c. 300: India
In a certain region lived a donkey named Pushy.
In the daytime he had to carry loads of washing, but at night he was free to roam wherever
he wished. Once, as he was roaming about in
the fields, he met a jackal with whom he struck
up a friendship. The two of them once broke
through a fence and got into the cucumber
beds, where they ate as much cucumber as they
could, and each returned to his own place in
the early morning.
One night the donkey, puffed up with conceit, stood in the middle of the field of cucumbers and said to the jackal, “My dear nephew,
see how bright the night is, so clear, I feel like
singing. Now tell me which raga shall I sing?”
“Uncle dear,” answered the jackal apprehensively, “why do you wish to stir up trouble? For we are engaged in the business of
thievery. Thieves and lovers should go quietly
about their business, as you know. Besides,
Uncle, your singing is not mellifluous like
the tones of conchs. Further, the farmers who
keep watch in the fields can hear you even at
a distance. They will come and bind you with
The Music Lesson, by Louis Moritz, 1808.