Long ago, there was a king who had deep affection for all the animals, especially elephants. He had built a very large stable for his royal elephant. A caretaker was appointed to make sure that all the needs of the royal elephant were met. The king had also ordered that special nutritious food be served to the elephant everyday, to keep him healthy.
One afternoon, a stray dog entered the royal stable. The elephant was resting under a shady tree. The dog spotted the food leftover by the elephant and ate to its heart’s content. The elephant saw the dog eating the leftover food. From that day on, the elephant gladly let the dog share his food. Soon the two became very good friends. The dog started staying in the stable and the caretaker too did not mind it. Soon, the dog too became very healthy.
One day, a farmer saw the dog and asked the caretaker if he would sell the dog to him. He offered good money for the dog. Although the dog did not belong to the caretaker, he accepted the money and gave the dog to the farmer.
After the farmer took the dog away, the royal elephant became very sad. He lost his only friend in the royal stable. He missed his friend during mealtimes and refused to eat or drink and soon became very weak. The news of the elephant’s failing health quickly reached the King. He rushed to the royal stable to inquire.
The caretaker knew why the elephant was so desolate and refused food and water, but he did not speak up. He was afraid that if the King came to know that he sold a dog which was not rightfully his, he would be punished. So he feigned ignorance.
The royal vet was called to check the health of the elephant. Even after thorough examination, the vet was unable to ascertain why the elephant was not eating and drinking. He concluded that being an emotional animal, the elephant was very sad about something.
The King’s guards questioned all the servants in the stable to find out what could be reason for the royal elephant’s sorrow. They came to know about the dog who lived with the elephant and was his close friend. They also came to know that the dog had been missing since the last few days. The King called his Chief Minister, told him about the whole situation and asked him for a solution. Upon the Chief Minister’s suggestion an announcement was made in the entire kingdom that whoever had the dog should return it immediately and he would be rewarded handsomely.
The farmer heard the announcement and immediately reached the King’s palace along with the dog. He told the King that he had bought the dog from the caretaker of the royal elephant. The caretaker was called immediately and he confessed selling the dog even though he had no right to do so. The King ordered the dog to be returned to the stable, alongside the elephant. The caretaker was ordered to return the farmer’s money. He was also ordered to look after the dog as well, along with the elephant.
The royal elephant was very happy to see his friend back. Food was served to both of them and they ate together.
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