This is a story of an old woman who lived by herself (alone) in a village. One day she decided to visit her daughter in the neighboring (nearby) village. Now, the only way to reach the village was to cross the jungle. The jungle was dense (thick) and home to many wild animals. It was very dangerous. The old woman did not have any strength in her bones to fight the animals, but she had the wit to (was clever enough to do the right things to) face them. She packed her clothes and some goodies (something attractive) for her daughter in a bag, and headed for (went in the direction of) the forest.
The first part of the journey was peaceful. It was getting dark. She had one hour further to go. Just then, she noticed a lion sitting in the middle of her path. She turned to go another way, but the lion saw her. He roared to her and said “Old woman! Where are you headed? Come here. I am hungry and want to eat you!” The old woman was witty. Neither did she get frightened (scared; afraid) nor did she run away. She turned to the lion and said “Oh King of the jungle, please don’t eat me now. Look at me! I am so thin! I am heading to my daughter’s house. There I shall eat all the best of things and fatten myself up (make myself fatter) for you. I will be back in a month. You can eat me then.” The lion agreed to the well- thought-out (thoughtful) plan of the old woman. He said “Okay, you have to promise you will meet me here in a month”. The old woman promised him and continued her journey.
After a few steps, a Leopard comes from behind the bushes and stops in front of her. He says “Stop Old Woman. I am going to eat you”. The old woman repeats what she said to the lion. “Oh strong one, please don’t eat me now. Look at me! I am so frail (weak and old) and thin! I am heading to my daughter’s house. There I shall eat all the best of things and fatten myself up for you. I will be back in a month. You can eat me then.” The leopard lets her go after she promises that she will meet him.
She has almost reached the end of the jungle, when a Cheetah runs to block her path (way). The Cheetah says “This is your unlucky day old woman. I am going to eat you”. The old woman repeats what she said to the lion and the leopard.” Oh fast one, don’t eat me now. Look at me! I am so frail and thin! I am heading to my daughter’s house. There I shall eat all the best of things and fatten myself up for you. I will be back in a month. You can eat me then.” The cheetah also stands away from her path when she promises to meet him in a month.
The old woman finally crosses the jungle and reaches her daughters house. Her daughter is very happy to see her. She says “Mama, I’m so glad you are here to meet me! But, look at you! You have grown so thin! I am going to make you something special to eat right away (immediately). The old woman’s daughter prepares her a delicious meal. And so the old woman has a feast (a very good large meal) for every meal.
One month passes. The old woman now becomes nice and fat. It is now time to head back home. The old woman remembers that she has to meet the cheetah, leopard and lion on her way back. She packs some chili powder in three packets and puts them in her pocket. She bids farewell (says goodbye) to her daughter and leaves, ready to face (deal with) the journey home.
She enters the jungle and reaches the place where she had met the cheetah. He is waiting for her.
The cheetah says “You are back old woman. And I can see you have fattened up. Now I am going to eat you”.
The old woman replies “Yes, I am back as I promised. You can come to eat me now”. The Cheetah sprints (runs very fast) towards her and jumps into the air to attack her. Just as he is about to land on her, she takes the chili packet out of her pocket and throws it into the Cheetah’s eyes. The chili powder burns into the cheetah’s eyes. He cries out in pain and falls down. He lies on the ground rubbing his eyes. The old woman takes this opportunity to run away.
She runs as fast as she could. After some time, she meets the leopard. The leopard is happy to see her and looks at her hungrily. He says “I am glad you kept your promise. It is time for me to eat you now.” The old woman replies “Yes, I am back as promised. You can come and eat me now”. The leopard leaps (jumps) into the air, and just as he is about to reach for her throat, she throws chili powder from the second packet into his eyes. The leopard falls to the ground in extreme (too much) pain. The old woman gets a chance to run away.
The old woman now has to only face the lion. She finds him waiting for her exactly at the same place where she saw him first. He is extremely hungry and angry as well. He says “I am glad that you have come, old woman. I have not had anything to eat for two days.” Without saying anything further and without waiting for her reply, he jumps at her. The old woman is, however, prepared (ready). She throws the last packet of chili powder into the lion’s eyes. The lion roars out loudly from the pain and falls on the ground writhing in pain (twisting in pain). The old woman runs away from the blinded lion.
She finally reaches the end of the jungle and enters her village. When she narrates (tells) this story to the villagers, they are in awe (admire her). To this day, the story of the brave and clever woman- how she tricked a lion, leopard and a cheetah- is told to the children of the village.
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