Once upon a time there lived a man in the outskirts of a jungle with his son, Bob. One evening, as the sun was setting, the father was repairing the fence around the house. As he was doing so, his son was sitting next to him and helping him as and when needed. At this time, Bob’s friend, Alan, had come along. He told Bob that some gipsies had arrived nearby and so he wanted to go along with Bob to see if they did fortune telling. The father then interrupted them and said that gipsies do not do fortune telling. But nonetheless, both the boys were now eager to roam about using this as a reason. The father also said that it was not advisable to roam when it was almost about to get dark.
Alan then told Bob’s father that he would take good care of Bob. The father trusted Alan and felt that Bob would be safe in the company of Alan. So he told Alan and Bob to go and have fun. With that, both of them set out in search of the gipsies. But part of their journey was to be made through the forest. They continued walking in the forest and it was already becoming quite dark.
Out of the blue, both the boys suddenly heard the growl of a bear and as they walked the sound came closer and closer behind them. Both of them then ran for their lives and decided to climb up a tree to hide. Alan said that he would go up first and help Bob climb up. So Bob without any hesitation helped Alan to climb the tree. But once Alan climbed the tree, he did not help Bob on the pretext that there was no more space on the tree. Bob could see very well that Alan was lying and started to think of other ways to hide.
It was then that Bob remembered what his father had said to him a long time ago. HIs father had told him to pretend to be dead when a bear was near as bears don’t attack dead bodies. So Bob immediately lay flat on the ground and closed his eyes, pretending to be dead. The bear was soon near him and it started to smell him. It sniffed his face and ears for a long time. The boy did not make even the slightest movement and after the bear had sniffed him fully, it went away. The boy waited for some time and after that he got up. Alan too came down from the tree and asked whether Bob was injured.
Bob, who now knew the true colours of Alan, was no longer interested in being friends with him. He said that he was alright thanks to his father’s advice a long time ago. Then Alan asked him what the bear had whispered to him in the ear. Bob said that the bear told him not to be friends with people who abandoned him in the time of need. After hearing this, Alan realised what Bob was hinting at and felt ashamed. Bob then returned to his home and he never spoke to Alan again.
Moral – A friend in need is a friend in deed. A good friend does not abandon you in times of joy or sorrow.