Once there lived a washerman named Shuddapatta. He had a donkey which helped him household activities. Even the donkey helped him but the Shuddapatta could not take proper care of his donkey. They lived a place where there was no grass all around for the donkey and the washerman also did not have enough food to offer the donkey. Therefore the donkey could not get proper food to eat so he had grown lean and weak day by day. Shuddapatta was also worried about his donkey health but he could not do anything for this.
One day when the Shuddapatta was wandering in the jungle in search of food for the donkey, he found a dead tiger in his way. As he saw the tiger an idea came in his mind. He immediately thought, “It’s a lucky day for me to get a dead tiger. If I will skin the tiger and take that skin to home. Then I will cover my donkey with the tiger’s skin so no one can identify him and then he graze in the nearby barley field after sunset without any fear. The farmers will not dare to come near to my donkey fearing as a tiger. In this way my donkey will be able to eat grass as much as he wants and become fit and get strength.”
The washerman reached home with the tiger skin and cover his donkey with it after sunset. Then the donkey grazed in the field without any fear and returned home unharmed after he had eaten as much as he want. Days passed away in this way, the washerman daily cover his donkey with the tiger’s skin in the night and lead him to the fields. Although the farmers saw him daily in the field but he mistook him as a tiger. The farmers had feared as much that they did not dare to come out of their homes. Thus all the time the donkey ate much as he wanted and returned home. Then the washerman uncover the tiger’s skin. In the morning the donkey would stand in the washerman’s home without anybody suspecting anything.
As time passed away the donkey regained his strength and became strong so the washerman did not have to worry about his food.
One night when the donkey was feeding on the barley crop in the nearby fields, he suddenly heard a sound. It was a female donkey’s sound who braying from a distance. As he heard her sound he attracted towards her and began to bray in return. As soon as the farmers, who were watching the donkey from a distance heard this sound they realized that it was donkey in the tiger’s skin. They came out near to him and observe him as a donkey. Thus they immediately chased him and bitten him with sticks till he dead.
The wise indeed say:
Do not pretend to be what you are not.