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Choose or Lose

The river Ganga flowed with fullness and vigor near the opulent city of Varanasi. Its clean waters teemed with life. On a winter’s day two otter friends were basking in the sun on the steps of a ghat. Their grey and brown coats sparkled as they cleaned themselves and preened their whiskers. The warmth of the sun made Mr.Grey rather drowsy. Stretching his limbs to the accompaniment of a loud yawn he curled himself into a tight ball of fur, all ready for a trip to the land of dreams. Mr.Brown however energized by the sun’s rays jumped into the waters with a big splash. He like the others of his kind loved to play. Into the depths of the water he zig-zaged and tunneled his way, stirring the river-bed and startling creatures all around him. A team of small fish caught his perky bright eyes. Off he dashed, chasing them into many a direction, in all confusion. Flipping his tail like a paddle he swished up to the surface then rolled over and over again. All that play and the warmth of the midday sun made his tummy growl. He dived into the river once again, this time in search of food.

He swam and swam, further and further. No food was in sight. His antics had scared all creatures away. Dejected he returned to his friend. As he slid on to the steps and turned around he saw the silvery shine of a rohu fish that had surfaced. Without a moment’s hesitation he leaped into the river and caught the fish in his paws. Alas the plump rohu was too strong for him. Mr. Brown screamed to his friend, “Wake up and help me with this big fish!” Startled Mr. Grey nevertheless jumped to help his friend. The two of them dragged the fish out of the water and on to the ghat. What a catch! Now it was time to feast. “How shall we divide?” asked Mr.Brown. “Perhaps I shall bite across” he added. “Oh no!” said Mr. Grey “Let us slit and tear it lengthwise.” he added. “That will never do. The stronger of us will get a bigger piece then.” said Mr.Brown looking at his burly friend. The two kept coming up with various ideas but never agreed on a choice. Just then a jackal strolled by out of curiosity. The otters turned to him as a third party to help them decide. The jackal walked up and down and all around the plump rohu fish as if inspecting it. “I have the perfect solution. Mr. Brown, take the head as you were the one who caught this fish. The tail is for you Mr.Grey as you are his friend. I get the middle as I just happened to pass by!” Uttering these words, in a jiffy, the jackal plunged his fangs twice into the rohu and pulled the middle chunk out. The two friends gasped as they watched him speed away from them with the biggest piece dangling from his mouth.

Om Muni Muni MAHAmuniye Svaha