~ 198. The Man and the Bear ~

A man saw a bear and a dragon fighting. He rescued the bear and killed the dragon.
"I am your friend forever!" declared the bear.
The man's family warned him. "Bears are dangerous," they said.
The man scoffed. "You're just jealous of my bear-friend!" he said.
One day, the man fell asleep in the garden, and the bear stood watch over him, driving away the flies so the man could sleep peacefully.
When a fly landed on the man's nose, the bear picked up a stone, and smashed it down on the fly.
And so the bear killed his friend.

Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 43 in the book. It also appears in the fables of Bidpai: The Gardener and the Bear.

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