The Price of Indiscretion
In the city of Nagara, there was a
carpenter whose name was Ujjwalaka and who was extremely poor. One day he
was pained to realize that every one else in his profession was rich and
happy and that he alone was very poor. He thought Nagara was not the proper
place for him to prosper and that he must go out and seek his fortune
elsewhere. Then he left that city and began his journey to a new country.
When the sun was fading, he reached a cave in a forest.
There he saw a female camel that
separated from her caravan and just then delivered a child. The carpenter
gave up his plans to go to another country and went home taking the camel
and her calf with him. Every day he would go into the forest and bring back
with him bundles of tender leaves for the camel and her child to eat. The
she camel regained and her strength and the calf now became an adult. The
carpenter began selling camel milk and making good money.
Ujjwalaka loved the camel so much that he
bought a bell and hung it to her neck. One day he thought to himself, “If
one camel can bring so much money for me, how much more would I earn if I
buy more camels and sell their milk?” He told his wife that he would borrow
some money to go to Gujarat and buy a she camel and that she should take
care of the she camel and her calf till he returned from Gujarat.
He went to Gujarat and returned home with
a she camel. Slowly, the number of camels he had increased several times. He
appointed a keeper to take care of the camel herd he had on the condition
that he would give one camel to the keeper every year as remuneration. The
keeper was also free to drink camel milk twice a day. Now, everything was
fine for the carpenter and he and his wife thus lived happily ever after.
The camels used to go every day to a
nearby forest to feed on the fresh green leaves available in plenty in the
forest. After spending a lot of time in the forest, eating and playing, the
camels trekked back home. But the senior she camel stayed on in the forest
and joined the herd later. The other camels thought that the she camel was a
fool to go her separate ways and what would she do if a wild animal attacked
One day a lion saw all the camels leaving
the forest in a herd and the she camel staying back and loafing about. By
the time she finished her leisurely grazing, the others left and reached
home. The she camel lost her way and was in panic when the lion, which was
following her, pounced on her and soon tore her to pieces.
Moral of the Story :
He (or she) who does not follow the advice of wise men perishes like the