The Guilty Dogs

The Guilty Dogs :

One day, a king drove through the city in his magnificent chariot drawn by six white horses. And at the fall of night, when he returned, the horses were taken to the stable. But the chariot was left in the courtyard with the harnesses.

And when everyone was asleep in the palace, it started to rain.

“This is our time to have some fun”, said the palace dogs, when they saw the leather harnesses wet and softened by the shower. Down they went, on tiptoe, into the courtyard and bit and gnawed at the beautiful straps. And after thus playing the whole night, they slipped away before the dawn.

“The straps of the royal chariot, eaten! destroyed!” the stablemen exclaimed with horror as they entered the courtyard the next morning. And with trembling hearts they went to tell the King.

“Gracious lord,” they said, “The trappings of the royal chariot have been destroyed during the night. It is certainly the work of dogs who have been gnawing the beautiful straps.”

The King rose up in fiery.

“Kill them all,” he commanded. “Slay every dog you see in the city.”

The King’s order soon became known to the seven hundred dogs of the city and they all cried bitterly. But there was one dog who was their chief, for he loved them and protected them and in a long procession they set out to find him.

“Why are you gathered together today?” asked the chief, as he saw them come, “and what makes you all so sad?”

“Danger is upon us,” replied the dogs, “the leather of the royal chariot which stood during the night in the palace courtyard has been destroyed and we are blamed for the damage. The King is furious and has ordered us all to be killed.”

“It is impossible for any dog of the city to enter the palace gates,” thought the chief. “Who therefore could have destroyed the harnesses if not the dogs of the palace? Thus the guilty ones are spread and the innocent ones are to be destroyed. Nay, I will show the guilty ones to the King and the city dogs shall be saved.”

Such were the thoughts of the brave chief and after consoling his seven hundred followers, he went alone through the city. At every step men were standing ready to kill him, but his eyes were so full of love that they did not dare touch him. And he walked into the palace and the royal guard, spellbound at his appearance, let him pass through the gates.

Thus he entered into the hall of justice where the King sat on his throne and the courtiers stood around and at sight of his fiery eyes, all remained silent.

After sometime the chief spoke.

“Great King”, he said, “is it you command that all the dogs of the city be killed?”

“Yes,” replied the King, “it is my command.”

“What harm have they done, O King?” he asked.

“They have destroyed the leather harnesses of the royal chariot,” the King replied.

“Which dogs have done the harm?” asked chief.

“I know not,” replied the King; “therefore have ordered them all to be killed.”

“Is every dog of your city to be killed,” ask the chief, “or are some dogs to be allowed to live.

“The royal dogs only are to be allowed to live,’ the King replied.

“Oh! King,” said the chief in a gentle voice, “your command just? Why should the dogs of the palace be innocent and the dogs of the city be judged guilty? The ones you favour are saved and the ones you know not are to be killed. Oh just King, where is your justice?”

The King thought for a while and then said, “Wise chief, tell me, then, who are the guilty ones?”

‘The royal dogs,” replied the chief.

“Show me that your words are true,” said the King.

“I will show you,” answered the chief.

"Order that the palace dogs be brought here to the hall of justice and be given kusa grass and buttermilk to eat.”

The King did as the chief asked and the royal dogs were brought before him and given kusa grass and buttermilk to eat.

Soon after they had eaten, shreds of leather came out of their mouths and fell on the ground. The guilty ones were found.

The King rose gently from his throne.

“Your words are true,” he said to the wise chief, “true and pure, as the raindrops which fall from the sky. I shall never forget you as long I live.”

He then ordered that all the dogs of the city be given rich food and royal care every day of their lives and they all lived happily ever after.

The Guilty Dogs

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