The Panchatantra – Story 13b

FORETHOUGHT, READY-WIT AND FATALIST

In a big forest lake there lived three full-grown fishes, all thick friends, called Anagatavidhata (Forethought), Pratyutpannamati (Ready-Wit) and Yadbhavishyati (Fatalist). One day, Anagatavidhata heard some fishermen, who were going past, say, “There are plenty of good fish in this lake. We shall come and fish here tomorrow,” Greatly perturbed, he went and told this ominous news to his two friends and proposed that they should migrate to a remoter lake at once.

ratyutpannamati laughed and said, “Why should we worry about future and uncertain happenings? I have lived here comfortably all these days, and evaded all dangers by using my wits then and there. I cannot leave this lake in a hurry because of these casual remarks of the fishermen. If the fisher- men do come, I doubt if they will, I can always devise some means to protect myself.” Yadbhavishyati said, “I agree with him in not leaving this lake. Why should the fishermen come to fish in this remote lake when there are equally good lakes nearer their village? Besides, the plans of sneaks, rogues and snakes often miscarry, and the world lives on. But, if it is fated so, who can prevent it?” On hearing the views of his friends, Anagatavidhata migrated to another and remoter lake to seek his own safety. 

The fishermen went to the original lake the next day and spread their net and caught all the fish in it. Pratyutpannamati summoned his wits in that hour of danger and shammed dead. The fishermen were deceived, and said, “This big fish is dead and can be kept on the shore and taken home later on along with the struggling fish after they are killed.” and put him on the shore. He then slipped back into the water and safety. Yadbhavishyati cursed his fate and struggled in the net. The fishermen clubbed him repeatedly and killed him and took him away along with the smaller fry. 

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