The Peasant in Distress – Jataka Tales

Kriloff’s Original Fables
Into a Peasant’s yard there crept
One autumn night a thief, while slept All round. He got into the poor man’s store, And all he found,
Whether on wall or ceiling, shelf or floor, He without conscience stole : For where is conscience in a robber’s soul? And thus, our Peasant, who went rich to bed,
So naked rose, that well he might
With wallet beg his -way from morn to night
May no one from his pillow more so sadly lift his head ! The Peasant moans and groans in his distress,
Calls round him all his friends,
For relatives and neighbours sends,
And asks them all to help him out of this fatal mess, To this doth each himself address,
And gives him counsel wise. Old Stephen lifts up hands and eyes, Saying : ” Why didst thou boast the village through,
That thou wast rich ? ”
Young Thomas speaks : ” ‘Tis clear enough, the hitch
Is that thy storeroom was not well in view,
And from the house too far.” ” Good fellows all,” says Matthew to the lot, ” You all wrong are
The fault is not
That distant was the store, But that our friend here kept no more A couple of surly dogs the house to guard.
Accept two pups, George, then from me,

Judy has still got three : My heart indeed were hard,
Did I not with a neighbour gladly share,
Rather than drown the useless pair.” In short to good advice there was no end
From each relation and each loving friend,

They overwhelmed him quite ; But no one there did aught that helped to set him right.
And so it is in life : once that you fall to need,
Go, try your friends all round !
You’ll get advice of all kinds, bad and sound
But, only hint at help that tries their greed,
And unto this you’ll surely come—

The best of friends is deaf and dumb !

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