True friendship | Sunday Observer

True friendship

1 August, 2021

In ancient India, there lived a king called Brahamadatta whose capital city was called Benares. He had a huge stable for his many elephants and tuskers to live in luxury.

The Royal Tusker (Magul Etha) was a very majestic tusker and his food included leaves like coconut and jak and a variety of fruit and sugarcane. The Royal Tusker had a devoted mahout who looked after him with great care and love. He only ate his meal after he gave the Royal Tusker to eat.

One day, a stray dog wandered into the place where the elephants and tuskers were. The mahout was having his meal when the dog came and feeling sorry for the poor stray dog, he gave him some of his food.

The hungry dog gobbled it up. There was also some fruit from the Royal Tusker’s meal which had fallen on the ground. The dog devoured that too. The next day too the dog visited the Royal stables and had another good meal.

Having realised that there was plenty of good food at the Royal stables the dog started coming every day and soon made the Royal stables his home.

A great friendship developed between this small dog and the mighty Royal Tusker.

The Royal Tusker would pick up the dog with his trunk and gently swing him to and fro. The little dog would roll on his back and let the Royal Tusker tickle his tummy. They were never far from each other.

One day, a man from a distant village visited the stables. Having watched the dog and the Royal Tusker at play he wanted to buy the dog for a pet. Thinking that the dog would have a comfortable life as a household pet the mahout agreed to sell the dog. The man returned to his village with the dog.

Soon after this, the Royal Tusker refused food and water and also refused to have his daily baths. The mahout was puzzled as to why the Royal Tusker was behaving like this.

After a few days like this the mahout got scared and went to see King Brahmadatta and told the King that the Royal Tusker seemed to be sick.

“What is the sickness?’ asked the King.

“The Royal Tusker refuses all food and drink. He is quite weak’ replied the mahout.

King Brahmadatta called his Chief Minster (Purohita Bamuna) and asked him to see what was the matter with the Royal Tusker. He examined the Royal Tusker and could not find anything wrong with him. Neither could the veterinarians who were called in by the Chief Minister..

The Chief Minister asked the mahout whether the Royal Tusker had been friendly with another elephant or any other animal. The mahout said the Royal Tusker had been friendly with a dog. The Chief Minister wanted to know where the dog was. The mahout said a man from a distant village had taken the dog.

The Chief Minister went to the King and said “Your Majesty, the Royal Tusker is not sick. He is sad and lonely as he has been separated from his friend, the dog. That is why he is not eating, drinking or bathing.”

King Brahmadatta ordered the dog to be found immediately and asked the Chief Minister how to do it. He said to send messengers throughout the Kingdom saying that Royal punishment will be given to the person who took the dog from the Royal stables. Soon, messengers beating drums were going through the kingdom carrying the King’s message.

The villager who took the dog heard the message got frightened and released the dog.

The dog ran and ran and reached the Royal stables. The Royal Tusker was overjoyed to see him. He quickly swung the dog on his trunk and stroked and petted him.

The Royal Tusker started to eat again. The dog too was given plenty of food. Tired out with its long journey the dog curled up at the Royal Tusker’s feet and slept.

Everyone marvelled at this great friendship between two animals.

King Brahamdatta was very pleased at his Chief Minister’s handling of the incident and praised him greatly.