Kid’s Stories, Hitopadesha Tales – The Monkey And The Bell
Never be too quick to judge.
Once upon a time, there lived a robber in a village. One day, he went to a temple. He looted all the gold ornaments of the deity and the silver bell from the temple. He had to climb a mountain to reach home. As he was going through the forest on the mountain, a tiger heard the jingle of the bell and became curious to locate the sound. As soon as he saw the robber, he jumped upon him and killed him at once. The bell fell on the ground.
A little while later, a group of monkeys passed through that way. One of the monkeys picked up the silver bell and started playing with it. He found the jingle of the bell very interesting. When the people of the nearby villages heard the sound of the bell from the mountains, they got very scared. They were surprised and curious as to how the sound of the bell came from a dense forest of the mountain.
The villagers got together to discuss the mysterious happening. They send A courageous young man to go up the mountain to investigate. The young man went up the mountain and soon reached the forest. There he came upon the dead body of the robber. He recognized the robber immediately. Suddenly, he heard the ringing of the bell but could not locate its source. He got very scared and ran down the mountains to the village. There he said,
Young man: An evil man, a robber, has died in the forest. His evil spirit is roaming in the forest making that noise. The evil spirit kills those who come to the forest. The ringing of the bell means announcing another death.
These words frightened the villagers so much that they stopped going to the mountain forest. Observing this fear, the king announced,
This is to inform you that the king has announced a handsome reward to the person who chases away the evil spirit from the mountain forest.
Old woman: I don’t believe that some evil spirit is haunting the mountain forest. I will find out who is ringing the bell.
The old woman reached the mountain forest. There she saw the dead body of the robber. Some of the valuables he had stolen still lay scattered nearby. The footprints of a tiger and the body of the robber told the whole story. Just there she saw some monkey playing with the silver bell. Seeing all this, the old woman understood what must have happened. She hastened back to the king’s palace and said to the king.
Old women: Your majesty, if you permit me I can chase away the evil spirit from the mountain forest and bring back their bell as proof to you your majesty.
King: Oh! I’ll be so thankful if you can do that. Do you need my men to accompany you?
Old women: No, your majesty. All I need is some fruits and nuts for a certain ritual. I will go there all by myself. And chase away the evil spirit your majesty.
King: Well old lady, if you can do this then I will reward you with a handsome amount of gold coins as I said earlier.
Old woman: Thank you, your majesty. I’ll come back soon.
The old woman went to the mountain forest. She placed the fruits and nuts under a tree. She kept a watch of the monkeys from a distance. As and when the monkeys saw the eatables, they came near the tree to eat them. As they became busy eating the fruits and nuts, the old woman took the silver bell and she left the forest, and went back to the village. She went straight to the king and said
Old woman: Your majesty, here is the bell which the evil spirits used. They will never come to the forest ever again.
King: I am happy to hear this. And here is the reward that I had promised.
Everyone in the village admired her bravery. Since that day, there was no noise and people lived happily ever after.
The moral of the story is children; did you see how brave the old woman was. Her courage bought her many gifts and rewards. So do not believe in all that you hear. Investigate and find out the truth.