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!