are there,
No bumps restrain his pace ; One turn too much, and with his load—he’s in the river ! And all his master’s pots to pieces shiver !
[This again alludes to Kutuzoff. The slow and prudent
movements of the Russian Fabius had roused the public
feeling against him. The Emperor himself blamed him
for not giving battle a second time under the walls of Moscow. Kriloff judged Kutuzoff more correctly.]

Was this helpful?

0 / 0

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *