upon a time, there was an old she-fox whom here fellow-foxes
of the Fox-land detested very much, for she was very plain-spoken
and very proud. And so they cut off here tail as a sort
She said : “ Oh my dear
brethren, won’t you make me your ruler ?” On hearing this,
all the foxes laughed a big laugh and drove her away with
jeers and scorn. She then purchased an artificial gilt
tail and having fastened it to her back, emigrated to
the ancient land of Asses and Apes.
The Assess asked her
“Who are you ?” She said “ I am the great she-fox of the
golden tail, the wisest among all the foxes of Fox-land.
They asked me over there to be their ruler. But I did
not care for that position. I have a contempt for the
intelligence of foxes and I have become a great admirer
of the wisdom of the Asses, especially the older ones.
And I have decided that it is better to be an humble pupil
among the Asses than a great teacher and ruler among my
own kind. Oh venerable Asses, teach me your wisdom.”
On hearing this, all
the Asses, especially the old ones, brayed for joy. And
they began to speak to one another in their homes and
councils, “What thinkest thou, brother? While the ordinary
foxes pretend that they are much wiser than we and behave
haughtily and contemptuously towards us, the wisest Fox
of them all has discovered that we, we the Asses, are
the noblest and most thoughtful among animals and she
has come to be a pupil among us. Yet the Apes in our own
land have been mimicking the ways of the foxes and foolishly
despising our great and ancient asinine institutions and
traditions. Oh, what will the golden tail will once for
all stop their poisonous chattering and they will here-after
cease teasing and humiliating us by their so-called criticism
of our time-honored Ass-traditions.”
And the Asses had rightly
judged their fellow-countrymen, the Apes. For the latter
also were greatly impressed by the strange act of the
Fox of the golden tail. “Whatever a fox says must be right”
so argued many of the Apes, “and if the wisest of them
all comes and pays homage to the culture of the Asses,
we have reason to pause and consider if we have been quite
right in laughing at our compatriots in such an outrageous
manner as we have been doing.”
But a few advanced Apes
though to themselves, “Nonsense! How can we give up the
convictions of a life-time and begin to respect these
Asses on the Assertion of a single old fox, while all
other foxes still treat them with open contempt? What
the foxes do, we must do. And if there is a split among
the foxes themselves, we Can’t help it. We shall merely
cling to the doctrines of the majority of the foxes. “Thus
thinking, they kept themselves aloof from the new movement
of Assiatic Revival.
But the Revival itself
progressed wonderfully, thanks to the winning ways of
the Fox of the golden tail who gradually dropped her old
pride and intolerance but substituted instead the worst
type of cunning and sedulous flattery.
The Apes bent their heads
low before the triumphant march of Assiatic reaction,
and the Asses put on pontifical airs. Naturally, all this
moved the simple hearts of the Asses, especially ;the
older ones, very deeply and the emotions of joy and gratitude
rose to such a high pitch among the long-eared ones that
they soon elected the old Fox as their leader and High-priestess
and gave her the improved title of the Golden Fox.
The Golden Fox was much delighted at this favorable turn
of affairs. “After all, “She thought, “ it is something
to be a ruler even among Asses. Of course, old age is
an intolerable nuisance and so is the enforced company
of the long-eared species. But then I have got this consolation
that I can make those d-d foxes see that I am not an ordinary
person and that I am as cunning as the cunnings of them
all. While other foxes merely strive for economic advantages
in this Ass-land, I have easily gained a spiritual domination
and this includes your economics and everything else.
And the Asses call me the Golden Fox, confound their dear,
stupid heads!” Her position among the Asses subsequently
induced the emigrant Foxes to show her some outward respect
and sometimes even take her advice on economic matters.
All this success soon made the Golden Fox lose her head.
Her rule over the Asses gradually became more and more
harsh, arrogant and whimsical, so that she soon began
to tire the ;patience of even the most patient of her
asinine followers. Discontent began to spread, especially
among those who were her personal attendants.
One morning a middle-aged
Ass whispered to an old comrade, “What thinkest thou,
brother? The Golden Tail of the Golden Fox, I say, is
a false and artificial one. She does not always wear it.
I have seen her removing it and depositing it into a box
before going to bed, each night. What sayest thou to this?”
“Pooh!” said the old Ass
w2ho was famous in the Ass-land for his great mastery
of Assiatic culture and erudition. “We, older people,
knew it long ago. It is the usual custom of the foxes.
All of them, even those that have ordinary tails instead
of golden ones as our leader, put them off before sleeping.
“And the old one laughed scornfully at the ignorance displayed
by his younger comrade.
The middle-aged Ass did
not know what to say in reply. So he went home without
further parley although he still had his own doubts about
the accuracy of his old comrade’s observation.
As time went on, other
Asses also began to get suspicious about the genuineness
of the golden tail and everywhere in the learned and erudite
Ass-circles there were murmurings about the intolerable
rule and incredible pretensions of the Golden Fox.
The Golden Fox them thought that she must slightly change
her tactics and so his on a new device to rekindle the
waning loyalty of her followers. She knew she could always
depend on the allegiance of the Elders of the long-eared
community. So she induced the chief of the Elders to prevail
upon a typically asinine member of the community to make
an unconditional present of the latter’s two colts to
herself, so that, she declared, she might convert the
little ones into golden-tailed Asses by initiating them
in all the subtleties of the culture of the great Fox-race
and by certain other mystic processes.
“Oh.” She said, “after
I succeed in making their tails golden like my own, you
will see that all the animals will hold them in the highest
reverence and teat them as Divine beasts. It will add
to the glory of the entire Ass tribe. And great miracles
will be wrought by them such as were never heard of before
in the animals of Ass-land.”
This sensational announcement
and all the flattering hopes it held out to the vanity
of the long-eared race pleased the latter beyond all measure.
A bargain was soon struck and two little ones were entrusted
to the care and guidance of the Golden Fox. The first
thing she did with her new wards was to have their little
tails secretly cut off and make them wear big hoops so
as to hide this loss from the scrutiny of her not over-scrutinous
followers. She also made the little ones to always confine
themselves to a small room in her own house and there
sit with their backs turned towards the wall whenever
there was company. She then proclaimed to the Asses that
the tails of her young wards were slowly changing, that
they had already become partly golden and that when the
process was perfected they would be exposed to the sight
of the whole world.
I the meanwhile, she ordered
the more devoted and faithful Asses to come and offer
daily worship to the little ones who were already alleged
to be well advanced on the path to the Super-Ass condition.
Great was the sensation which spread in the Ass-land,
on account of these miraculous proceedings.
The older Asses were eagerly
expecting the great day when the little Golden Asses,
that were to be, would attain the Adept stage and the
miracle of it all would once for all elevate the Ass-race
to the highest point of spiritual glory.
But the parent who had
more access to the little ones than others soon found
out the real secret and felt greatly aggrieved and humiliated
at the fate of his colts who had fallen into the unbearable
degradation of being tail-less Asses. He therefore protested
to the Golden Fox, and asked her to restore his little
ones to himself. Trouble ensued and it was greatly feared
by the High-priestess and other leaders of the Assiatic
Revival that the whole fraud would be exposed and they
would be covered with endless shame.
The Chief Elder, who had,
by this time, passed the stage pf the dupe and become
a willing participant in the schemes of the Golden Fox,
easily prevailed upon the parent to give up his fears,
promising on behalf of the Golden Fox that the little
ones would be sent to Fox-land and given a through training
in the great Fox-Culture and no further outrage to the
parental sentiments would be committed thenceforth.
The satisfied the parent
and the Golden Asses that were to be were accordingly
sent to Fox-land. In the meanwhile, the tongue of rumour
somehow spread the entire story throughout the length
and breadth of the ancient land of Asses and Apes. The
Apes began to heap scorn and irony on the heads of the
poor Asses. “So you would fain manufacture Golden Asses,
would you?” chartered the Apes, “And the Golden Fox is
going to elevate your children to the Super-Ass state!
Super-Ass indeed! Tail-less, tail-less…..”
Information reached the Parent from Fox-land that his
little ones had their long ears also cut off under orders
from the Golden Fox and many other worse degradations
were also mentioned, unworthy not merely of the sacred
Ass-race but of any animal however vile it might be. “Ah,
the shame of it! How we have been duped! Asses and no
tails ! Asses and no long ears! Alas, my dear little ones!
Why did I ever listen to the perfidious brayings of the
Chief Elder? Why did I ever trust the Golden Fox? Ah,
my children, they will next cut off your dear silver noses.
And you are so far away from me, removed by miles and
miles of forests and seas.”
Thus lamented the parent
and finding that the Golden Fox was in no mood to return
his little ones to his custody and that all his comrades
were either unwilling or unable or both to render him
any assistance in this matter, he went to a large-hearted
and wise Bull-one of the stay remnants of a race which
was very numerous in the land long long ago-and besought
The Parent was especially
wrathful against a compatriot of the Golden Fox, who was
here chief accomplice and executed on the little ones
all the degradations required by her and many other unutterable
infamies for which she apparently gave no sanction. He
had once prayed to the Golden Fox to remove his little
ones from the foul association of her accomplice.
But she paid no need
to his prayers and turned him out, heaping contempt and
abuse on his poor head, and calling him the stupidest
Ass in the whole of Ass-land.
The Bull listened to
all this and advised the parent to seek redress in courts
of law. And the Bull promised him every assistance that
such an unfortunate Ass deserved at the hands of a nobler
And the parent went to
a court of law accordingly and asked that the Golden Fox
be compelled to restore the custody of his children either
to himself or, in case the court should consider him to
be too much of an Ass to be entrusted with the care even
of his own little ones, to any other person whom the Court
might deem fit. This bold step adapted by the Specimen-Ass
encouraged many other members of the community to come
out and openly denounce the ways and pretensions of the
Golden Fox. The wave of asinine resentment and revenge
was set in motion and, excepting the oldest ones like
the Chief Elder, very few remained faithful to the Golden
One morning, the Golden
Fox discovered to her amazement, that her personal attendant
had committed a nocturnal burglary and run away with her
golden tail. There were crowds of Asses standing outside
her house waiting to see her walk out without any tail,
golden or other.
The Golden Fox endured
all this disgrace with much outward show of fortitude.
The judge decided that the Golden Fox should restore the
little ones to their parent, viz. the Specimen – Ass.
The Golden Fox then took
a short trip to Fox-land. The Asses were expecting that
when she returned she would bring the little ones with
her. But no. She came alone and of course, she wore no
gilt-tail this time. She had also dropped all pretensions
to modesty and good manners. She defied openly the laws
of me and of gods. The old spirit which cost her tail
in her early days took possession of her soul once again.
She heaped words of very
bitter contempt and very violent hatred on the Ass – race
which she had once praised as the noblest, wisest and
loveliest on earth.
She now began to humour
the Apes, calling them the dearest creatures on earth
and delivering a series of lectures on topics which were
dear to the Apeheart, such as the following:
1. The superiority of
tail-less animals over all tailed ones, always excepting
2. How, even among the
Foxes, a tail-less one is superior to the rest.
3. The paramount importance to Apes and Asses of voyagbes
4. The basest of animals-the
Asses. (A jeremiad against long ears, white noses etc.)
5. How to convert an Ass
into an Ape.
6. How to convert an Ape into a Fox; etc; etc.
But the Apes were not
in mood to be won over by old she – foxes. They well remembered
their old wrongs, how in the earlier days the Golden fox
used to vilify and mock them and so on; so they drove
her out with scorn and contempt. She then made a last
desperate effort to win back the allegiance of the Asses.
But there is a limit even to Asinine folly and credulity.
They too brayed scorn at her. In the meanwhile the authorities
of the law pressed her to bring the little ones to the
Ass-land and deliver them to their parent. But she had
so far disfigured the little ones that she could not dare
to obey that order.
So she secretly fled
away to the Republic of Bees and Ants, where warrants
from Ass-land could not be executed and it is understood
that she has started a new cult there whose chief doctrine
seems to be that the land of Bees and Ants will become
a paradise the day on which they elect an old and tail-less
She-Fox as President of their Republic – a cult to which
she has given the strange title of Foxo-Bees-Antism.
Dr. Nanjunda Rao, B.A., M.B.C.M., F.C.S. Writes:
“It has a high educational value. A careful study of th
booklet will do good to all the children in our country,
young as well as old.”
Prof. K.B. Ramanatha, M.A., B.L., F.M.U. Writes:
hits off very clerverly the weaknesses of our men and
none of us come off well. And if we should be a self-complacent
lot and not have any gift of humour, we should owe you