The Greedy Cobra and the Frog King

Gangadatta was a king among frogs. He ruled over a group of frogs that lived in a well.

His relatives were always nagging to him over small things, and he was fed-up with them. One day, he climbed up the water-wheel and left his kingdom.

He sought revenge on his relatives, due to whose constant torment; he had to leave his kingdom. Just then, he saw a cobra entering his cobra. He thought of a plan of having his relatives eaten up by the cobra.

He went to the entrance of the hole, and said, “My friend, I have come to make friends to you. I am the king of frogs!”

On hearing this, the cobra realized that it was not the voice of his kith or kin, but his natural enemy. He decided not to leave his hole and come out, for he suspected some foul reason. He suspected someone might be trying to catch him through mantra (magic spell), or maybe flute, or even herbs.

He answered cautiously, “Who are you? Why do you talk this nonsense about friendship? Can timber and fire ever be friends? You are my natural enemy!”

The king of frogs replied, “Indeed, your words are true. But I seek revenge on my relatives who have tormented me for years. I ask your help. I can lead you to the well, that is my forsaken kingdom, and you can eat as many frogs as you want”

The cobra enquired, “A well is built by layers of stone. I have no legs. How can I possibly get into the well? And even if I manage to do so, where will I be able to sit and eat the frogs? Go away!”

The king of frogs assured, “There is a nice comfortable hols at the edge of the water, where you can sit and eat. I will lead you to the inside of the well, and to the comfortable hole. But you will have to promise me that you will eat only my annoying relatives and not my friends.”

The cobra thought of his old age, and this offer was not good to be turned down. The greedy cobra agreed to the friendship and followed the frog. He went into the hole as promised. Once there, he would eat one frog whenever he would feel hungry. As days went by, the number of frogs went down and finally all annoying frogs were exhausted.

One day, the cobra called out to the king of frogs and said, “There are no more frogs to eat here, only your friends remain. Please give me some more food. You are my friend, and it is you who have led me here, so you are responsible for my food.”

The king of frogs realized his mistake for the cobra wanted more, so he could do nothing but watch the cobra eat all the other frogs. Even his close friends , and his son were eaten. He was hungry and wanted the king of frogs to send some more frogs.

The king of frogs realized, that only he among the frogs remained alive. He assured the cobra that if he let him leave the well, he will bring frogs from other wells, so that the cobra would be able to satisfy his hunger.

The cobra got greedy, and let the king of frogs go. But even after his anxious wait for several days, the king of frogs did not return.

After a long time of waiting, the cobra requested a female lizard that lived in the walls of the well, to request the king of frogs to return, as he could not bear the separation of his dear friend.

The lizard conveyed the message to the king of frogs, who replied, “Madam, please convey to him that I will never return to the well again. He is starved, and a starving person can be cruel, and go to any extent of sin.”

Thus, the king of frogs saved himself, and the greedy cobra had to perish inside the well without any food.

Moral: Fight your own battles; else you will surely be destroyed.

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