28. The Judgement of Baboon
Mouse had torn the clothes of the tailor, who then went to Baboon, and accused Mouse with these words:
“Mouse has torn my clothes, but denies it, and accuses Cat; Cat protests likewise her innocence, and says, ‘Dog must have done it’; but Dog denies it also, and declares Wood has done it; and Wood throws the blame on Fire, and says, ‘Fire did it’; Fire says, ‘I have not, Water did it’; Water says, ‘Elephant tore the clothes’; and Elephant says, ‘Ant tore them.’ Thus a dispute has arisen among them. Therefore, I, Tailor, come to you with this proposition: Assemble them all and try them in order so that I may get satisfaction.”
Baboon assembled them for trial. Then they made the same excuses which had been mentioned by Tailor, each one putting the blame upon the other.
So Baboon did not see any other way of punishing them, save through making them punish each other; he therefore said,
“Mouse, give Tailor satisfaction.”
Mouse, however, pleaded not guilty. But Baboon said, “Cat, bite Mouse.” She did so.
He then put the same question to Cat, and when she denied everything, Baboon called to Dog, “Here, bite Cat.”
In this manner Baboon questioned them all, one after the other, but they each denied the charge. Then he addressed the following words to them, and said,
“Wood, beat Dog.
Fire, burn Wood.
Water, quench Fire.
Elephant, drink Water.
Ant, bite Elephant.”
They did so, and since that day they can no longer agree with each other.
Ant bites Elephant.
Elephant swallows Water.
Water quenches Fire.
Fire consumes Wood.
Wood beats Dog.
Dog bites Cat.
And Cat bites Mouse.
Through this judgment Tailor got satisfaction and said to Baboon:
“Yes! Now I am content, since I have received satisfaction, and with all my heart I thank you, Baboon, because you have exercised justice on my behalf and given me justice.”
Since that time Baboon walks on all fours, having probably lost the privilege of walking erect through this foolish judgment.