Long ago in a city in southern India, there lived a merchant names Vardhaman. He was a wise and intelligent man, and also very rich.
One day, as he lay in bed pondering over the state of his wealth, he realized that all the riches in the world would sink to nothing, if one did not actively toil to increase them. That money once acquired should be guarded, increased, employed.
Thus, he decided to travel out of his city in search of new markets for his wares. On an auspicious day, he set out for the city of Mathura in a decorated cart pulled by two bullocks.
On the way, in the middle of a forest near the river Yamuna, one of the bullocks, named Sanjeevaka, collapsed under the weight of the cart. Vardhaman asked his servants to look after the bullock and went ahead.
The servants were scared of the wild animals in the forest and soon abandoned the bullock to join their master. They told him that the bullock was dead.
Meanwhile Sanjeevaka hobbled to the edge of the river and drank of the river and grazed the green grass on the river-side and soon regained his health. In a few days he was as plump as Nandi – Shiva’s bull – and frisked around like an elephant, bellowing with all his might.
“One never knows what fate has in store. Think hard before giving up.”
One day, a lion – Pingalaka – along with his followers came to the riverside to drink water. There he heard Sanjeevaka’s bellows and out of fear, retreated deep into the forest, and surrounded himself with his retinue.
Seeing this, two jackals in his train – Karataka and Damanaka – wondered.
“Just look at our king. What could possibly have happened to make him crouch here in fear?” asked Damanaka.
“Why meddle, my dear Damanaka?” replied Karataka. “Haven’t you heard the story of the monkey who pulled out a wedge from the log?”
So Karataka narrated the story of the The Wedge-Pulling Monkey.
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