THE FOUR COMPANIONS
An Interesting Folktale
At the foot of the Kumaon Hills, there lived a donkey. His master, the farmer, made him work day and night. One day, the donkey thought, "I have a deep voice and I can sing. Why should I work for the cruel farmer? Instead I can make a living singing and entertaining people in the nearby town."
So, the very next day, the donkey set off to town. Just as he was on his way, he met a dog. "My master has driven me out," cried the dog. "You bark so rhythmically," said the donkey. "You can join me. We will go to the town and entertain people with our singing."
The dog liked the idea and they started walking together. A few miles away, they met a cat. "My master does not give me anything to eat," sobbed the cat. "Oh, you mew so melodiously," said the donkey. "Join us! We shall go to the town and entertain people with our singing." The cat too joined them. A little ahead, they met a hen. "My master wanted to sell me off, so I ran away," she said. "You cluck so sweetly," said the donkey. "Join us! We shall go to the town and entertain people with our singing." The hen agreed. Now all four headed for town. Soon, it was nightfall and the four companions came across a house. Curious, they peeped through a window, to see if anybody lived there. The donkey placed his front legs upon the window sill, the dog climbed on top of the donkey, the cat sat on the dog and the hen perched upon the cat. The donkey said, "Let us sing for the people of this house. They might provide us with food and shelter." And so, they all began to sing together. The donkey brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the hen clucked.
Now, it so happened that the house belonged to two thieves. When they saw the strange sight and heard the horrid noise, they screamed!” Help! Help! There's an awful beast at the window, they yelled, thinking that all four animals was one big beast!" The thieves ran out of the house, never to return again.
"Ah! They cannot appreciate good music!" said the donkey. But, look what they have left us. There is so much Wealth here that we don't need to go to the town and work!" The four of them were thrilled and lived happily together for a very long time.