The Bráhman and the Lion—p. 254.

There are few fables more widely spread than this, certainly in various forms, but always with the same result. In another work I have adduced a number of versions European and Asiatic,* and shall content myself with citing in this place a rather unique version from Mrs. Meer Hasan Ali's Observations on the Mussul-mans of India, vol. ii, p. 330ff.:

A certain man is travelling on horseback through an immense forest, and observes fire consuming some bushes, in the centre of which is a great snake, who implores the traveller to save him. The traveller throws down his horse-bag and the snake creeps into it, and when the horseman takes it up and releases the snake the latter is about to bite him, and so forth. Having appealed to the pípal-tree and received the same answer as that of the banyan in our version, the two meet a camel-driver, who says the snake is right—it is “the way of the world” to return evil for good, and tells his own story: “I was,” says he, “sole proprietor of a very fine strong camel, by whose labour I earned a handsome livelihood, in conveying goods, and sometimes travellers, from place to place, as fortune served me. One day, returning home through an intricate wood, I approached a poor blind man, who was seated on the ground lamenting his hard fate. Hearing my camel's feet advance he redoubled his cries of distress, calling loud for help. He told me that he had been attacked by robbers, and that his boy-guide had been forced from him and taken as a slave. I seated him on my beast and proceeded with him to the city where he said he resided. Arriving there, I offered to assist the poor man to alight, but to my astonishment he began abus­ing me for my barefaced wickedness, collected a crowd about us by his cries for help from his persecutor, declared himself the master of the camel, and accused me of attempting to rob him now, as I had done his brother before. Hearing this plausible speech, the people dragged me before the judge, who sentenced me to be thrust out of the city with threat of greater punishment should I ever return. Therefore I say, the reward of good is evil.” The fox is then appealed to with the usual result of leav­ing the ungrateful snake in the flames, there “to fry in his own fat.”—This story of the camel-driver is somewhat analogous to that of the Setti and the Blind Man—ante, p. 215 ff.