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Four friends head into the world to seek fortune and fame, but which will live to tell the tale?

The bones of the story:

  • Four friends go into into the world to find adventure and wealth.
  • Three are well-educated, one has only common sense.
  • On the way, scholars discuss whether they should send their uneducated friend back or refuse to share their future wealth with him. because he can add nothing to their efforts.
  • Shot down by one of the scholars – “We’ve been friends since childhood!”
  • Come across skeleton of a large animal in the forest.
  • Three educated friends want to show off their skills and in turns, suggest bringing the animal back to life.
  • The first reassembles the skeleton, the second clothes the skeleton with blood and flesh and skin.
  • The uneducated friend, who all the while has been quiet, points out that the creature appears to be a lion and will eat the friends if revived.
  • Third scholar says “Nonsense – you just don’t understand”.
  • The uneducated friend asks for a moment so that he can climb a nearby tree.
  • Life is breathed into the animal.
  • Lion promptly eats the scholars.
  • Once it slinks away, the uneducated man climbs down the tree and returns home alone and safely.


  • Tale from the Panchatantra. Good translation by Arthur W Ryder available here.