are very sly animals. There was one very cunning fox. He was
craftier than all the rest. He would steal barfi, ghaari, mesub,
and other sweets from the sweet shop regularly. The shop owner
saw his stock lessen everyday. ''I'll have to catch the thief,''
he thought to himself.
That night the owner sat awake. Two o'clock at night the fox
came. The shop owner felled him with a chair. He then dragged
the fox outside. The fox was still alive. He decided to just
lay there and pretend to be dead. The next morning the village
got together. They found out that the sweet shop owner had killed
a fox. It was decided to punish the owner. The fox lay quietly
listening to everything. He thought it right that the owner
After a little while a carpenter came by. He said to the shop
owner, ''I'd like to take away the fox's tail.'' The owner said,
''Take it. Cut it off.''
The fox decided, ''Let him take my tail. I won't say a word.
But I want that shop owner punished.'' The carpenter cut off
the fox's tail and went away pleased. After a little while another
man was passing. He said to the shop owner, ''I'd like the fox's
ears.'' ''Cut them and take them,'' replied the owner. He did
so. A third man arrived, he said, ''I'd like the fox's teeth.''
Hearing this the fox thought. ''If this goes on I'll end up
really dead. How will I eat without teeth?'' And so he jumped
up and ran for his very life. And now it so happened that a
dyer was making colour in a small pit. The fox jumped into it.
When he came out he was coloured red and yellow all over. No
one recognised the strangely coloured fox with no ears and no
tail. All the animals were scared of him and would run away
on his approach. The fox named himself Kukaddam. He began making
plans to become king of the forest. One day he proudly declared
to those who were frightened of him, ''I am king of the forest.
You shall all obey me from now onwards.'' All the wild animals
began to come to him and pay homage.
For his protection the fox placed sentries in three circles
around him. In the inner circle near to him there were only
foxes. In the next circle were men and finally the tigers and
lions. He ordered them, ''You should stand guard six kilometres
distant from here.'' Two months passed in this way. Winter arrived.
The foxes began to howl in the cold. Kukaddam would also quietly
howl with those foxes around him.
In the colder months they would howl more. One day the tiger
and lion said to themselves, ''We're the original kings of the
forest, and so it is not right that we are not allowed to go
near the king.'' They went to Kukaddam with their request, ''Sire,
we were the previous kings of the forest. For two months the
foxes have stayed near Your Highness. Please send them away
and let us stay close to you as your personal bodyguards. Kukaddam
could not stop himself from saying yes. The tiger and lion stood
close to him as guards.
In the cold Kukaddam felt an urge to howl as before. In the
distance the other foxes began to howl. But what could he do.
If he howled he would be caught and everyone would kill him.
The cold soon increased and the desire to howl became even greater.
Kukaddam would make strange noises in his throat, ''Oohoo, Oohoo,''
The lion asked him, ''Sire, what is wrong? Does your stomach
hurt?'' What answer could the fox give. Slowly, the noises increased
and then Kukaddam couldn't resist any longer - he began to howl.
The lion at once realised, ''This Kukaddam is a fox! He's fooling
us.'' With one pounce he killed the pretender. The truth can
never be hidden for long. Even by eating garlic in secret its
smell cannot be hidden. In the same way, just by wearing the
clothes of a sadhu and declaring oneself to be a great soul
one does not become so. Such an impostor is sure to be exposed.
One should become a real sadhu. Weakness for the sense pleasures
can be compared to Kukaddam's howling.
<% end if%>