Nattu and His Fate
Source: BPI India
Once upon a time, a washerman called Mukund lived >in the village of Bandhavgarh. Every morning he collected clothes from the people in the village. He then washed, cleaned, ironed, and returned them every evening.
Mukund had so much work to do each day, so he had kept an ass called Nattu to help him. The dirty clothes that Mukund collected from the people and the clean clothes that he had to return, Mukund loaded all those heavy bundles of clothes over Nattu. Mukund even sat on Nattu to travel long distances across the village whenever he felt very tired. For many years Nattu had become his >right hand and big support for all his daily works.
But one day, Mukund realized that Nattu had grown very old and feeble over the years. Mukund thought to himself, “This Nattu has served me for so long. But, now it is >too old and weak to help me and do my work. His speed has also slowed down and he gets tired very soon. He cannot even take care of himself. If I leave him alone, the other strong animals and the villagers always trouble and scare him a lot. No one lets him graze properly and everyone just starts to shove him away. Even I am unable to protect him well. Give me some idea, God!”
Suddenly, one night, Mukund found a dead tiger near the river. Mukund thought, “If Nattu wears this dead tiger’s skin, he can stay safe. My Nattu will scare everyone and rule this village and all the animals in the jungle. No one will be able to harm my Nattu then!”
Mukund was very delighted with this idea and soon he made a dress of the tiger’s skin for Nattu. He set Nattu free to roam and graze alone in the crop fields and jungles. Everyone who saw Nattu, thought him to be a big, strong tiger and ran away in fear.
Nattu was able to graze and eat the crops and grass freely now. Mukund and Nattu both became very happy by fooling everyone. One day, it was harvest season. A farmer wearing a grey blanket came to the field where Nattu was also grazing. Just when the farmer bent down to wedge and pluck some crops, Nattu foolishly mistook that the bent farmer was an ass like him. Nattu got very excited to see a fellow ass in the same field. He started to bray loudly with joy and ran closer towards the farmer.
The farmer heard Nattu’s real voice and realized that it was an ass. “Oh my God! This was not a tiger who would kill me, but he was an ass who was grazing and finishing the crops in my fields for so many months! Mukund, how dare you and your ass try to fool and scare everyone? Now you wait and watch what I do next!” the farmer babbled to himself in deep anger. He quickly killed Nattu.
Moral: Even a thousand disguises cannot change your one real identity.