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Gift Is Never Free

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December 26th 2016  |  0  |  Category: Fiction , Moral , Philosophical  |  Author: Titu  |  342 views

Once upon a time there lived an ape in the woods. It was widely revered by all the animals in the jungle. It was known for its antics and travels. It could jump, run and climb trees with great skill and animals enjoyed seeing monkey doing all the tricks for them.
Animals viewed the monkey as gift of mother goddess forest. Even lion and elephant enjoyed the tricks that monkey played with them. It would ride on elephant back and even used to pull lion’s tail without getting caught.
The monkey was also a wide drifter. He had trekked all the routes and courses of the vast land. It used to bring the funny and exciting news and delicacies of faraway places. The monkey acted as the unofficial harbinger. He had stories of different places and he had wide knowledge of affairs of jungle. He solved the hitches and snags of jungle. He could tell animals where they will find abundant grass, fruits and water in summer and where they can migrate in harsh winters. Though clever and wise, still monkey never had airs of his skill.
All the animals often said great words about monkey except jackal. The jackal felt jealous of this monkey as monkey had often exposed cruel tricks to animals of shrewd jackal. Only few days back jackal colored itself with blue dye and acted as God’s envoy and demanded great hospitality for himself. All the worried animals visited monkey to ask him whether it has seen such strange creature. The monkey solved the riddle within a week by just keeping a watchful eye on jackal.
The jackal wanted to ruin monkey as lion king had got annoyed because monkey had exposed him. It thought, “If monkey’s all the skills are robbed away by a trick then monkey won’t be a glitch for him. It schemed and planned for months and then it had an idea on how it can turn this chimp into chump, with no travels.”
One fine morning jackal went to monkey. On the tree top a black bird cawed. When monkey climbed down from tree the Jackal said to monkey, “Oh wise monkey, I always suspected you. Please forgive me for my misadventures and also be kind to accept an exotic gift which my angel ancestors have asked me to give you.” The monkey refused, but jackal gave monkey an exotic rare gift and left. The monkey was perplexed at jackal’s such sudden heart change. The monkey saw the gift was too exotic and rare and kept on wondering, “Why Jackal has gifted it to him only.”
Next morning the animals assembled in jungle yard and monkey was its usual self. The story of an exotic gift had travelled throughout jungle, so animals were excited to know what the gift was. The monkey continued to tell old brave stories and also told about rare and exotic gift given by jackal.
Now animals thought that monkey always narrated and enriched them with wonderful stories , so they should also give presents to monkey. Also, if a cruel jackal can appreciate monkey then why cannot animals appreciate the monkey for his exceptional services.
Now, animals started bringing gifts to monkey on their visits. Monkey also felt appreciated that animals were so generous with their gifts. It had now all the exotic gifts and food at his abode, so it spent most of time dreaming, storing and hiding the gifts. Whenever any animal visited monkey, it mostly talked to animals about old stories and its possessions and gift.
Days went on and monkey now was richest animal of the forest having all the exotic delicacies and foods at his doorstep. Even lion king looked like pauper in comparison to monkey. The king felt jealous and planned of confiscating all of monkey’s wealth at slightest mistake. The jackal was happy that ultimately he had ruined the monkey with one false gift.
All was not well and wise crow was worried since the day of jackal’s visit. It used to always watch monkey greed for gifts with lot of disdain. It was concerned that now monkey’s stories and adventures were no more exciting and monkey talked more about gifts brought by animals than about his adventures and experiences. The wise crow was worried about moral fall of monkey, the doyen of animal kingdom.


One day the animals had assembled to give more gifts to monkey as now it had become a jungle ritual. When monkey came to accept gift the crow cawed from top of the tree, “Oh foolish monkey, you are now no more blessed and talented. You cannot jump, climb and run as now you are fat in body and dumb in your mind.” The arrogance swept on monkey’s body immediately and monkey rushed towards crow, but crow happily jumped to another branch. The monkey tried to jump, but fell on ground with great thud. The crow said, “You fell and cannot even catch me on another nearby branch. Oh foolish monkey, remember I can fly.” The monkey was embarrassed and the jackal was amused.
Unaware of jackal’s ploy and King Lion’s cruel intentions. The cruel jackal now was happy as his trick had almost worked. Very soon he would see end of his unfriendly opponent.
Monkey got restless sleeps as it could not forget public humiliation by small black bird and could not think of suitable revenge. It often felt angry at crow. The animals still used to come with gifts, but sight of crow worried monkey and amused animals. The monkey felt as if something was eating him inside and it felt sad. Sadness brought ill health to monkey.
Finally, it went to sage elephant, an old friend. A giant cave was elephant’s abode. The elephant was deep in meditations and monkey thought of waiting for elephant’s meditations to get over. The wise elephant said without opening his eyes,” Travel and leave everything behind that is not yours.” He further said, “Oh wise monkey, you got stained when you received first gift from cruel. you must travel to cleanse and find your fortune.” The monkey was amazed at elephant’s words, but it doubted whether it would be really able to travel leaving his huge treasure behind. The elephant’s voice grew louder and echoed in cave, “Traveler, Oh Traveler! Freedom is far better than all the treasures. In mud of greed, you cannot sustain your health, wisdom and talent. Freedom is wisdom! Freedom is courage! Freedom is key!” The monkey still was not convinced by elephant’s words and waited for elephant to come into its full awareness so that it could talk about its worry. The elephant foresaw monkey’s abysmal future, it slowly opened its eyes and saw the doubting and lazy monkey. Finally elephant said, “Oh Wise remove dust and smoke from your wisdom through freedom. As you have to cleanse your body, so you have to cleanse your soul, so you have to get free. Time is the greatest blotter and the greatest cleanser. Please travel the world as your fortune is waiting for you there. Freedom is the final cure to all your worries. Go & save yourself from the cruel ”
Next day it started lightening and thundering and then, raining. The pour was light, fresh and gentle. All the animals started dancing and singing in the summer rains. The fresh rain drops were sweetly perfumed with the fragrance of wild flowers and foliage. The hot and steamy summer day had suddenly turned into silky wet month. The frogs croaked in waters and animals danced in pool of water, but monkey was seen nowhere chattering in excitement on trees.
The elephant was deep in meditations. Jackal got worried about monkey’s absence as the jungle was still abundant with fruits, grass and water and all animals were still happy.
Next day jackal went to monkey’s abode. He knocked at door, but no one appeared. He went inside, but could not find a trace of monkey. Lion king got news of monkey’s disappearance and ordered a search for monkey’s ill-fated disappearance and ordered jackal to keep a careful eye on monkey’s abode.

 

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