Bharathiayar Stories
Madurai Project. Article in Tamil
Translation: Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
1.  Viveka Sastry addresses his sons.
2. Once upon a time, a lion named Vīravarman reigned a huge Ponnangadu forest kingdom. Vikāran, the fox, offered his homage to the lion king. The lion asked the fox, "Who are you?"
3. The fox said, "My name is Vikāran from a distant forest named Pēykkādu, ruled by king Thandirajan, whose minister was my father. When my father died, the King did not appoint me in my father's place but rejected me and appointed a wolf named Kandakan as the minister. According to the proverb, "Do not enter the house of those who do not respect us," I left my forest and wandered far and wide, heard of your heroism and moral qualities, and wanted to work for you. When I saw you, my wanderlust dissipated."
4. The lion smiled, deliberated in his mind for a while, and issued orders for the wolf to be employed in the palace.
5. The next morning, the old decrepit minister Thandhisenan told King Vīravarman, "Dear King! I heard of your appointment of Peykkāttu wolf in the palace. I am unhappy that you employed the foreign wolf without consulting me. The wolf might have been rejected and exiled by the other King for incompetence or treason. You appointed the wolf in haste, not knowing its previous history. Your blind trust in the wolf makes me wince.
6. Hearing this, Viravarman laughed and said, "You talk having a belief in Sastras. I do things believing in God."
7. MinisterThandirasenan said, "Whosoever believes in Sastras, believes in God. World experience is God's words. What holds world experience as the basis is the unerring Sastra. I say based on the world experience. This act of yours is an act of God. I don't understand your premise: you believe in God, and I believe in Sastras."
8. The Lion King said nothing in reply, waited for a while, thought in its mind, "Silence helps attain Purushartham," and took leave of the old fox.
9. Later, the King ordered his guards to bring Vikāran, the Peykkattu wolf, to his presence.
10. The Lion King: "Vikāra! What is the reason Thandirajan appointed the old Kandan instead of you? What is your shortcoming?"
11. The wolf said, "My Lord! I committed no crime. Maybe I was young. Mindless kings think that the oldster is the fittest for the ministerial job. Furthermore…
12. Like the swan took residence in a lotus lake, the learned love the learned. The unlearned fool reaches out for an ignoramus, like the crow seeking a carcass.
13. The Lion King: Are you aware that your Thandirajan and I are enemies?"
The wolf: "I know."
"Do you know the name of the minister who abandons his king and associates with the enemy king?"
"His name is traitor."
The King laughed.

"What is the name of your family deity?"
14. The forest wolf said, "Forest Temple Mākāḷi." The lion felt tremulous (because, the foreign fox pointed to his family deity.)
15. The lion roared, raised its paw, and said, "Stupid fox! I decided not to kill you, no matter what happened. Are you telling me lies? Tell me the truth. What is the name of your Kula Deivam (Family deity)."
16. The fox had the fright of its life and answered: "Aiyya! My family deity from ancestral times (until yesterday) was Pey Nāgan, who provides security to the Peykādu forest area. From King Thandirajan down to all his subjects have this traditional Family Deity. I celebrated Pey Nāgan as my family deity from birth to yesterday. Once you gave me refuge, I changed my Family deity to yours, Mākāḷi.
16. Hearing this narrative, Vīravarman became angry and laughed so much that the forest shook. The King said, "You are telling lies. I forgive you once again. Yesterday, I felt like killing you. I did not kill you since you fell at my feet seeking refuge. The ignorant Thandirājan sent you here as the spy. I will employ you in the palace. You will never leave my forest ever. If you try to do it, I will cut off your four legs."
17. Vikāran: "Ayyanē! Someone is spreading false rumors about me out of jealousy. You may send your minions to the forest to enquire about my enmity to Thandikarājan. Anyone there will reveal the same. I tell no lies. I told you this yesterday. Thandikarājan did not offer the hereditary title and job as I deserve. He gave it to a wolf. That causes hostility between us. You are my guru. My father, and my God. I have no refuge other than you."
18. Vīravarman: Alright! If you tell lies, I will enucleate your eyes. What kind of military power, Thandikarājan has under his control."
Vikāran: ''Rajathirajane! I held no position of authority to know the military strength."
19. Vīravarman roared and called a guard. A wolf came running to him. The King ordered the wolf to bring the army chief to him. The wolf left to fetch the chief.
20. Vīravarman addressed Vikaran, ''Vikārā! My Chief of Army will be here in five minutes. You will answer my questions honestly. Look at me now."
21. The fox (Vikaran) raised its head and looked at the lion's face. The fox concluded that lies would earn him death.
21. The fox said as follows, "Swamy! My statements may lack numerical accuracy. I will tell you the truth as I know it. Please render no judgment against me. You are my refuge."
22. Vīravarman: "Peykattu soldiers, how many? Tell me the truth."
Vikāran: "Tiger Division, 300. Rhinoceroses, 100. Wolves, 1000. Elephants, 1000. Foxes: 4000."
Vīravarman: "How many crows work in the Reconnaissance Division?"
Vikāran: ''2500.''
Vīra: How many beasts of burden: Camels and donkeys?
Vikāran: ''Camels, 800; donkeys, 11,000.''
Vīra: "How many days' worth of food does he have?"
Vikā: "I don't remember."
23. By this time, Akkōpan, the military chief, the leopard showed up before the King and offered homages.
Vīra: "Welcome."
At that moment, Vikāran had thoughts in his mind.
Vikāran thinks as follows, "Though the King is angry, he is not intelligent. He lacks contemplative power. Knowing I am his enemy's spy, he is inquiring with the chief. The King did not consider the possibility of a planted spy in me and the prospect of me going to my first king and telling him the opponent's military power.
24. As Vikāran was chewing the mental cud of thoughts, the doorman wolf ran into the King's court and announced, "Maharaja! The purohit (priest) is here."
The King: "Let him in."
Angīran the Eagle showed up in the court before the King. He was a hereditary priest from a line of priests serving the King. He was intellectually gifted.
25. The King rose from his throne and respected the old Eagle.
Sayin a few words of ceremonial greeting, the priest looking at the King said, "Is this the fox, the inhabitant of Pēykkādu forest?"
Lion: ''Yes.''
The fox looked like a thief.
26. The King: "Swamy! I told the fox by fear and favor to join our side. He fell out of friendship with Thandirajan and became my minion. You may assume I have complete faith in him. He will reveal the state secrets to us and forget his past affiliation. Therefore, I appointed him to our assembly."
The Eagle smiled and said nothing.
The King posed a question to the Eagle, "Swamy! How can we obtain the unexpected and the tremendous victory in unforeseen incidents?
27. Angiran, the eagle priest: "You asked an unexpected question in the public forum. To answer you involves telling you a long story. I have no objection to telling you the story if you drop everything and want to listen to the story from a priest. It takes a long time. On that account, you should not get angry."
The King had laughter and said, "We have suspended the proceedings for later. Now you may tell the story.