Once there lived a washerman in a small village. He had a donkey who would help him carry clothes. The washerman would lay the clothes on the donkey’s back and lead him to the riverbed. After washing clothes, he would return with washed clothes laid on donkey’s back. The washerman had a big family. All his income would get spend on food for his family alone. He would be left with nothing to feed the donkey. The Shepherds also from neighbouring lands won’t let the donkey graze in their fields. As a result, the donkey became lean and weak. The washerman became worried about his donkey’s health.
One day, while he was washing clothes, there came a great wind. All his dry clothes flew here and there. After the wind subsided, the washerman started collecting clothes that had flown all over. Searching for clothes, he entered a bushy place. There he saw a dead tiger. The washerman then returned home with his donkey. But donkey had become too weak today. It took him double the time to return home. The washerman knew that if he didn’t give him food, the donkey would die. Worrying what to do, he at once struck an idea. He thought to himself, “What if I take out the skin from the dead tiger and cover my donkey with it? During night time it would be hard for the shepherds to differentiate a real tiger from a fake one. They will think him to be a tiger and will not dare to come near him. This way, my donkey can eat as much grass as he wants.”
When a Real Donkey faces problems to get food, He will have to reinvent himself with a cloak of deception.
Next day washerman went in the bushy place and skinned out the dead tiger. He covered the donkey with the tiger’s skin. Then he let the donkey graze in the shepherd’s field after sunset. Shepherds ran away thinking him to be a tiger. The shepherds/farmers do not realize that the Tigers do not eat grass.
Donkey returned home after eating a belly full. The washerman was very happy. He would now do this daily. He would uncover the tiger’s skin in the morning and people would see donkey stand in front of washer man’s home. Nobody suspected anything. As time passed by, donkey regained his strength and became fatter and fatter.
The farmers’ brains did not click that the weird-looking tiger is only in their fields because they have GRASS. They would not think why he would not bother to go to the grassless places. Gradually, the donkey lost the fear of men. With much food at his disposal, the donkey became arrogant. He enjoyed the life presented to him by this new dress. He felt that people are fearful of him when he wears the tiger dress.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Pet 2:3
One night as the donkey was feeding, he suddenly heard a sound. It was a female donkey’s sound who braying from a distance. As he heard her sound, he was attracted to her. He began to bray in return. Soon the shepherds found out the truth. They realized that it was a donkey in the tiger’s skin. They chased him with sticks and beat him until he was dead.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and IMPOSTERS will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Tim 3:12-13
Dedicated to godmen who boast and wear the cloak of celibacy and cry holy, holy, all day. They start braying as soon as they hear a female donkey nearby.
Moral: Changing your clothing can help you deceive people for some time only. One day or other, true nature will eventually be exposed.
Scripture for meditation:
- Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt 23:27-28).
- For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashed hands defileth not a man (Matt 15:19-20). And also wearing coloured clothes and marrying a woman defiles NOT a man (Added for the contemporary condition in TPM).
*Story abridged from Panchatantra
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