Keywords: Pancatantra, Sanskrit, Bur­zuya, Khusraw Anushirwan, Karirak ud Damanak, Shahnama, Ibn al-Mugaffa‘, Humayun-nama,Iyar-i Danish, Pahlavi, Samarkand.

Abstract: There once lived a lion who terrorized the animals of the jungle by hunting them,until one day they agreed to supply him daily with an animal as long as he stopped his cruelty. The animals continued to cast their lots every day until one day it was the hare's turn.

The crafty hare arrived late to the hungry and angry lion and explained to him, "I was bringing another hare for your lunch, but on our way here another lion snatched the hare from me, proclaiming that he is the true king of the jungle." The furious lion wished to confront his adversary, and so he followed the hare to a deep well full of clear water. "Look here, my king!", said the hare, perched over the well. The lion saw his reflection and, thinking it was the other lion, leaped in and drowned. Thereafter, the animals lived happily ever after.


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Dr Fahmida Suleman

Dr Fahmida Suleman is Phyllis Bishop Curator for the Modern Middle East at the British Museum.  


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