Once upon a time a Deer lived in a forest near a lake. Not far from the same lake, a Woodpecker had a nest in the top of a tree; and in the lake lived a Turtle. The three were friends, and lived together happily.
The Jataka Tales are dated between 300 BC and 400 AD. The Jataka Tales are part of sacred Buddhist Literature. Many of the tales are set in or near Benares, now called Varanasi, a city in north central India on the Ganges River. One of the world’s oldest cities, Varanasi is the most sacred place for Hindus. Buddhists and Muslims also have important religious sites nearby. According to tradition, Buddha began his teaching at Sarnath a short distance from this city.
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One day while a Lion was eating his dinner a bone stuck in his throat. It hurt so that he could not finish his dinner. He walked up and down, up and down, roaring with pain.
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Once upon a time, many, many wild Goats lived in a cave in the side of a hill. A Wolf lived with his mate not far from this cave. Like all Wolves they liked the taste of Goat-meat. So they caught the Goats,
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Once upon a time a Big Rat lived in the forest, and many hundreds of other Rats called him their Chief.
A Tricky Wolf saw this troop of Rats, and began to plan how he could catch them. He wanted to eat them,
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Once upon a time three Fishes lived in a far-away river. They were named Thoughtful, Very-Thoughtful, and Thoughtless. One day they left the wild country where no men lived, and came down the river to live near a town.
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Once upon a time a king gave a holiday to all the people in one of his cities.
The king’s gardener thought to himself: “All my friends are having a holiday in the city.