A Step Forward

Dear Friends,

Last month Karataka narrated the story of how a donkey lost its life, for fostering up unrelated responsibility. He warned Damanaka to leave the King to his fate and be happy with the flesh they get to eat.

However, Damanaka would not relent. He seemed to be extremely smart in getting into trouble.

He gave a counter argument, “I have no disagreement with what you say. I would however request you to consider that, we cannot get a better opportunity to get back into King’s good books. It does not make sense to live a life of coward and die each moment in humiliation. I am keen to regain our lost glory. If you are not interested, you may remain here. I will go ahead with my plan and approach the

Karataka was smart enough to not fall into Damanaka’s ill-guided idea.

Damanaka went ahead to Pingalaka’s den.

Pingalaka was trembling in fear from the moment he heard that loud noise. He did not even move out of his den. He was wondering it would be good if he could catch up with someone for a chat.

At that moment, Damanaka approached him and offered his salutations. Pinagalaka’s eyes glowed in joy.

He welcomed him with all love and care into the den and enquired about his well-being. ‘What happened to you? I could not see you for a while. Hope all are fine. Do you need some help from me?’

Damanaka did not expect such warm welcome.

Pingalaka’s warmth made him feel more confident to bring out his cunning nature.

With folded hands, faking humility, he approached Pingalaka.

He said, “Even though you have removed us from our posts, we remain your humble servants. We always wish your well-being and look for opportunities to be of service to you. I came to know about your address to the animals yesterday after hearing that loud sound. I wanted to check, if there is anything I
can do for you in that matter.”

“It is so heartening Damanaka. While all the animals are frightened at the sound, you have come forward with courage. I appreciate your sincerity and service. If you could find out more details about that animal and its nature, we can explore possibilities of protecting the forest and other animals from that new

Hey King! I see this fear does not befit your stature. I am at your service. I will go there immediately and find out the facts behind this incident. Before, I proceed I would like to make a humble submission. May I?” Damanaka’s true colours started coming out.

“Sure! Please go ahead”, obliged the gullible king, Pingalaka

“This sounds like the incident where a fox was frightened by a drum beat. Courageous people like you should not worry about such small incidents.”

“Come again. Did you say a drumbeat frightened a fox? What is this all about? Please tell me more details.” Asked the king in all curiosity. Damanaka started narrating that story.


Once there was a fox in a forest. One day he roamed far-and-wide in search of food.

However, he could not find even a single dead animal or some flesh to eat.

His search finally brought him to the big open fields at the borders of the forest.

A big battle took place there a couple of days ago.

There were many dead bodies of horses, elephants and men spread all over.

He thought, “Whaw! I have found food that could last for a year”.

Greed made him forget that the flesh would rot and not last for a year.

Elated, he proceeded to eat the flesh of a dead animal.

As he was about a take bite, he heard a loud noise. He was frightened and ran back into the forest to safety.

After waiting for a while, he recouped.

He started to think, “What bad luck? After a hard day, I got something to eat. Even before I could take a bite, it was snatched. What is this noise? Did some other animal reach here before me? That sound also looks new. Guess it is not safe for me to venture out when that animal is around. May be it is wiser to
get away from here.”

Thus thinking, he started walking back into the forest.

However, greed tempted him to take another chance.

He started thinking again. “How can I let go of such bounty which can feed hundred animals like me. Should I lose all that for fear of another animal? Should I not explore opportunities to get my share from that bounty?”

These thoughts dragged his legs again to the battlefield.

This time around, he did not go inside the battlefield to have his meal. He moved stealthily towards the direction of the sound.

On careful observation, he deciphered it to be sound coming from an object.

That thought made him a bit bolder. He moved slightly closer to the sound.

As he went near, he noticed a huge object under the branch of a tree. The sound was coming from that object. The object was a huge war drum. Whenever wind blew, the branch would swing and beat against
the drum making a huge noise.

Once the fox understood where the noise was coming from, the fear disappeared and he went ahead to have his meal.

Thus narrating the story Damanaka said, “Hey King, we need not be afraid of a sound. Many a time we cannot differentiate the sound of an animal from that of an object. We need to explore deeper to get our facts right. Even if it is an animal, it can be from a small animal or a big one. The animal may or may not be harmful to us. We need to explore all these carefully. Let me go there and find out the facts and revert back to you.”

These words brought some solace to the King. He felt relieved.

once The animal may or may not be harmful to us. We need to explore all these carefully. Let me go there and find out the facts and revert back to you.”
These words brought some solace to the King. He felt relieved.
Once the king got relieved of stress,
Damanaka turned around towards the den’s exit thinking, “Yes! The first step is successful. Now I need to make the next move carefully so my position with Pinagalaka is secured.”

Let us wait and see, what happens next?

– Translated by Balaji Gorantla, Chennai from
Telugu Bala Nivedana