Saturday, March 3, 2012

How the mousedeer tricked the crocodiles

How the mousedeer tricked the crocodile

A mousedeer was walking along the bank of river. He could see several crocodiles lying in the mud a t the side of the river.
“Hey, friends!” he called out. “You are really very big and strong! You could easily conguer any country if you want to.”
“Of course, Mr. mousedeer,” answered the crocodiles. “Even men are afraid of us. Look how well are armed.” They showed the mousedeer their sharp claws and
teeth, and waved their tails slowly backwards and forwards. “With one blow we can knock a man down.
”Everything you say is true,” said the mousedeer, “but I would like to know how many of you there are. Can you please form a line across the river so that I can count you?”
The crocodiles did as they were told. They formed a line from one side of the river to the other.
The mousedeer jumped down lightly on the back of the nearest crocodile. “One, two, three,” he counted as he walked across the river on their backs.
When he reached the other side, he jumped quickly on to the bank. “Thank you very much gentlemen,” he called out. “I didn’t want to get my feet wet crossing the river.”
The crocodiles roared in anger.
“Don’t forget, mousedeer.” They shouted “we can live on land as well as in the water. On day we shall catch you and teach you a good lesson.”
“Ha, ha, ha!” laughed the mousedeer. He run away into the forest. But he did not go near the river again after that. Whenever he wanted to drink, he look for water elsewhere.
One day it was very hot. The mousedeer was very thirsty. He could not find water anywhere. He had to return to the river.
“O river,” he cried, “Are there any crocodiles there?” there was no reply. He repeated the question several times but received no answer. “Oh well,” he said “there must be crocodiles there otherwise the river would say something.”
“There are no crocodiles here,” came the answer from the crocodiles, who were grinding their teeth in anger.
“Thanks for letting me know that you’re there,” the mousedeer said. “I don’t think I want to go near the river today.”
The crocodiles rushed up the river bank towards the mousedeer but he ran swiftly into the jungle. “The mousedeer thinks he’s very clever,” said the crocodiles. “Let’s wait for him near those papaya trees over there. He always goes there to eat.”
They waited for several hours. Feeling very hot and uncomfortable under the sun.
Suddenly the mousedeer arrived. “O papaya tree, are there any crocodiles there?”
As there was no reply, he repeated the question several times. There was silence. “Ho, ho papaya tree! I’m sure there are crocodiles there. They must have told you to keep quiet.”
“No we didn’t,” shouted the crocodiles.
The mousedeer immediately ran away but the crocodiles were too slow to catch him.
Before long, the mousedeer felt thirsty and hungry. He went back to the river. While he was searching for food and drink, a crocodile seized him by the leg.
“Hey what are you doing?” asked mousedeer. “That’s not my leg. It’s a branch of a tree.”
The crocodile let go of his leg to take another bite.
The mousedeer leapt away as fast as he could. When he reached as safe distance, he stopped and called out. “My friends, I know you are still waiting for me in the river, if you want to kill me, why don’t we have a fair fight? I shall call all of my friends and you can call yours. In one week’s time. We’ll meet on the river bank and fight it out.”
The crocodiles agreed that it would be the best way to settle the matter once and for all.
Every night after that, while the crocodiles were asleep, the mousedeer made as many footprints as he could in the soft mud at the side of the river.
On the seventh day, a large army of crocodiles appeared. But they could find no sign of the mousedeer and his army. All they could see were hundreds of footprints in the mud.
“What a pity!” they exclaimed. “It’s our fault, we are too late. The mousedeer’s army could not wait for us.”
The mousedeer called out to them from the other side of the river. “Do you think I am so stupid? You can’t kill me so easily!”
Once again, the mousedeer had tricked the crocodiles, and they had to admit defeat.

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