Aesops fables - Interesting insights
The Aesops fables are among the better known of a large number of ancient stories and fables and many of us would have read some or the other stories from the famous collection of Aesops fables. Though these stories and fables may appear to be quite simple and small often they offer interesting insights into human behavior and present important morals that both children and grown-ups would do well to practice.The story of the donkey and his shadow (titled a bit differently in the original version) is one such interesting tale that we can learn from.
Here is the story of the donkey and his shadow retold
The donkey and his shadow
Ravi lived in a small village. Once he needed to go to the nearby town. Since it was several miles away and it was a hot day Ravi decided to hire a donkey to ride on. He went to the only donkey owner in the village and asked him his terms to rent him his donkey.
The donkey owner said, "I can rent you my donkey for 3 hours - you can go to the town and come back in that time - It will cost you Rs. 50/-. I shall come and lead the donkey, you can ride on the donkey."
"Alright, said Ravi - it is a deal. Let us start."
So they set off for the town, Ravi riding on the donkey and the donkey owner leading the donkey.
It was the middle of the day and the noonday sun shone at its brightest. After a while Ravi couldn't stand the heat. He felt like he was being baked! He looked around to see if there were any trees he could shelter under, but there was nothing in sight at all. So he stopped the donkey and hopped off it. He thought he would rest a while in the shadow of the donkey!
Now, the donkey owner was feeling very hot too and even more tired since he was walking (whereas Ravi was riding on the donkey). He too got the bright idea of relaxing in the shadow of the donkey.
Both of them tried to move into the shadow of the donkey, but unfortunately there wasn't enough 'shadow' for two. They started arguing as to who should benefit from the shadow!
"Remember our agreement," shouted Ravi. "I have hired the donkey. Obviously that means the shadow is mine for the duration of the hire! Move away, I have paid good money for this!"
The donkey owner screamed, "I don't recall the shadow as being part of our agreement. I have certainly hired out the donkey to you, there was no mention of hiring out the shadow. Therefore of course, I retain rights over the shadow!"
"What nonsense," yelled Ravi. "The donkey and its shadow are inseparable. If I have hired the donkey, no doubt I get the shadow too!"
"What a foolish generalization," cried the donkey owner. "If you are not going to be bound by the letter of the agreement, then why have one at all."
And meanwhile what about the donkey. It stood patiently for a while. But seeing that the donkey owner had let go if it and was deep in his argument with Ravi, the donkey ran away, of course taking his shadow with it.
The donkey owner and Ravi were stranded in the middle of nowhere - with neither donkey nor shadow!
The moral of the story
In arguing over the shadow we often forget the substance. This is a moral that several of us can relate to. Many times when we look back we realize that we have, like the two gentlemen above, been arguing or fighting for the 'shadow' rather than the 'substance'.
More stories and fables
- The man, the boy and the donkey | Aesop's fables ret...
The man, the boy and the donkey is one of the collection of Aesop's fables. This is a retelling of this old fable - a story with a moral, which is very instructive even today. '
- Moral stories for kids | Short stories for kids with...
Moral stories for kids are popular among both kids and their parents and teachers. Kids love the stories and parents love the fact that they are imbibing a moral or a value. Short stories for kids with morals are particularly welcome because kids hav
- Kindergarten Stories | Short stories for kindergarte...
Children love short kindergarten stories such as 'The Lion and the Mouse'. Kindergarten stories not only entertain the child but can also be quite often educative. They often present a moral and a value too. Preschoolers in particular may love to exp
- Short kids stories in English | The thirsty crow wi...
Short kids stories in English like the thirsty crow story are a wonderful source of entertainment for kids. The popular thirsty crow story ( a moral story) is given here with pictures.
- The fox and the stork | Small stories for kids
Small stories for kids like the fox and the stork story are very popular. Here is a beautifully illustrated version of this fable that has a moral too. The fox and the stork story is fun for children to read with pictures. Such short stories for kids
- The monkey and the crocodile - Panchatantra stories ...
The Panchatantra stories, like the story of the monkey and the crocodile, are a set of animal fables written almost 18 centuries ago in India and very widely retold and translated.