Another great story from Jataka Tales. One day, a young lion was roaming around in the jungle alone when he spotted a wolf in the bushes. The wolf also saw the lion and feared that if he tried to run away, the lion would surely kill him. So, he himself walked up to the lion and said, “Dear Sir, you look very kind! If you take me to your den, and let me live with your family, I will help you in doing your household chores.” He added, “I have never seen such a majestic young lion ever before in my life and it would be a pleasure to serve you and your family.”
This young lion had been repeatedly told by his father and mother not to make friends with any wolf. But he was impressed by the oily talks of the wolf and decided to take him to his den.
The lion’s parents did not want their son to be hanging out with the wolf but there was little that they could do as the young lion had grown very fond of the wolf. They feared that someday the lion would land in trouble because of the wolf. And they were absolutely right in thinking so!
One day the wolf had a strong craving to eat horse-meat. He approached the young lion and said with folded hands, “Sir, there is nothing that we have not eaten except fresh horse-meat. I have heard that it tastes divine.” The young lion was also tempted to eat horse-meat and asked the wolf to take him to the place where they could find some horses.
The wolf took the lion to a pond where some little ponies came to bathe. The young lion hid behind a bush and catching hold of a fine pony, he ran back to his den.
His father warned him, “My son, those ponies belong to the king! He has many skillful archers. If you steal another pony, you will endanger your life.” But the young lion soon became addicted to the taste of horse-meat and started killing pony after pony. The wolf was also having a gala time savouring the juicy flesh of the young ponies with his friend.
Soon the king heard that a lion was killing the ponies when they went to bathe in the river. He got a tank built inside the city to keep his ponies safe from the lion, but the lion somehow sneaked in the city and killed the ponies as they bathed in the tank. Then the king ordered his men to keep the ponies in the royal stables, thinking that the lion would not dare to enter the royal stables. But the lion went over the wall, and killed the ponies in their stables too.
At last the king called the most skillful archer and ordered him to shoot down the lion. The next day, when the lion sprang over the wall of the royal stables, in search of a pony, he was shot by the archer. He called out to the wolf in pain, “My friend, help me!”
The wolf was waiting for the lion to return with a pony, but when he heard his cry for help, he understood that the lion had been shot. Without wasting any time, he fled in the deep forest. The young lion breathed his last, repenting on not heeding to his parents’ advice.
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