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Panchatantra
Panchatantra Short Stories.

THE CAT, THE RAT AND THE HUNTER
Friendship with an enemy is a temporary affair
Once upon a time, there lived an owl in a big banyan tree. A mouse, a cat and a mongoose also shared his neighbourhood. They all feared each other. The owl was scared of the cat. The mouse would be frightened to see the owl, the cat or the mongoose. The owl and the cat were the enemies of the mongoose. But despite all these problems, all of them continued living at the same place.

Once a hunter came under the banyan tree. He spread his snare there and waited at a distance for some animal to be trapped in. After sometime, the cat came there looking for the mouse. She stepped on the snare and got trapped. Seeing the cat in the net the mouse became happy and came out of his hole and began taking rounds of the trap in great joy.

Seeing the rat dancing outside his hole, the owl and the mongoose began to look at him with greedy eyes. The rat got frightened. 'The owl and the mongoose would surely kill me and eat me', thought the rat to himself. Also there were no chances for him to re-enter his hole, as both of his enemies were very near him.

The rat became nervous. He had to take a quick decision anyhow, lest he should be killed by the owl or the mongoose. At this dangerous stage, there was but one hope of survival, that he entered the trap and sat beside the cat and then request her to spare his life. If the cat did so, he would as a matter of his gratitude, nibble at the net at a hundred places to make it loose enough to set the cat free.

The rat took the chance of his life and ran into the trap beside the cat. The cat was about to pounce upon him, when he said to her, "Please don't kill me. If you spare my life, I'll bite off the trap at a number of places to set you free."

The cat agreed to the proposal of the rat and let him remain inside the net. Seeing the rat and the mouse together, the owl and the mongoose went away.

Then the mouse nibbled at the net at a hundred places. The cat came out of the trap and ran away into the dense forest. So did the mouse. He too ran into his hole.

The next day, when the cat wanted to meet the mouse, the mouse refused saying that enemies will be enemies; everything else like friendship between them will just be a temporary affair.
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