The King’s Ministers – UNIT – 4 (Prose)
There was a lion who was the king of the forest. He was fierce and strong. “A king must have ministers to help him,” the lion thought one day. And he called a fox.
Lion – King of the forest ( fierce and strong)
“You are known to be very wise and clever. I want you to be my Home Minister.”
Fox – Home Minister (wise and clever)
“I thank you for this honour, Your Majesty,” said the fox. Then the king called a leopard and said, “You are known to be very alert and swift-footed. You’ll be my Defence Minister.”
Leopard – Defence Minister (very alert and swift-footed)
swift-footed : fast in walking and running, ಚುರುಕಾದ ಪಾದಗಳು, ವೇಗವಾಗಿ ಓಡಲು ಹಾಗೂ ನಡೆಯಲು ಆಗುವ ಪಾದಗಳು
swore : promised something very seriously, ಪ್ರಮಾಣ ಮಾಡು, ಆಣೆಮಾಡು,
prey : animal or bird hunted for food, ಬೇಟೆ
having his fill : eating as much as he could, ಅವನ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆ ತುಂಬಿದ ನಂತರ
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” said the leopard. The next to be called was a crow. “You can fly high in the sky, so you’ll be my Minister for External Affairs.”
Crow – Minister of External Affairs (fly high)
“I am grateful to you, Your Majesty,” said the crow. The three ministers swore to remain loyal to the king and the lion in return promised to give them food and protection.
When the lion went hunting, they helped him to find the prey. After having his fill, he would leave the remains for them. Thus they always had enough to eat.
One day the crow said to the king, “Your Majesty, have you ever eaten camel meat? It is very tasty.” The lion had never seen a camel, but he liked the idea of tasting camel meat.
“Where can we get a camel?” the king asked. “I have seen a lone camel in a desert. It looked very fat and big,” said the crow.
The next morning the lion and his three ministers set off for the desert. They had to travel for miles. At last, they reached the desert. The hot sand of the desert burnt the lion’s paws.
lone : without companion, ಏಕಾಂಗಿಯಾದ, ಒಬ್ಬೊಂಟಿಗ
set off : begin a journey, ಪ್ರಯಾಣ ಹೊರಡಲು
paw : the foot of an animal that has claws or nails, ಮುಂಗಾಲು, ಹುಲಿಯಂತ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳ ಪಂಜ
off : away, ದೂರ, ದೂರದಲ್ಲಿ
“Stop!” roared the lion. “Let’s go back to the forest. I don’t care for camel meat.” The three ministers didn’t want to lose this opportunity of enjoying camel meat. But they could eat it only after the lion had killed the camel.
The clever fox at once thought of a plan. Off he ran and came to the place where the camel was sitting. “Hello, friend!” he said to the camel. “How lucky you are! Our king has invited you to his court. Now please hurry up and come with me.”
“I haven’t heard of any king,” said the camel.“I know only my master for whom I carry heavy loads across the desert.”
The fox said, “Our king is the brave lion. He has killed your cruel master, and now you’re free. The good king has invited you to come and live with him in the forest.”
The camel followed the fox happily. When they reached the lion’s camp, the crow and the leopard were surprised. Even the lion was pleased in spite of his burnt paws.
The camel was presented to the king.
“Get on the camel’s back, Your Majesty,” said the fox. “We’ll return home first.”
The lion at once jumped on the camel’s back. The leopard and the fox sat behind him. With the crow flying ahead as a guide, they reached the forest all hungry and tired.
The three ministers looked at the camel with greedy eyes. The lion knew what his ministers were thinking.
He turned to the camel and said, “Friend, I must thank you for saving my life. You are welcome to live with me in my forest as long as you like. I promise you my protection.”
The ministers were shocked to hear this. They had all the time been longing to eat the camel’s meat. But they said nothing as they were afraid of the king.
The lion, too, was feeling very hungry. But his paws were badly burnt and he couldn’t go to hunt by himself.
“O Fox, Leopard and Crow!” he said, “Don’t you see I am tired and hungry? Go at once and get me some food.”
The ministers had to obey the king. So they went, but not very far. They sat down under a tree to discuss what to do. The fox came up with a clever plan. The others agreed to it. And back they went to the king.
Bowing low, the crow stepped forward first.
“Your Majesty,” he said, “we are sorry that we’ve found no food. But we can’t let you starve. I am your most faithful servant and you can eat me. It’ll be my pleasure if I can satisfy your hunger.”
The fox at once pushed the crow aside and said, “O King! Please eat me first. I have more flesh than the crow.”
Then the leopard rushed in and said, “I’m even bigger, Your Majesty. You can eat me first.”
protection : safety from harm , ಕಾಪಾಡು
long (v) : want very much, ಬಹಳ ಹೊತ್ತಿನವರೆಗೆ ಕಾಯು
come up with : find; suggest, ಕಂಡುಹಿಡಿ, ಸೂಚಿಸು
starve : die of hunger, ಹಸಿವು, ಉಪವಾಸ
pounce : make a sudden attack, ಥಟ್ಟನೆ ಮೇಲೆರಗಿ ಹಿಡಿ
The camel was deeply moved by the loyalty shown by the three ministers. He too thought it his duty to offer himself as food for the king. “Your Majesty,” he said, “these three ministers of yours can be so useful to you. Therefore, I pray that you eat me instead.”
Hardly had the camel spoken these words when the three ministers got ready to pounce on him. But the lion stopped them immediately and said, “You’re all so true and faithful to me. I’m deeply touched by your offers, and I accept them all. I shall eat all of you, but in the same order in which you offered yourselves.”
The ministers looked at each other. There was no moment to lose. Away flew the crow! Away ran the fox! And away fled the leopard!
flee : run away, ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಓಡಿಹೋಗು, ಪಲಾಯನ
hearty : loud and cheerful, ಮನಃ ಪೂರ್ವಕವಾಗಿ, ಹೃತ್ಪೂರ್ವಕವಾಗಿ
The lion had a hearty laugh. He turned to the camel and said, “You have proved my most loving and loyal friend. You shall live with me all your life. No harm shall ever come to you.” And the two lived on happily together.