Long, long ago, there lived two brothers on a mountain that would be the first to see sunlight every morning. Healthy and strong, the brothers were quite close to each other. However, they had completely opposite characters and temperaments. While the elder brother was compassionate, the younger one was callous and, in fact, enjoyed hunting.
The elder brother tried hard to convince his younger brother to stop killing innocent animals. In turn, the younger brother would try and convince the elder one to take up hunting. An ardent believer in the survival of the fittest, he believed that it was the law of the jungle to kill defenseless animals for pleasure. He continued to go hunting, which was both his profession and passion. To put an end to his younger brother’s hunting spree, the elder brother devised a plan.
He told his younger brother that he would shape-shift into a deer and run through the jungle. If the younger brother could kill him before sunset, the elder brother would also begin hunting from the following day. However, the younger brother wouldn’t hunt ever again if he failed to slay the deer. Wishing to put this argument to rest once and for all, the younger brother readily agreed.
The following morning, the elder brother morphed into a deer and started running through the woods. The deer ran faster, exhausting the younger brother. After all, he had never chased a prey for so long! He felt thirsty and desperately craved for a sip of water.
Around the same time, the weary deer also sought some water. The two brothers stood on the opposite ends of the stream, ready to drink water. When the deer sensed that the younger brother was aiming at him, it went and hid behind the bushes.
Frustrated, the younger brother threw his bow and arrow away and asked the deer to come out and satiate its thirst. He further promised that he would never kill an animal. The deer and the younger brother drank the water to their heart’s content. In order to make sure his younger brother would make good on his promise, the elder brother decided to remain in the deer form forever.
…now that you’re here
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Kalai is passionate about reading and reinterpreting folk tales from all over the country. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about her.
Folk tale adopted and abridged from Stories for Posterity.