Once upon a time there lived four bulls in the forest of Nandvan. The bulls had lived there as long as they could remember. They were born in a village far away from the forest. As young calves, they had been abandoned by their master. Their master, a farmer in the village, thought of bulls as a burden. He wanted cows which could produce milk and help him earn money. The young bulls were left defenceless in the forest. They stayed close together for safety. In a short while, they became inseparable friends.
The days turned into months and the months into years. The helpless little calves had grown into sturdy bulls. They looked majestic and formidable with their sharp horns and their muscular build. No animal of the forest dared to come to close to the bulls.
The forest was a world of peace and harmony until one day when a lion entered the forest. The bulls noticed the lion but they did not think much of him. The lion could threaten a lone bull. But he was no match for four bulls together. The bulls went about their daily business. As for the lion, he spent his time hunting small prey such as deer and hares.
There lived in the forest also a fox. He was a mean and wily creature. He lived off the kill made by other bigger predators. Occasionally, he managed to catch the odd mouse or a frog. The fox had long looked at the bulls. “How I wish I could taste the flesh of these bulls!”, he thought to himself. He thought over this for many days until he hit upon a cunning plan.
One day, he approached the new lion. “Dear Lion”, he began,” people say that the lion is the king of the forest. But here there are these bulls which behave as they are the kings.” The lion looked at him. Sensing the lion’s concern, he continued,”They do not pay proper respect to you, the true king. The other day, I heard them saying that all the animals in the forest including you are scared of them.”
The anger of the lion was aroused. He let out a loud roar. But he was in no position to take on the bulls together. He stood no chance against their combined might. The fox sensed the lion’s predicament. “You are strong, O lion king”, he said. “But four bulls together are undoubtedly too much for you”. The lion looked at the fox. The fox continued,” I have a plan. I will make things easier for you. You just have to attack them one by one when the opportunity appears. That way those arrogant bulls will stand no chance.”
The lion did not take the fox seriously. The wily fox, though, set about his work. He had always kept a distance from the bulls. One day, he found one of the bulls near a small stream. The other bulls were resting in their home. The fox went near the bull. “Hello! Friend”, he said with a big smile of his face. The bull just gave him a glance and continued to drink the water. Undeterred, the fox came closer. He told him that the other bulls were jealous of him and were laughing at him when he was not with them.
The bull dismissed these stories at first. But as the fox continued with his malicious stories over the next few days whenever he met him, suspicion began to take root in his mind. The wily fox met the other bulls when they were alone and poisoned their minds too with similar stories. Very soon, the bulls began to grow distant from one another. They looked at one another with envy and spite. It was a sad sight to see such close friends turn into foes.
The cunning fox then put the next part of his plan into action. He met the lion and told him that the bulls will no longer be together. The lion was happy. The next day, one of the bulls went to the watering hole alone to have a drink. It did not notice the lion lurking behind a bush. Without his friends, the lone bull stood no chance. The lion pounced upon the bull and killed him with a single bite to his throat.
The other bulls did not even care to find out what happened to their former friend. Not long after, each of the bulls was killed by the lion. Without their unity, they were helpless. As for the lion and fox, they feasted on the bulls’ flesh for many weeks.
Children, this story teach us the need for unity. When we are together with others, we will be strong and secure. When we are disunited and fighting with one another we will be defeated and those who hate us will take advantage of us. This story also teaches us to be careful of people who spread false stories among people and sow discord among friends.