Once upon a time, there was a thick forest that was the home for many wild animals. People from the nearby villages had to pass through this forest to reach the other villages. One day a rich merchant was passing through this forest. He was wearing a solid gold bangle on his wrist. A tiger was hiding in the tall grass by the path. The merchant did not notice him. As the merchant came near enough, the tiger pounced and killed him. After feasting on the merchant’s flesh, the tiger did not know what to do with the gold bangle. So the tiger kept it with him.
Years passed on after this incident and the tiger grew old and weak. He could no longer chase prey. He started thinking of some way to get his food. He remembered the gold bangle he had. He thought…
Tiger: I have heard that human beings are very fond of gold. I must test and confirm this. Maybe I can lure some passersby and kill them. This way, I will have enough to eat and survive the rest of the days of my life.
So the tiger took the gold bangle and sat by the path that ran across the forest. The tiger stayed there for a long time but nobody passed by. After a long time, a clever but poor man named Gopal came walking down the forest path. As he walked on, he heard a voice from the tall grass by the path.
Tiger: My dear man, will you stop for a while and listen to me?
Gopal looked around but could see no one near the trees or bushes. Then his eyes were blinded by a flash in the grass. He stealthily walked a step nearer. To his surprise, a tiger came out from the tall grass. Gopal was scared and he stepped back. But the tiger said
Tiger: My friend, don’t get scared of me. Come here and take this gold bangle from me.
Do you think that I am a fool? You are a wild animal, a tiger. How can I come near you and lose my life?
Tiger: My friend, all that you say is true because everyone knows that tigers are ferocious animals. But look at my state now. I have become old and my paws have lost their sharp nails. I have killed many people and animals in my life. And I repent for my sins now. So I have given up my violent nature. And as repentance, I want to give this gold bangle to a human being. You are lucky to have come down this forest path today.
Gopal: If this tiger has given up his violent nature, then there seems to be no danger in approaching him. Moreover, I am a poor man. The gold bangle which the tiger is offering will fetch me a lot of money, and I can live happily.
Gopal’s mind was filled with greed and he lost his ability to think. So he went near the tiger. The wicked tiger waited till Gopal came near and then pounced on him. Gopal died instantly and the tiger had a good feast for that day.
Tiger: These human beings are really fools. They become greedy on seeing a small gold bangle and lose their ability to think. This person has proved that to me. Hereafter I will use the same trick on all the passersby and kill them.
In this way, he began to live a happy life.
The moral of the story is my dear children, never ever become a slave to greediness. Be happy with what you have. Shall we move on to the next story?