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Tales Told By The Kathaakaar

Central and Southern Asia



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This volume, Tales Told By The Kathaakaar, is the first in a set of collections covering indigenous tales from Central and Southern Asia. Tales Told By The Kathaakaar traces the arc of storytelling across countries that we are familiar with such as Pakistan,Bangladesh and India. In particular, this volume also reaches deeply into the ancient Indian tradition of storytelling, which is an absolute delight.


The Mouse And The Frog

Once upon a time, there was a Mouse who lived near a fountain, making its home at the base of a tree. Nearby, a Frog spent its days in the water, occasionally coming to the edge of the pool to enjoy the air. One day, the Frog, feeling particularly melodious, started singing in what it believed to be a beautiful, nightingale-like tone.
Hearing the commotion, the Mouse, who was busy chanting in its own corner, was intrigued and came out to investigate. Impressed by the Frog's performance, the Mouse clapped and nodded in approval, which pleased the Frog. This led to the two becoming fast friends, sharing stories and tales with each other.
As time passed, the Mouse expressed a desire to confide a secret and share a grief with the Frog, but found it challenging due to the noise of the water and other frogs. They brainstormed a solution, and they tied a string between them so that when one needed the other's attention, they could signal by shaking the string.
Their friendship flourished with this arrangement until one unfortunate day when a Crow swooped down unexpectedly, seizing the Mouse in its beak. The string attached to the Mouse's leg inadvertently pulled the Frog from the water, leaving it hanging upside down as the Crow flew off with its prey.
Onlookers commented on the unusual sight, joking about the Frog's misfortune of associating with a Mouse. In response, the Frog lamented that it wasn't the Crow's typical prey, but rather the consequence of associating across species, warning against such friendships.
The moral of the story: Beware of associating with those different from yourself, lest you find yourself entangled in their misfortunes, like the Frog on the string of calamity.

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