55. The Tiger and the Golden Bangle

An old tiger lived beside a pond.
When a traveler passed nearby, the tiger shouted, "Here! Take this golden bangle!"
The traveler was surprised by the tiger's words. "Show me the bangle!" he said.
The tiger showed him.
"But can I trust you?" asked the traveler.
"I'm old," said the tiger, "with no teeth and no claws. Before I die, I'm giving away my wealth. Come! Cross the pond and take the bangle."
When the man waded into the pond, he got stuck in the mud.
"I'll help you!" said the tiger.
So saying, the tiger pounced and devoured him.

Inspired byHitopadesha, or, The Book of Good Counsel translated by B. Hale-Wortham
Notes: It is in Book 1, Story 2. The longer version of the story describes the tiger as trying to look like a pious brahmin, holding ritual kusha grass in his paw, etc.

Beware the tiger who offers you a golden bracelet.

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