THE SWEET BAMBOO
[Author] Partha Desikan [Source] SULEKHA文学博客网博客
In a forest near a natural opening there was a clump of tall grasses. Purely by chance, there was one sugarcane near one bamboo, both young though quite tall.
Boys and girls in the nearby village had not so far discovered the clearing.
Meanwhile the bamboo and the sugarcane became great friends. The cane liked the fresh fragrance in the air. The bamboo enjoyed the cane juice flavor in the air.
When there was a gentle breeze they swayed and danced together. When there were strong winds they tried to hold each other so that they would not be uprooted. The rains came and they enjoyed getting wet together. The sun shone and they loved to air themselves in the warmth. At night they wondered about the moon and made up stories for each other.
Boys and girls in the neighboring village had not yet found the clearing.
But one little mouse had found its way to the clump. With its sharp little teeth it made some holes in the lowest rung of the bamboo. With its sharp little teeth it bit into the sugarcane and drank some of the juice.
It laughed at the bamboo.
'Oh Bamboo, you are just a hollow pole!'
It smiled admiringly at the sugarcane.
'Oh Sugarcane, how sweet your juice is!'
The bamboo wondered. Am I not as good as the sugarcane? It asked the cane.
Why is your juice alone sweet?
The cane replied- So what? We are good friends anyway, are we not?
Boys and girls of the village had still not found the clearing.
But one mouse had spoiled the scene.
There were gentle breezes. But the bamboo and the sugarcane did not sway together. When there was a strong wind the bamboo tried to cling on to any strange grass. If the sugarcane tried to hold on to it, it appeared that the bamboo did not like it.
The sugarcane thought, 'Is my juice sweet? Is not friendship sweeter than sugarcane juice?
The sugarcane spoke to the bamboo. The bamboo did not listen.
Then there came a hermit.
Boys and girls of the neighboring village had even now not found the clearing.
But one mouse had. And now a hermit
This wise man listened to animals, birds, plants and trees. He felt with animals, birds, plants and trees. He smiled at the bamboo.
A gentle breeze was then blowing. It was passing through the holes in the bamboo made by the mouse. The hermit spoke to the bamboo:
What nice notes you make? What sweet music is coming out of you?
The bamboo shook itself from its sadness.
'What? Sweet? Me?'
'Yes' said the hermit. 'You are so beautifully hollow. Therefore when the breeze passes through your holes, music is produced. The music is indeed sweet, divine.'
The sugarcane agreed. It spoke to the hermit.
'Sir, each one of us must be sweet in one way or the other, is that not so?'