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India - The Lion Makers   Print Story 

The Lion Makers (A tale from the Panchatara in India)

As retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller


Notes: In early Indian History, the title Brahman was given to the learned people in the highest caste of society.  The Brahmans were those men who were highly educated and who understood and carried out the duties of the priesthood i the Hindu religion.  As years passed not all men born into the Brahman caste lived up to the high standards of being well educated.  Such is the case in this story.


Long, long, long ago four Brahmans lived in the same town.  They were wonderful friends as children.  Each was very smart.  But the way they showed their intelligence was different.  Three of them were scholars.  They read everything they could find to read and loved to argue and debate.  But, they had very little comon sense in the ways of the world.


The fourth had very good common sense but had very little formal education.  He had to work from the time he was young.  He had not been able to go to school, and he could not read.


"How does being smart help us if we continue to live here where the people are poor and where there is no money to be made?" they asked of each other.  "We should travel to other parts of the world and use our wisdom to make ourselves rich."  This was how they set out on their journey.


When they had gone only a short way, the eldest of them said, "One of us does not deserve to be in our company."  He looked at the fourth Brahman.  "Our companion has no education," he stated.  "He hs only common sense!  No one can become rich without a good education.  I don't think we should share our earnings with him!"


The second Brahman turned to the first and said, "You are right.  Our friend has no education.  Let us send him home instead of sharing our fortune with him that we will earn with our intelligence."


The third said, "No, no.  This is not the way to behave.  We have been friends since childhood.  We should let him come with us.  We will give him an equal part in all that we earn!"


The first two agreed after a long discussion to let the fourth Brahman continue with them on their journey.  They walked along until they came to the bones of a dead lion.


The first of the educated men said, "Here is a chance to show our ignorant friend how much we know.  Here lie the bones of some dead creature.  Let us see if we can bring it back to life by using all that we have learned."  Then he added, "I know how to put a skeleton back together!"


The second Brahman, not wanting to be outdone, said, "I can give it skin and cover it with flesh and give it blood."  As he did this, the third Brahman stated that he could breathe life back into the body.


As he said this, the fourth Brahman spoke up.  "My friends," he said, "I concede that you have learned much more from books and schools than I have.  But, my common sense tells me that we should not bring a lion back to life.  I do not believe we are wise to do this.  If he comes back to life, he will want to eat us."


The first three Brahmans were angry with him.  "We let you travel with us even though you are not very knowledgeable like we are.  You know so very little, and yet you presume to kow more than we do?


"I only know what my common sense tells me," the fourth Brahman stated.  "However, if you intend to persist in bringing the dead lion back to life, please hold your efforts until I have climbed this tree."


After the fourth Brahman climbed the tree, the first three Brahmans completed their task of bringing the lion back to life.  As the breath of life filled his lungs, the lion let out with a great roar and ate up all three scholars who were on the ground.


With a full stomache, the lion was not willing or able to climb the tree and eat the fourth Brahman.  So the man with no formal education had the sense to climb down the tree and go back to his former home. 

Notes for Teachers:  This story comes froma collection of stories called the Panchatantra, first written in India.  If you wishto know more about this collection of tales, visit my website at and go to the section called  Storytelling Activities.

Click on any story to read:
Appalachian Tales
 • Lazy Jack
 • Soap - Soap - Soap
 • The Gunny Wolf
 • The Journeycake Who Ran Away
 • I'm Gonna Tell - R. Sorrels, adapted by M. Lockett
 • Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly - performance
 • Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly - traditional
 • The Wedding of Jack and Jill
Call and Response Stories
 • Did You Feed My Cow?
 • Farm Vacation
 • The Button Factory
 • The Man Who Saw a Crocodile
 • The Turkey Hunt - Call and Response
Dinosaur Stories
 • Racing the Dinosaur
 • Androcles and the Lion
 • The Ant and the Pigeon
 • The Bat and the Weasel
 • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
 • The Cat, the Rooster and the Young Mouse
 • The Dove and the Ant
 • The Farmer and the Stork
 • The Frog in the Milk Pail
 • The Lion and the Buffalos
 • The North Wind and the Sun
 • The Ox and the Frog
 • The Panther and the Villagers
 • The Tortoise and the Hare
Folk Tales and Folklore
 • Africa - The Lion's Minister of State
 • Africa - The Sly Old Cat
 • America - Brother Goat Eats Rocks
 • America - Full of Bologna
 • America - How Man Became Master of Fire
 • America - The Cheese in the Well
 • Argentina - Fox's Warm Bargain
 • Asia - The Tiger in the Well
 • Balkans - Why Man Lives Eighty Years
 • Bohemia - Long, Broad and Sharpsight
 • Brazil, How Brazilian Beetles Got Their Coats
 • Burma - A Little Drop of Honey
 • Caribbean - Anansi and the Python
 • China - Ow and Ouch
 • China - The Chinese Nightingale
 • China - The Magic Pillow
 • China - The Monkey's Drum
 • China - The Terrible Nung Guama
 • China - The Tiger's Teacher
 • Congo - Monkey and Rabbit Together
 • Denmark - The Wonderful Pot
 • England - The Baker's Daughter
 • England - The Cat and the Mouse
 • England - The Cat's Tale
 • England - The Little Gingerbread Boy
 • England - The Little Red Hen
 • England - The Pot that Would Not Walk
 • England - The Three Bears
 • England - The Three Little Pigs
 • England - The Three Sillies
 • Finland - The Mouse Princess
 • Finland - Why Fish Cannot Talk
 • Flanders - How the Finch Got Its Colors
 • France - Half a Blanket
 • Germany - The Frog Prince
 • Germany - The Porridge Pot
 • Germany - Why Beans Have a Split Side
 • Ghana - The Story of the Tongue
 • Ghana - Why Spiders Have Big Rear Ends
 • India - The Blind Men and the Elephant
 • India - The Elephants and the King of Mice
 • India - The Hare That Ran Away
 • India - The Hare that Ran Away Teller's Notes
 • India - The Jackal and the Alligator
 • India - The Lion Makers
 • India - The Magic of Friendship
 • India - The Monkey and the Crocodile
 • India - The Ox Who Won a Bet
 • India - The Quarreling Quails
 • India - The Tiger, the Brahman and the Jackal
 • India - The Turtle Who Could Not Stop Talking
 • India -The King and the Foolish Monkey
 • Indonesia - Why There Are No Tigers in Borneo
 • Iran - The Singing Pumpkin
 • Iraq - The Gift of Stories - The Caliph of Bagdad
 • Ivory Coast - Why Spiders Have Eight Skinny Legs
 • Jamaica - Why Dogs Watch People Eat
 • Japan - The Hare of Inaba
 • Japan - The Two Frogs
 • Korea - The Magic Moneybag
 • Korea - The Pumpkin Seeds
 • Laos - The King Who Hated Old People
 • Latvia - The Hungry Wolf
 • Mexico - How Lizard Beat Big Deer
 • Nigeria - How Rabbit Got Wisdom
 • Nigeria - Why Bats Fly at Night
 • Norway - How Bear Lost His Tail
 • Norway - The Boy and the North Wind
 • Norway - The Gertrude Bird
 • Norway - The Goats in the Garden
 • Philippines - Saving the Moon
 • Philippines - The Monkey and the Dragonflies
 • Philippines - Why Male Mosquitoes Do Not Bite
 • Phillipines - The Man with the Cocoanuts
 • Phillppines - The Seven Happy Villagers
 • Phillppines - Why Chickens Scratch the Ground
 • Russia - The Mitten
 • Russia - The Poor Man's Ruble
 • Russia - Two Goats on the Bridge -
 • Scotland - Aiken-Drum
 • Scotland - The Haunted Tailor
 • Senegal - How Moon & Sun Came to Dwell in the Sky
 • Siberia - How the Bee Got His Bumble
 • Siberia - The Girl in the Moon
 • South Africa - The Man and the Snake
 • Spain - Little Half-Chick (Medio Pollito)
 • Sri Lanka - Lizard's Duel with Leopard
 • Surinam - The King of the Birds
 • Sweden - Anders' New Cap
 • Sweden - The Boy and the Water-Sprite
 • Sweden - The Elves & the Shoemaker
 • Syria - The King Who Changed His Ways
 • Taiwan - Flies Who Paid a Debt of Gratitude
 • Taiwan - The Frog in the Well
 • Taiwan - Trapping Rabbits in Taiwan
 • Thailand - Why Elephant Has a Long Nose
 • The Dragon Princess
 • Tibet - The Candy Man
 • Tibet - The Tiger and the Frog
 • Tibet - Two Rabbits and a Bear
 • Turkey - The Mouse and the Elephant
 • Turkey - The Three Hares
 • United States - The Cricket's Supper
 • Vietman - How the Tiger Got Its Stripes
 • Vietnam - Raven and the Star Fruit Tree
 • Wales - The Loyal Dog
 • West Africa - How Mankind Got Wisdom
 • West Africa - Why Spiders Hide in Corners
 • Why Dogs Chase Cats
Historical Stories
 • A Leader Lends a Hand
 • Civil War - The Story of Taps
 • Civil War Story - The Fortunate Mistake
 • How Normal Became Normal
 • Nancy Mason and the Baby Fold
 • Private Joe Fifer
 • The Boy and the Book
 • The Gift of Stories - The Caliph of Bagdad
 • Ulysses S. Grant
Holiday Stories
 • A Live Christmas
 • France- The Wooden Shoe Christmas
 • I Heard the Bells of Christmas Day
 • The Christmas Rose
 • The Christmas Truce of 1914
 • The Legend of Babushka
 • The Legend of the Poinsettia
 • The Legend of the Robin
 • The Story of Francis of Assisi
 • The Story of Silent Night
 • The Three Purses
Humor and Short Stories/Jokes
 • Full of Bologna
 • Gettin' the Mule's Attention
 • Horse Sense
 • Live Your Life Wisely
 • Pets at the Library
 • The Apple Star
 • The Calling of the Bells
 • The Pig's Brother
 • Why Roses Come in Pink
Math Stories (great for math teachers)
 • Creative Division - Dividing the Geese (Russia)
 • Dividing the Oxen
 • Problem Solving Story - The New Shoes - (China)
Motivational Stories
 • The Starfish
Native American Tales
 • Hopi - Grandmother Spider
 • Hopi - Why Clouds Are in the Sky
 • Native American - How Chipmunk Got its Stripes
 • Nez Perce - Why Bear Sleeps All Winter
 • Pueblo - The Musical Waters
 • The Coyote and the Turtle
Religious Stories and Bible Stories
 • Being a Good Neighbor
 • David and Goliath
 • Feathers in the Wind
 • God is Good
 • Joshua and the Battle of Jericho
 • Noah and the Great flood
 • Sword of Gideon
 • The Call of Samuel
 • The Love of Two Brothers
 • The Most Precious Thing
 • The Story of Esther
 • The Story of Rhoda
 • The Story of Ruth
 • Timothy's Head Start to Salvation
Scary Stories (but not too scary)
 • A Halloween Scare
 • Dark Dark Night
 • Jack and the Goblins
 • Slimy Green Fingers
 • The Haunted Tailor
 • The Squeaky Door
Teacher Materials - Essays on Holiday Topics
 • Christmas Cards Remembered
 • Easter Customs
 • Thoughts on Candy Canes
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