Another great story from Jataka Tales. Long ago, in a small village there lived an old woman who owned a black baby elephant. The children in the village called her Granny, and they had nicknamed the elephant as ‘Granny’s Blackie.’
Granny’s Blackie was a very friendly elephant and used to give joy rides to all the children. The children also loved him dearly and shared their food with him. The old woman used to do stitching and tailoring work while Blackie used to enjoy the whole day with the children. Some years happily went past like this.
One day Blackie wanted granny to accompany him to the woods. The old lady declined the offer, saying, “My dear, I cannot walk that far now. My health is deteriorating and I am no longer as active and energetic as I used to be some time back.” Blackie realized that Granny was growing feeble and older.
He thought to himself, “This kind woman has looked after me for so many years. Now, it is my turn to repay the debt. I must find some work and start earning money for her.”
Blackie set out to find some work for himself. When he was walking along the river’s bank, he saw a man who was looking troubled. He had some heavily loaded bullock carts standing in the middle of a river and his bullocks were finding it difficult to lug them . When he saw Blackie, he asked him to help his bullocks in carrying out the carts out of water. He promised to pay two silver coins for each cart that Blackie pulled out of the water.
Blackie gladly agreed to help. He went into the river, and drew one cart after another across to the bank of the river. After completing his job, he went to take his money from the man. But, he saw that the dishonest man had given him only half the money he had promised.
Blackie was really upset with the man’s dishonesty. He went and stood in the road and did not let the carts go past him. The man tried to get Blackie out of his way, but he did not budge an inch from his place. The man soon understood what the elephant wanted. He went back and gave Blackie the other half of the sum, as promised. He apologised to Blackie and put all the silver coins in the bag that Blackie was carrying around his neck.
Blackie happily went home to give his first earning to his dear Granny. Blackie had been out since the morning, so Granny was getting worried for him and was waiting for him to return at the doorstep. When she saw Blackie coming back, she was overjoyed and asked him where he had been. Blackie narrated the entire story to her and put the bag full of silver coins in her hand. Granny was very proud of her Blackie!
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