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The Clothes Merchant and the Elephant

Once upon a time there lived a clothes merchant.  His name was Ajay.  Ajay lived in the town of Rishipur.  Rishipur was a small town.  It had a population of a few thousand people.
Ajay had his shop in the bazaar in the middle of town.  Ajay was a skilled tailor who could stitch almost any kind of dress.   He stitched dresses and hung them in his shop for sale.
Since, his shop was located in the centre of the bazaar, Ajay did brisk business.  He was well known to people and had a large clientele.

The bazaar had shops selling all kinds of items.  Every evening, people would throng the bazaar in their thousands.  Near the bazaar lived an elephant.  The elephant and its mahout had lived in Rishipur for many years too.  The Mahout made his living by making his elephant work in the forests where he transported chopped tree trunks with his powerful tusks.

Every Monday, the elephant went down to the river for a bath early in the morning.    After the bath, elephant and mahout used to go on a trip through the bazaar.  The elephant loved this morning walk through the bazaar.  The people, delighted on seeing the elephant, gave him small gifts and money.  The elephant would lovingly collect the gift and lift them in his trunk to his master seated on his back.  The elephant would, then, bless the person giving the gift with his trunk.

Some shopkeepers would give him titbits such as coconuts or bananas.  While some others would give him gifts such as rice or sugar which the elephant dutifully gave to his master.  Ajay used to observe this weekly routine of the elephant.  He felt jealous.  He thought it was wrong that an elephant should get so much attention.  Ajay was famous too, as a merchant.  However, he felt that he had earned it by his hard work while the elephant got such adulation doing nothing.

One day, the elephant was going through the market as he did every week.  It went from shop to shop as usual collecting gifts and money and handing them to its mahout.  It then came to the Ajay’s clothes shop.  Ajay was busy with his work.    He looked up and saw the elephant.  A wicked idea came to him.  He took a needle from his table and pricked the elephant with it on its trunk.

The elephant gave a sharp yelp of pain and made a step backward.  The mahout sitting on top was alarmed.  Any sudden movement in the crowded streets could have been disastrous and many people could have been crushed.  The Mahout managed to control the elephant by reassuringly patting it.  The Elephant was furious at the insult.  However, it went away to visit other shops. 

Ajay was pleased with what he did.  “This would teach the elephant and its mahout a lesson”, he thought.    Soon he forgot about it and went back to his normal routine.  The next day, the mahout and the elephant went back to their work in the forests.  The mahout soon forgot all about the incident.  But the elephant did not.

Many months passed by and it was the month of August.  In a few months, Diwali would come.  Ajay was already seeing an increase in his business.  Everyone was buying new clothes.   His shop was a riot of colors – Yellow, red, blue, black.  His cupboards were stacked with the most exquisite of dresses that he had stitched and kept ready for his customers to buy.   Ajay was happy.  He looked forward to making a lot of money this time.

The next day was Monday. As was their custom, the elephant and its mahout were making their way through the bazaar.  The elephant stopped at the other shops as the shopkeepers lovingly patted its trunk and gave it their gifts as usual.  The elephant had ignored Ajay’s shop for the past few months.   However, today, it stealthily walked towards his shop.  Ajay was alarmed.   Then it happened.  The elephant pointed its trunk and blew a spout of dirty river water it had carried in its trunk into the shop.  Ajay was devastated.  His precious clothes were now ruined.  The elephant then let out a loud trumpeting sound and walked away.

The elephant had taken its revenge on Ajay. Ajay was ruined now.  It would be too late now to recover his clothes or order new clothes for the Diwali Season.

Children, this story teach us not to insult or unnecessarily hurt anyone.  While it is good to forgive insults which others may do to us, we must remember that others may not always forgive our insults.  They may hit us back at an opportune moment.  Hence, it is necessary that we respect all people and live in peace with others.

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