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  • free printable reading comprehension,  passages for kids, comprehension worksheet PDF on panchatantra Story – the cunning hare and the witless lion, moral, short stories, printable worksheet, reading story are followed by a set of reading comprehension questions with answer

    • The Cunning Hare and the Witless Lion

      Once there was a fierce lion. He was very powerful and was ruling over the entire jungle. He was heartless and everyday killed many animals. All animals were unhappy and worried, so they decided to go and meet the lion. They said, “O our lord, why do you kill many animals, when one is enough to satisfy your hunger. We have one solution to the problem. We will send an animal every day to you. This way you need not have to hunt animals every day and many of our live will be saved.”

      Lion agreed but said, “If you fail to send an animal every day, I will not spare anyone”. As per agreement, every day animals draw lots, and the unlucky animal that got chosen has to go to the lion. Other animals move freely in the jungle without fear of being eaten.

      One day, it was hare turns to go to the lion. Hare did not want to become the lion’s food but he did not have any option. So, he started moving slowly for the lion’s den. He saw a big well on his way. Out of curiosity, he stopped there and peeped inside the well. He saw his own reflection and that time only one idea came in his mind.

      Hare thought, he will bring the lion somehow to the well and will induce him jump into it. He walked very slowly and reached the lion’s den very late. Lion was angry because of hunger. When hare reached, he humbly bowed to the lion. The lion shouted furiously, “You are too late and small too to satisfy my hunger. How could other animals do this to me? So, I will eat you and will kill others also.

      The hare replied,” O lord, It is neither my mistake nor the mistake of any other animal. Allow me to explain you everything”.

      Lion roared,” Let me know who it is who delayed you and I will kill him at once.”

      The lion started narrating the story.” Today was my turn, but as I am so small to satisfy your hunger, animals have decided to send three more hare along with me. As we were coming to you, a big lion came in our way from somewhere and moved toward us to eat. We all started pleading him to spare us as we were going to satisfy our lord’s hunger as promised. The other lion roared loudly and said that he is the king of this jungle and every animal has to obey him. He ate three of us and asked me to bring you to him for a trial of strength. That's why I am late”.

      On hearing this, the lion became more furious. He roared angrily, “Take me to that lion now. I will kill him."

      The hare replied, “O my lord, he is very strong. It is difficult to kill him.” Hearing this lion’s anger grew more and he said,” Do what I say. Take me right now to him”.

      The hare took the lion towards that well. On reaching near the well, hare pointed towards the well and said to the lion, “O lord, that other lion is hiding in the well”.

      The witless lion went at the edge of the well, and saw his own reflection in the water below. He thought his own reflection as the other lion. He roared at his reflection with all might and fury. The roar sounded back, lion thought it is the other lion’s roar. The lion got furious and jumped inside the well to attack his own reflection. He got drowned and died.

      The hare was very happy to see that his plan worked well. Hare told the story to the other animals and they praised him for his cleverness. There after animal lived happily without any fear in that jungle.

      Moral: Deceive the wicked and destroy them without mercy.

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