Short Stories » The Brahmin and the Cobra
The Brahmin and the Cobra - Panchatantra Stories for Kids
A long time ago, there lived a Brahmin named Haridatta in a distant land. He lived by the earnings from a small farm he owned in the village. In spite of being hard-working, he was very poor.
On a hot and sunny day, he became very tired while working on his farm and decided to rest under the shade of a tree. Beside the tree, there was an ant-hill. As he lay down, he saw a cobra emerging with his hood up. He thought that this cobra might be the deity of the farm. Therefore, he offered milk to the cobra in a pot, with a hope that the deity will be happy and bless him with rich produce. He also offered apologies and said, “O Lord of the farm, I didn’t know you lived here. I was neglectful of you all this time, please forgive me! And please bless me.”
The next day Haridatta returned to work on his farm. He was surprised to see a shining gold coin placed in the pot. He was overjoyed. He immediately thanked the cobra and went to the market to sell the gold coin.
Now every day Haridatta would offer milk to the cobra. The next morning, he would find a gold coin placed in the pot. This routine went for a number of years and Haridatta became a wealthy merchant. He also got married and had a son with his wife.
One day, he went to a far-off city to negotiate some trade with another merchant. He told his son to not forget to offer milk to the cobra every day. He also told him to collect the gold coin the next morning.
His son could not believe his ears when he came to know about the gold coin story. He was not ready to believe it without seeing. The next day, he offered milk to the cobra. Now he anxiously waited for the next morning. In the morning he was surprised to see the gold coin in the pot.
A feeling of greediness came to his heart and he thought, “If I kill the cobra and I will get all gold coins at once.”
The next day, he waited with a stick. As soon as the Cobra came out, he struck a blow on his head. The cobra didn’t die because of the blow. He attacked and bit Haridatta’s son in return.
The boy died on the farm due to the poison and was cremated by the villagers on the farm. When Haridatta returned and came to know about the story, he was heart-broken. However, he didn’t blame the cobra for his son’s death.
The next morning Haridatta went to his farm with a pot of milk for the cobra. However, the cobra was waiting for him with his hood raised. He said to Haridatta “Oh you shameless person! You have no respect for yourself. You are so greedy that you overlook the death of your son. He died because he became greedy and attacked me.”
Haridatta replied, “No I came because I wanted to see you.”
“You wanted something from me, so you fed me. You and I are not friends anymore. Please don’t come back to feed me,” the Cobra said.
Haridatta had learned his lesson of being selfish and neglecting moral values. He never saw the cobra again.
MORAL: Always stick to moral values and never become greedy.