The White Elephant- A Jataka Tale
This is a jataka tale for kids to read. Once upon a time, a huge herd of elephants lived at the foot of the Himalayan mountains in India. These elephants lived happily and peacefully. Their leader was a huge white elephant. His inner beauty and purity of his heart showed the color of his hide.
One day, the white elephant decided to leave his herd. “I have their king for a long time. Now, I have grown tired of this.” So, he left with his family to live peacefully elsewhere. Now, this white elephant and his family were happy. The white elephant used to go out for swims regularly. Also, read The Elephant And The Rope.
One day, when the elephant was coming back after his swim, a thorn got stuck in his foot. The poor elephant cried and limped in pain. As he was limping back towards his home, he found some loggers on the way. These loggers had been coming to the forest regularly. They were also familiar with the elephant. When they saw the limping elephant, they helped him.
After treating the elephant’s wound they happily smiled at him. “Thank you,”the elephant told them. “I will always be indebted to you all. I will never forget the kindness you showed me today. And I will help you as my way of showing gratitude.”
So, from the next day, the elephant began to pull out the trees for the loggers. Because of the elephant, the loggers began to earn more. The white elephant helped the loggers and their sons and even their grandsons. When the elephant began to grow old, he brought his son. He told his son why the elephant was indebted to these loggers. “You must always help them,” the elephant told his son. The son nodded in agreement. Just like his father, the son helped the logger after the white elephant passed away. The son looked even more majestic than his father. You may also like to read, Elephant And Ant Story.
One day, a traveler from a well-known city came to the forest. As soon as the traveler saw the elephant, he knew the elephant would make a good present for the king. “You belong in a place,” the traveler told the elephant. But the elephant refused and said that he belonged to the forest and had his duty to help the loggers.
Although the elephant had refused, the traveler was adamant on taking the elephant to the court. So, he brought many men and captured the elephant. The poor elephant tried to run but stopped. “If I keep running, I may hurt these people.” After being captured the traveler took the elephant to the king and received a great reward. When the loggers returned the next day, they were extremely sad, as they had come to love the elephant and had no idea where he had gone.
A huge feast was set on the occasion of the white elephant’s arrival. But the elephant did not eat a thing. When the king saw that the elephant had not eaten since coming to the palace. The king called for professional trainers to see what was wrong with the elephant. It was hard to miss the grief in the elephant’s eyes.
After talking to the elephant the trainers reported, “My lord, the elephant is sad. The elephant wants to return to his home. There are responsibilities he has to fulfill. He refused all the treats we offered, it is clear that he wants to return home. The elephant wants to help only those who depend on him,” they said.
The king surprised at the elephant’s compassion let the elephant return to his home. Since that day, the people understood that the white elephant, like all other things of nature, was not meant for just a single person. Also, read The Hare And The Elephant King.