Once upon a time, there was a hunter. One day he went for hunting with his bow and arrows into a dense forest.
The hunter chased a wild pig. The pig ran fast and all of a sudden it disappeared into a deep mountain cave.
Since the search for the pig was futile, the hunter then tried to spot another beast.
It was a summer noon. The hunter was feeling thirsty. He started searching a fountain of water.
However, to his dismay the hunter happened to see a ferocious tiger from a distance. He got terribly afraid. He ran fast. He saw a big tree. With all his efforts the hunter climbed the tree. No sooner did the hunter rise above the trunk, he saw a wild bear resting, on the same tree at a height. The bear too was afraid of tiger. The bear had resorted to the height in an effort to save itself from the tiger.
On witnessing the bear above and a tiger below, the hunter started trembling. He was nonplussed. He did not know how to escape. In fact he was in a fix.
At this moment, the bear said to the hunter in a human voice, ?Be not afraid. I will not do any harm to you. Come here and be safe.?
Relying on the words of the bear, the hunter moved above and he came near to the bear.
Soon there was a nightfall. The tiger stood in all alertness at the foot of the tree ready to pounce upon the prey.
The hunter was tired and was feeling sleepy. The bear noticed the condition of the hunter. The bear said, ?Be assured. Sleep for a while quietly on my lap.?
The hunter placed his head on the lap of the bear and slept soon.
After seeing that the hunter was slept the tiger said to the bear, ?After all man is our common enemy. We both are like brothers as we are of the same forest. Be quick. Push the hunter down. I will kill him.?
The bear replied, ?This man is an outsider. He is my guest. Further I have given him a word. I will never betray him.?
After a few hours, the hunter was awake. Now it was the turn of the bear to sleep on the top of the hunter. With full faith in the hunter, the bear slept quietly.
After getting assured that the bear has gone to sleep, the tiger said to the hunter, ?The animal resting on your lap is dangerous. It'snails are pointed. It kills human beings. The holy books (Shastras) say, ?Never believe in wild beast. Push it down and be safe.?
The hunter believed the words of the tiger. He pushed the sleeping bear down. The bear was quite alert. It quickly and smartly caught the branch of the tree. Hanging on the branch beneath, the bear said to the hunter, ?The jungle beasts say men are ungrateful, never believe in them. Now I have tested the truth of their words. I could have easily pushed you down when you were slept. But I had given you a word. I stuck to my promise. But you have betrayed me. Wise men say ?between a wicked and a beast, the beast is far superior. The beasts deserve kind treatment. The wicked are unfaithful, ungrateful.? The bear said henceforth I will never believe a man.