The Panchatantra – Story 64a


There was once in a dreadful forest a terrible demon called Chandakarma. On one occasion, when he was wandering in the forest, he came upon a Brahmin. He at once got upon the Brahmin’s shoulders and said, ‘March!’. The Brahmin was terribly afraid and obeyed the command. Seeing the beautiful feet of the demon, as delicate and soft as the inside of a lotus, the Brahmin asked the demon, ‘How is it that your feet are so tender and beautiful ?’ The demon replied, ‘I observe a vow. I will never tread on the earth with wet feet. So this favour has been conferred upon me.’ Hearing this reply, the Brahmin thought of a way of saving himself. Soon they arrived at a lake. 

The demon told the Brahmin. ‘I shall bathe in the tank and worship God and return. Remain here and don’t stir from this place.’ When the demon had got into the lake for bathing, the Brahmin thought to himself, ‘Sure as anything, this demon will eat me up after he returns from his bath and prayers. So I must run away forthwith. As he cannot tread on earth with wet feet by his vow, he will not pursue me if I run away now. and I can make good my escape’. Thinking thus, the Brahmin took to a precipitate flight and escaped, the demon not daring to break his vow and pursue.

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