A collection of Indian tales of wit, wisdom, humour, bravery, devotion and lots more...

Mind Your Business!!

This is a story from Hitopadesha.

In ancient India, there lived a washerman, in a village. In those times, people used to give their clothes to  washermen, who used to take the clothes to the river, wash and dry them and give it back to their customers and earn their livelihood. This washerman, had a nice sturdy donkey to carry his load of clothes to the river and back and he loved his donkey very much. He also had a dog in his house to guard his house.

The dog also did his duty well by escorting his master whenever he went to the river and also keeping an eye for any thief during night. Somehow, the washerman loved the donkey more than the dog. After some time, the dog realised that his master was partial to the donkey. The donkey was being fed well and on some days the dog starved. The dog was very dejected.

One night, a thief came in the dark of the night and was trying to enter the house of the washerman. He was trying to remove the bars from the window of the front room of the washerman’s house. The dog saw this, but kept quiet and did not bark. The donkey, who was also in the stable saw this and was surprised that the dog did not bark.

“My friend,” he said. “Can you not see the thief trying to enter our master’s house? Why are you pretending not to see? Is it not your duty to bark and alert the master? Is it not your duty to protect the master’s house? Get up and go!”

The dog gave a stare at the donkey and said, “Look, the master has not been treating me properly lately. What to talk of a loving glance, he does not even feed me properly and I go hungry often. Let the thief come and rob the house. Only will he realise the importance of treating me well.”

The donkey, still not believing the dog’s words said “But… but.. is it not your duty eh? Atleast frighten the thief, go!”

“Mind your business” said the dog. “Do not talk to me about my duty. I know what to do when”.

The donkey was upset and angry at the dog’s attitude. “Well”, he said, “if you are not going to bark and alert the master, I shall bray and alert him” So saying he started braying in a loud voice, “hee haw…hee haw… hee haw….” he went on and on.

The thief was startled by the unexpected braying of the donkey and fled the scene. The washerman got irritated as his sleep was disturbed and thought that somebody might have harmed the donkey and ran out to the stable but he saw that the donkey was braying away merrily with no one in sight. He got really angry with the donkey for disturbing his sleep. He took a stick lying nearby and thrashed the poor donkey black and blue.

The donkey took a long time to recover from the pain but very quickly understood that it is always good to mind one’s business and never give advice unless sought!!






Tilakashta Mahisha Bandhanam


From The Bhagavatham – The Story Of Dhruva


  1. Ram Mohan Narasimhan

    Nice story. Very apt picture too! Next time, the donkey should bite the dog or kick the dog hard so that the dog starts howling in pain and the washerman wakes up

  2. mohanprevadi@uiic.co.in

    A short and nice story with a message for all. Good one. Thanking you,

    With Regards,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén