Stories

Two Peasants and the Toad

Agastya's Gateway reminds me of an other story:  

Two peasants, Suryadatta et Chandradatta are walking on the road to the town market. Suryadatta is leading a cow, Chandradatta, who is a much poorer peasant, carries a basket of brinjals.

A little toad crosses their path. All of a sudden, Suryadatta is seized by Kali, the game's bad spirit. He says to Candradatta: "If you eat this toad alive, I'll give you my cow." - "You'll give me your cow ?" repeats the other puzzled. For him it looks like the Golcond's treasury ! - "Yes, I'll do as I said."

Candradatta picks up the toad, looks at it reluctantly, opens wide his mouth, closes his eyes and with a resolute clasping of his teeth cuts the toad in two and swallows the fore part of it, including head and forelegs. He reels from nausea and feels himself unable to eat the blood-streaked rest of the poor beast.

He says: "If you eat this remaining half of the toad, I'll give you back your cow." And Suryadatta, afraid to lose his cow, seizes the remnants of the toad and in one breath swallows it.

The two of them, feeling sick, look at each other and say: "Why did we eat
this peaceful animal ?"

10-Apr-2005

More by :  Gilles Schaufelberger

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