78. The Pilgrims and the Jewels



Three pilgrims found some jewels in the road.
"Let's eat them for safekeeping!" they said.
A beggar lurking nearby heard this. He joined their party, planning to cut them open that night.
But then a robber ambushed them.
"Jewels! Jewels!" squawked the robber's parrot.
The robber seized and stripped them. No jewels.
The parrot kept squawking, "Jewels!"
"I'll cut you open!" shouted the robber.
The beggar, racked by guilt for his wicked plan, shouted, "The parrot lies! Cut me first; you'll see!"
The robber cut him open.
No jewels.
So the robber let the pilgrims go ... and punished the parrot.

Inspired byThe Panchatantra, translated by Arthur Ryder.
Notes: It is in Book 1, Story 33.

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