~ 28. Dasharatha Goes Hunting ~

King Dasharatha was a skilled hunter; he could even shoot blindfolded, using only sound to guide him.
One day he heard a deer drinking. He fired.
Then, he heard a scream.
He had shot a boy!
"My parents..." the boy gasped, breathing his last.
Dasharatha picked up the boy and carried him through the forest until he found the boy's parents, old and blind.
They wept over the boy's corpse, and the father then cursed Dasharatha. "You too will lose a son!" he said. "You will feel our pain."
The old man's words haunted Dasharatha, but he told no one.

Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik
Notes: This story is on p. 73 of the book. In Valmiki's Ramayana, this is the Ayodhya Kanda (Book 2), sarga 63. In Valmiki, Dasharatha recounts these events to Kaushalya after Rama goes into exile. For more about the boy Shravana, see Wikipedia.

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