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Panchatantra
Panchatantra Short Stories.

THE PRINCE AND THE BEAR
Animals too are lovable and understanding
Once a prince went to a jungle to hunt for animals. He wandered the whole day in search of prey but to his sheer disappointment and disgust he didn't get a single animal, big or small. He became tired and sat under a tree to take rest. Just then he saw a tiger coming towards him. The prince got frightened and scrambled up a tree. There he saw a bear already sitting on a branch. The prince got badly terrified because, up there in the tree was sitting a bear and down on the ground was the tiger. The prince began to tremble with fear. But the bear said to the prince, "Don't worry, my dear prince, I'll not harm you, you're my guest.'" The prince believed in what the bear said. But, the tiger was still waiting for him on the ground.

Soon the sun set and since, the prince was terribly tired of whole day's wandering, he fell asleep. The bear gave him support with his body to enable him to lie down comfortably on the branch. Then the tiger said to the bear, "This is a human being. Human beings are our enemies. Throw him on to the ground for my meals."

"I'll not throw the prince on to the ground, howsoever bad he might be," said the bear. "Moreover, he is my guest."

In the morning, when the prince woke up, he saw the bear sleeping beside him. The tiger said to the prince, "Don't trust this wicked bear. He's showing all his sympathies to you because I am sitting here. He'll not spare you, once I leave this place. It's my humble advice that you push this bear down before me. I'll eat him and let you go."

The prince believed in what the tiger said and pushed the bear off the branch. But the bear was alert. He caught hold of another branch of the tree and saved his life. He cursed the prince for his unthoughtful act and said, "We animals are better than you human beings."
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