So Are Most Things In Life

A Fisherman's Net And Wit – A (Very) Short Story For Children

King Khusro of Persia was very fond of fish. One morning he was sitting on a terrace with his wife Shirin when a fisherman came in and presented a fish to him. It was large and of a rare kind. The king was quite pleased. He summoned his servants and ordered them to pay a hundred silver pieces to the fisherman.

Shirin was annoyed that the king was gifting away so lavishly. As soon as the man went out of sight and hearing, she said, ‘Look, a hundred silver coins for a fish? Ridiculous. You’re setting up a precedent – you’ll be expected to pay on this scale for all time to come. Now call this man and return the fish to him on some pretext and take the money back.’

‘But dear, it doesn’t become of a king to ask for the money back. Let this pass for now.’

‘This shall not pass. There’s a way to deal with it without appearing to be mean. Call him and ask if this fish is a male or a female. If he says it’s a male, ask for a female and if it’s a female, ask for a male, and cancel the payment.’

Not wanting to displease his dear lady, the king acting upon her counsel called the fisherman back and asked him the question.

The fisherman bowed before the king and said, ‘This fish, my lord, is both male and female, lays eggs all by itself.’

The king burst out laughing. And quite instinctively ordered another hundred silver coins to be given to the fisherman.

As he walked out with the bounty, the man dropped a silver coin that fell and rolled out of sight.

The man stooped down searching high and low for the missing coin. Quite a while later, he managed to find it which he put away safely with great care.

All this happened in full view of the royalty reposing on the terrace.

‘What a mean guy? See how he goes down looking for one measly coin instead of letting it go for some poor man to find it!’ Shirin observed.

The king called the fisherman back and berated him for his meanness:’…with all those coins from me, yet you were not generous enough to let some miserable chap find one…’

The man bowed before the king: ’My lord, if my king picks up from dust a fisherman like me worth nothing, is it any wonder I pick up a coin fallen to the ground? Also, the coin on one side has my king’s image engraved and his name inscribed on another.  How could I abandon the coin to be found god know when if ever. And what is to prevent someone carelessly step on it?’

Amused by his cleverness and wit, the king offered him another hundred silver coins!

The lady had no further counsel to offer in the matter.

End

Source: A story in Chandamama, August, 1955, lightly edited. Image from financialexpress.com

The Third Strike And…

Microtales

vide Rajiv Chaudhry

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'I Hate It When My Brother Charlie Has To Go Away'

A horror Flash. Too good – oops, actually evil – to miss by horrorinpureform

I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away.

My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky for having a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with, they try to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine, considering his confine to a dark room in an institution.

I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again. The neighborhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets.

My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.

I hate it when Charlie has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back.

End

Source: Reddit

Thereby Hangs A Tail!

Sights and scenes from Ganpatiphule and nearabouts:

This is taken sitting inside a train at an unscheduled stop between Chiplun and Ratnagiri. Zoom in and observe the antics of a baby monkey in the center of the frame.

If not displayed above, view it here.

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At Chiplun railway station…it’s Sunday morning if you haven’t guessed already.

Waiting for a train that isn’t coming any soon?

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A busy street in market place, Ratnagiri

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A screen of trees providing cover – women bathing here! (kidding)

On the beach…decked for the evening out!

Folks, am done for the day!

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Sisters:

The blasé

The bashful one!

Riot…of colors in the wild!

The flamboyant pair!

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Thibaw Palace for a king who did not want to…more about it to follow.

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At Ratnagiri station…

Vareli paintings by Aniket Chiplunkar

And finally…

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Colorful Royapettah

Ain’t we cute though smallish?

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Vetchi in glorious pink (common name: scarlet ixora, scientific/latin name: ixora coccinea)

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Aptly called Flaming Blossom!

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Erukku (common name: the crown flower, scientific/latin name: Calotropis gigantea). Among other uses, their latex is applied to poison arrow tips!

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Perungali (common name: Champa White, Chameli, Frangipani, scientific/latin name: Oleander family). On Marina Beach in the evening – would you believe they stood under the sun all day long without wilting a wee bit?

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Walking past without pausing to say ‘Hi’? No chance!

Popping up on small shrubs, from Oleander family?

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From Calathea family? The broad leaves make them suitable for low-light environs like indoors.

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Like White Angels Trumpets, the flowers hang down from trees in bunches. But far from being ‘trumpets’ they have well-formed petals at the end of a long thin stem. Weak fragrance.

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And who are we?

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