Panchatantra – The Fall and Rise of a Merchant


For those of you who may recall

The last of our Panchatantra tales 

We had Dama-na-ka, our hero brave

About to share yet another sage tale

With Sanjeev-aka that noisy ol’ bull

And here’s the story, not in part, but full…

The Fall and Rise of a Merchant

“What story?” asked Sanjev-aka all agog

“Dantila, the merchant, the one who lost all

For he treated the royal sweeper like a dog

When Gorambha the sweep, came to the ball

That Dantila threw for his own wedding

At which the royal sweep sat in a seat

Reserved for nobles who sat with the King

He threw the sweeper out and had him beat

Gorambha the royal sweep then planned revenge

For Dantila to lose his status among men

“Because I am poor,” muttered Gorambha

“I cannot reply to rich Dantila”.

“But, again,” he thought I have access to the king

“And Dantila’s downfall I can surely bring.”

So one morning when the king was still asleep

Gorambha pretended his room to sweep.

“How arrogant is Dantila,” he muttered

“He locked the queen in his embrace!”

“Wh-what?” said the king, so shocked he stuttered

And came awake without washing his face.

“Your majesty, I don’t know what I just said

I’m still half-asleep, should have stayed in bed”

But he’d planted a seed of doubt in the King

And to himself he did wickedly grin.

For he knew the King knew that sleep-talking meant

The truth had been seen, tho it appeared dreamt

And Gorambha couldn’t be said to be lying

And nor could he be accused of spying.

The king then barred Dantila from the palace

Who didn’t know why the king appeared callous

Dantila suffered, lost business, lost money

Demanded to see the king in a hurry

The king’s men denied him entry at the gate

For Gorambha, the sweeper, revenge was great

Scornfully he said, “Let this great man in

Or as he did me, he’ll have you beaten.”

Then Dantila realised it was the sweeper

Who’d somehow removed him from the king’s favour

So he invited Gorambha to tea

Softened him up and said, “please pardon me.”

The sweeper then sought to reverse the king’s mind

For at heart the royal sweeper was kind.

So once again a great act he put on

And once again the great king he did con.

As he swept he muttered that he’d seen the king

In the rest room on a cucumber munching

“What!” said the king, “Just what are you saying?

“When did you ever see me do such a thing?”

“Forgive me, your highness,” Gorambha said

“I don’t know what I said, for last night in bed

“I just couldn’t sleep and I tossed and turned

And I fear that my brain is totally churned!”

Then the king thought perhaps that it wasn’t true

What Gorambha had said about Dantila too.

So the merchant came back in the king’s favour

But even as he his riches did savour

Remembered that his status was sweeter

All thanks to that lowly person, the sweeper.

“Great pride, as you know goes before a great fall,”

Said Damanaka that wily jackal

As he ended this tale to Sanjeevaka

This smart bullock agreed with Damanaka

“My friend I will always remember you

As a guide who is both wise and true.”

And so the two went to the lion king

“Your majesty, Sanjeevaka I bring

to be your friend,” said Damanaka

And this did indeed please Pingalaka.

The lion and bullock became good friends

But this isn’t where this story ends

For the king gave up his duties and sport

And our jackal twins were again distraught.

“Ever since Sanjeevaka became his pal

The King doesn’t talk to us at all

As his ministers we must advise him…”

Said Karataka looking quite grim.

Damanaka agreed, said “the fault is mine

Now how do we get the king back in line?

Like the Sage and the Jackal we mustn’t be…”

“Oh gosh!” said Karataka, “yet another story?”

Damanaka nodded as he did proceed

With the tale that next we all shall read

Not today, my friends, my Fictionpals

But some day soon… dear guys & gals!


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