How an Elephant Made a Poor Boy King


BBA 2(B)

Once upon a time there lived a family of eight sons and their parents in a village. The family was so poor that the parents frequently had to eat all the food themselves, leaving nothing for the children. Consequently, the children starved and became very weak. The parents would cook food at night when the children were asleep. One day while the parents were handling the pots, one of the children woke up. He was asked by the parents to stay quiet. They promised to give him a share of whatever they were going to eat. However, the commotion disturbed the other children and all of them woke up. The parents tried to distract them by asking questions. They asked them what they would do for their parents when they grew up. All the sons, except the youngest who had only just learnt to speak, replied that they would help their parents in all possible ways. The parents wanted the youngest son also to respond. The child replied that he would live off the left over of his elder brothers all his life. The parents were so annoyed by this reply that they ordered the elder brothers to kill him. The eldest brother felt sorry for the child and took him to the forest where he sealed his eyes with some adhesive and left him there. From where the boy stood he could go in any one of eight different directions. The elder brother also left him a knife.

The child sat there the whole night and became extremely tired. As dawn came an elephant appeared and asked him about his problem. The boy told the elephant all that had transpired during the night. The elephant felt sorry for the child. "You are the most honest among all your fathers children", said he. He unsealed the Childs eyes so that he could see again. Then the elephant gave the child a reed and told him to chop it into small pieces of meat. These pieces of meat were to be hung on the reeds and the boy was to take shelter under the remains of the elephant. The boy did as he was told, and slept under the skeleton that night.

The next morning the boy found himself inside a big palace. The skeleton of the elephant had been transformed into the palace during the night. Where the boy had kept the pieces of meat, there was an annexed to the palace. Thus the little boy found himself the king of a beautiful rich city.

News spread far and wide of the sudden emergence of the new city. The cruel parents meanwhile had become poorer than ever and lived by begging. One day they, along with their other sons, came upon their youngest son, now a king. He recognized his parents and without any ill will towards them ordered a feast in their honor. However, during the feast his mother and father were to receive severe punishment from God for their misdeeds. They were made to confess their crimes against their own children. The moment they finished with their confession they were struck down by chuk-kiubo (a strange disease causing the tongue to fall out of the mouth). the mothers eyes too fell out of their sockets, and they both died. The brothers however stayed happily with the king for many years.