The Elephant and the dog
Once, they lived an elephant named Arafat that used to reside in the vicinity of King Sitaraman’s palace. The royal elephant was very dear to the king. So he was well cared for, fed thoroughly and royally treated. A very weak and skinny dog named Ramu lived in the neighbourhood of the royal elephant’s shed. The smell of the richly cooked sweet rice called Chakkara Pongal being fed to the royal elephant would make Ramu drool.
One day, he could not resist the aroma of the sweet rice and somehow sneaked into the royal elephant’s shed. Ramu used to eat the sweet rice that fell from Arafat’s mouth. Ramu relished it so much that he started coming over daily. The huge elephant did not notice the small, skinny dog as he was always busy enjoying the delicious food.
Gradually, Ramu grew stronger and healthier. One day, this was noticed by Arafat. The royal elephant soon enjoyed Ramu’s company and it did not take long for people to realize how happy they were together, eating sleeping and playing.
A while later, a man saw this healthy dog and asked the elephant keeper, “Can I buy this dog? What price do you want for this dog?” The elephant keeper sold the dog though he was not the owner. The man took Ramu to his native place, which was quite far off. Ramu’s absence saddened Arafat lot. He missed his friend and so he stopped eating, drinking and refused to bathe. Ultimately, the elephant keeper decided to report this to the king. However, Ramu’s topic was not discussed.
One of the king’s ministers, was known for his understanding of animals. King told him to find out the reason for his favourite Arafat’s condition. The wise Minister examine Arafat and said to the elephant-keeper, “There is nothing wrong with him. I think he is grief-stricken probably due to the absence of someone dear!
The Minister asked, “Do you know if he has a lasting friendship with anyone?”
The elephant – keeper grew fearsome and said, “There was a dog named, which used to eat, sleep and play with him. He has been taken away by a stranger, few days ago”.
The minister enquires for Ramu. The keeper replies, “I don’t know!”
The minister went back to the king and said, “Your majesty! As per my opinion, the royal elephant is not sick but he is lonesome without his dear friend Ramu”.
The king asserted that friendship is the best gift to any living being.
The minister revealed that a stranger had taken away Ramu and he was unaware of it.
“How can we bring back Arafat’s friend?” said the king. “How can we make him happy?”
The minister suggested, “Your majesty, please order that whoever has Ramu, the dog, would be penalized.”
The minister does the same. Hearing the proclamation, the man who had bought Ramu for a price, instantly relieved the dog. On being let free, Ramu ran back to his royal friend.
Arafat was delighted to see his friend! He picked him with the trunk and placed him on his head. Ramu waved his tail while Arafat’s eyes sparkled with happiness.
The king was very happy to see his royal elephant normal. He rewarded his wise minister for the amazing idea.
And for…….the two friends….continued to live happily forever.
MORAL: Good friendship withstands all obstacles.
Sujatha Sekhar Balaji