The Brahmin, The Monster & The Thief

Drona was a poor Brahmin who was living in a small town. He was so poor that he never wore good clothes, or used cosmetics, or indulged in the luxury of eating apaan(betel leaves).He had matted hair, an unshaven beard and uncut nails. He was extremely weak and emaciated because he had no cover from cold, sun or wind or rain. Taking pity on him, a rich man donated two calves to him.

With all care and love, he fed them well with butter oil and grass. The calves grew into two fine and healthy animals. A thief set his eyes on them and decided that he should somehow steal them. As he set out for the Brahmin’s house, he saw on the way an awesome figure with loose teeth as long and sharp as fangs, an arched nose and blood-red eyes. He had a lean body with varicose veins and his hair and beard looked like two torches.

Though he was frightened, the thief asked him, “Who are you, sir?”

“I am Satyavachana, a monster. Let me know who you are.”

“I am a thief. My name is Kroorakarma. I am going to steal the calves of the Brahmin.”

The monster trusted the words of the thief and told him that he took only one meal a day in the evening and that he would kill the Brahmin for his dinner.

Both of them went to the Brahmin’s house that night and waited for the Brahmin to go to sleep. When they were sure that the Brahmin had slept, the monster stepped in to kill the poor Brahmin. The thief held him back saying it was unjust to kill the Brahmin before he (the thief) could take away the two calves.

The monster said, “If the sound of the resisting calves disturbs the sleep of the Brahmin, all our effort will be in vain.”

The thief replied, “Suppose there is some obstacle in your killing him, I cannot take the calves. Therefore, wait till I finish my job first.”

The thief and the monster began quarrelling about who should be the first to finish his job. The Brahmin woke up due to the commotion they were making and asked them who they were and what was the matter.

The thief told him, “This monster wants to kill you.”

The monster denied and said, “O Brahmin, this thief wants to steal your calves.”

The Brahmin then invoked his deity through prayer and the power of the prayer forced the monster to flee. The Brahmin then took a stick and drove off the thief.