Stories From Around the World

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  • 7/27/2019 Stories From Around the World




    Compiled byS.Geethapriya

    Price Rs. 22.00

    Published by

    Sri Aanjineyaa Pathippagam



    CELL : 90034 - 58722

  • 7/27/2019 Stories From Around the World



    1. Friends 52. Family Misfortunes 83. The Short-sighted Brothers 1

    34. Force of Habit 1

    95. The Fisherman Who Rose Too



    26. Wish List 2

    87. Double Trouble 3

    28. Little One Inch 3

    59. The Tiger's whisker 3

    910. Why Crows are Black 4

    311. Top Answers 4

    812. Disputed Waters 5



    13. Making Haste Slowly 5

    514. The Dissatisfied Devotee 5


    15. Stomach Problems 6

    016. Learning from the Enemy 6

    417. Butterfly Lovers 6

    818. The Root of the Matter 7

    419. Dreams 7

    720. Not True 8

    021. Secret of Casket 8

    422. Royal Servant 9

    023. The Generous Student 9

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    1. Friends (Africa)

    A mouse and a frog were friends. Every

    morning the frog would hop out of his pond

    and go to visit his friend who lived in a hole inthe side of a tree. He would return home at


    The mouse delighted in his friends company

    unaware that the friend was slowly turning into

    an enemy. The reason? The frog felt slighted

    because though he visited the mouse

    everyday, the mouse on his part, had never

    made an attempt to visit him.

    One day he felt he had been humiliated

    enough. When it was time for him to take leave

    of the mouse, he tied one end of a string

    around his own leg, tied the other end


    to the mouses tail, and hopped away,

    dragging the hapless mouse behind him.

    The frog dived deep into the pond. The mouse

    tried to free himself but couldnt, and soon

    drowned. His bloated body floated to the top. A

    hawk saw the mouse floating on the ponds


  • 7/27/2019 Stories From Around the World



    He swooped down, and grabbing the mouse in

    his talons, flew to the branch of a nearby tree.

    The frog, of course, was hauled out of the

    water too. He desperately tried to free himself,

    but couldnt and the hawk soon put an end to

    his struggles.

    In Africa they have a saying: Dont dig too

    deep a pit for your enemy, you may fall into it



    2. Family Misfortunes

    (A tale from Bhutan)

    The Dough family was an unusual one. The

    head of the family, Dough, as his name

    suggested, was a ball of dough. His wife was a

    slab of butter. They had two children, Ant and


    One morning, Mother Butter asked her son, Ant

    to go and get some resin from the mepche

    tree, as resin made good fuel.

    "Stay away from fresh resin," she cautioned.

    "You could get stuck. Get a small dried piece."

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    "She thinks I'm still a baby," thought Ant as he

    climbed jauntily up the tree. "She doesn't know

    how strong I've become." He saw a big blob of

    resin emerging from a crack and rushed

    forward to grab it. And of course he got stuck.

    When he didn't return, Father Dough decided

    to go in search of him.

    "Don't go too near the edge of the road," said

    his wife.

    "You could easily slip and roll down the

    side.""What does she know?" thought Dough

    as he rolled out of the house. "If I follow her


    advice and walk down the middle of the road, I

    could get crushed by the carts going by. I'm

    safer at the edge."He zoomed to the edge of

    the road, lost his balance and went rolling

    down the side of the steep hill.

    When her husband did not return, Mrs. Dough

    asked her daughter, Cotton, to go out and look

    for him.

    "Take care not to walk in open spaces, my

    child," warned Mother Dough as Cotton got

    ready to leave. "You could get blown away by

    the wind."

    Cotton thought her mother was being too

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    fussy and went dancing down the street. Then

    disregarding her mother's advice she decided

    to take a short cut across a meadow. She

    didn't even get halfway.

    A gust of wind picked her up and carried her

    away into the mountains.

    Mother Butter waited for her family to return.

    The day got hotter and hotter and Mother

    Butter began to melt and became smaller and

    smaller till finally there was nothing left of her

    except a puddle of liquid.


    So ends the story of the Dough family which

    perished because nobody wanted to be told

    what to do.

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    3. The Short-sighted Brothers


    Three elderly brothers, all very short-sighted,

    lived in a large house on the outskirts of a city,

    in China. One day the youngest brothersuggested that he should take charge of the

    finances. Elder brothers sight is so bad, he

    cannot see how much money hes receiving or

    giving, he said, and people take advantage of

    his disability.

    As if you can see better, sneered the second-

    youngest brother. If youre saying our

    finances should be handled by the one who has

    the best sight, then it is I who should be given

    charge. I can see better than either of you. I

    have my doubts about that, said the eldest



    Lets settle this once and for all. Ive heard the

    monastery is putting up a tablet inscribed with

    a saying, above the main doorway, tonight.

    Lets go there tomorrow and test our vision.

    Whoever can read the inscription with the least

    strain will get charge of our money. Agreed?

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    Agreed, said his brothers in unison.

    Good! Now go away and let me get a few


    As soon as they had gone, the eldest brother

    sneaked out of the house and went to the

    monastery where he met a monk.

    Ive heard youre putting up an inscription

    over the doorway, he said. Can you tell me

    what the inscription reads?

    Certainly. Its a quotation from Confucius. It

    reads: Be Honest At All Times."

    The brother went away chuckling at his

    cleverness. A little later the second brother

    arrived there.

    Can you tell me what the inscription you are

    going to put up over the doorway reads? he

    said to the monk.Everybody seems to want to

    know, said the man.


    "It reads: Be Honest At All Times.

    Is there any decoration around it?

    The tablet has a flowery border.

    The second brother went away very pleased

    with himself. Hardly had he gone when the

    third brother arrived there. He too enquired

    about the inscription and on being told what it

    was, asked if there was any other writing on


    Only the donors name, Wang Lee, at the

    bottom, said the monk.

    The next morning the three brothers made

    their way to the monastery.

    Theres the inscription, said the oldest when

    they drew near the entrance.

    I can clearly make out the writing. It reads:

    Be Honest At All Times.

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    Your sight is better than I thought, said the

    second brother.

    But definitely not better than mine. Can you

    see the decoration around the inscription?

    Decoration? What decoration?

    Theres a floral decoration all around the

    tablet, said the brother, triumphantly.

    Very good, very good, applauded the

    youngest brother. But can either of you see

    any other writing on the tablet besides the


    Other writing? intoned the second brother,

    his face falling. What other writing is there?

    The name of the donor, Wang Lee, said the

    youngest brother, pointing.

    Cant you see it? Its at that corner.


    The monk they had talked to the previous

    evening came out of the monastery just then.

    Oh, youve come to see the inscription, he

    said. So sorry. We couldnt put it up yesterday

    evening. We are going to put it up today.

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    4. Force of Habit (Europe)

    One day a man found a book in his attic.

    The book was so old that the papers were

    yellow and some of the pages crumbled as heturned them.

    He discovered that it was a book on magic but

    try as he might he could not understand any

    portion of it except one paragraph. The

    paragraph stated that on the shores of the

    Black Sea there was a pebble that could turn

    anything it was touched to into gold. This

    pebble, the ancient writer said, could be

    distinguished from the others only by touching

    it : unlike the other pebbles it was warm to the

    touch.The man went to the shores of the Black

    Sea and began to search for the pebble.


    From morning to night he would pick up

    pebbles and feel them. To ensure that he did

    not pick up the same pebble twice he would

    fling every pebble he picked up, far out into

    the sea.

    The days stretched into weeks and then into

    months. A year passed. Then another. The

    man went on looking for the pebble.

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    But every pebble he picked up was as cold as

    ice and he flung them away as fast as he

    picked them.

    Now he had become so expert at it that he

    could pick up a pebble and fling it into the sea

    with one smooth action.

    One evening as he was wearily leaving the

    beach after another days search he saw a

    pebble in front of him.

    He picked it up. It was warm. But out of force

    of habit he flung it far out into the sea!


    5. The Fisherman Who Rose

    Too High (Europe)

    A fisherman, enfeebled with age, could no

    longer go out to sea so he began fishing in the

    river. Every morning he would go down to the

    river and sit there fishing the whole day long.

    In the evening he would sell whatever he had

    caught, buy food for himself and go home. It

    was a hard life for an old man. One hot

    afternoon while he was trying to keep awake

    and bemoaning his fate, a large bird with

    silvery feathers alighted on a rock near him.It

    was Kaha, the heavenly bird.

    "Have you no one to care for you, grandpa?"

    asked the bird.

  • 7/27/2019 Stories From Around the World



    "Not a soul."

    "You should not be doing such work at your

    age," said the bird. "From now on I'll bring you

    a big fish every evening. Sell it and live in


    True to her word, the bird began to drop a

    large fish at his doorstep every evening. All

    that the fisherman had to do was take it to the

    market and sell it. As big fish were in great

    demand, he was soon rolling in money.

    He bought a cottage near the sea, with a

    garden around it and engaged a servant to

    cook for him. His wife had died some years

    earlier. Now he decided to marry again and

    began to look for a suitable woman. One day

    he heard the royal crier make an



    "Our king has news of a great bird called

    Kaha," said the crier. "Whoever can give

    information about this bird and help catch it,

    will be rewarded with half the gold in the royal

    treasury and half the kingdom!"

    The fisherman was sorely tempted by the

    reward. Half the kingdom would make him a

    prince!"Why does the king want the bird?" he


    "He has lost his sight," explained the crier. "A

    wise man has advised him to bathe his eyes in

    the blood of a Kaha bird. Do you know where it

    can be found?"

    "No...I, no...."

    Torn between greed and his sense of gratitude

    to the bird, the fisherman could not give a

    coherent reply. The crier, sensing that he knew

    something about the bird,

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    informed the king. The king had him brought to

    the palace.

    "If you have information about the bird, tell

    me," urged the king. "I will reward you

    handsomely and if you help catch it, I will

    personally crown you king of half my domain."

    "I will get the bird for you," cried the

    fisherman, suddenly making up his mind. "But

    Kaha is strong. I'll need help."

    The king sent a dozen men with him.

    That evening when the bird came with the fish,

    the fisherman called out to her to wait.

    "You drop the fish and go and I never get a

    chance to thank you for all that you've done for

    me," he said. "Today I've laid out a feast for

    you inside. Please alight and come in."


    The Kaha was reluctant to accept the invitation

    but the fisherman pleaded so earnestly that

    she finally gave in, and alighted.

    The moment she was on the ground, the

    fisherman grabbed one of her legs and shouted

    to the soldiers hiding in his house to come out.

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    They rushed to his aid but their combined

    effort could not keep the Kaha down. She rose

    into the air with the fisherman still clinging

    onto her leg.

    By the time he realized he was being carried

    away, the fisherman was too high in the air to

    let go. He hung on grimly, and neither he nor

    the Kaha were ever seen again.


    6. Wish List (France)

    His troops, led by four of his finest

    commanders won a great battle for him, and

    Napoleon Bonaparte was in a generousmood.Ask for anything and Ill give it to you,

    he said to the four officers who had

    distinguished themselves.

    Ive always wanted a house in Paris, said one

    of the men, a German.

    Done! said Napoleon. Youll get a mansion in

    the city.

    Ive always desired to own a hotel, said the

    second officer, a Frenchman.

    Done! said the emperor. Ill order a hotel to

    be given to you.

    Ive always wanted a brewery, said the

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    third man, a Pole.

    Done! said the emperor. I will give you a


    And you, sir? he said, turning to the fourth

    man. What will you have?

    Grant me a fortnights leave, said the man.

    Done! said the emperor. Your leave begins

    from tomorrow!


    Now the fourth man happened to be a Jew, and

    in those days at least, Jews were supposed to

    be shrewd and possess great business acumen.

    So his colleagues were surprised that he had

    asked for so little. They felt he had missed a

    rare opportunity to become rich, and were

    elated that they themselves had kept their wits

    about them and asked for worthwhile things.

    They asked him about it when they ran into

    him later that day.

    Why did you ask for so little? they taunted


    Did courage fail you?

    You asked for a lot, replied the Jew. But you

    must remember that the emperor is a busy


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    He will order his secretary to fulfill his

    promises. His secretary too is a busy man. He

    will pass on the order to his assistant who too

    is a busy man. So the emperors order will go

    down from subordinate to subordinate and

    finally in the course of a few monthsitll get


    Well appeal to the emperor! shouted the


    The emperor will not know what youre talking

    about, said the Jew. By then our great

    victory will have become a dim memory. You

    should have asked for something that the

    emperor could give immediately like I did.

    Now, if youll excuse me gentlemen, I have

    work to do.

    And leaving the three officers gaping, the Jew

    went off to arrange for his holiday.


    7. Double Trouble (Indonesia)

    Jamal was a lazy, good-for-nothing fellow. He

    lounged about the house all day, much to his

    wife Fatimas annoyance. One day, Fatima toldher husband to dig the patch of land outside

    their hut.Ill borrow a spade from our

    neighbor, she said. Then we can plant some


    Jamal agreed reluctantly. The soil was hard

    and he was soon tired. He leaned against the

    spade for a moment, then, hearing Fatimas

    voice, he quickly resumed digging.

    Thunk! His spade struck metal. Jamal excitedly

    scraped away the mud. It was a big cooking

    pot. As Jamal leaned over to see if there was

    anything in it, his pouch of tobacco and some



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