The Crow and the Bell of Justice

This story is told of one Anangapal, who ruled in Delhi, and who loved justice.

He caused two great lions of stone to be placed near his palace gates, where all could see them. A bell hung from the bar between the lions. Whoever struck that bell claimed justice, and got justice of Anangapal the King.

One day a crow swung in the breeze on the tongue of the bell, and the cry for justice clanged forth, reaching the ear of the King.

“Who strikes the bell?” he asked.

“My lord, it is a crow.”

“Let justice be done,” said Anangapal.

“What asks the crow?”

But no one could tell. So the King himself read the message.

“The crow strikes my bell, between the mouths of my stone lions. See you not? The crow came as is its habit, to pick morsels of food out of the mouth of the lion. And the lions were not lions. I deceived the crow. Let a sheep be killed: and place some meat in the lions’ mouths, that the crow may find its meal.”

So did even the least of his subjects get justice and bounty at the hands of Anangapal the Just.


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