Folk tales of Manipur
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In this article I am going to share one of the folk stories/ fables of Manipur. This story is about a frog who defeats both an Elephant and a Tiger and in the process got himself a good friend and got rid of a ruthless tiger from the jungle.

Brief introduction



Manipur is a small state in the North-eastern parts of India. It is known for it`s rich culture and tradition. It is the habitat of the endangered bow-antled deer- Sangai and has India`s largest fresh water lake- The Loktak lake. Knowledge has been passed through to the younger generation through folk tales/fables also known as `Phunga wari`. Phunga is the traditional Meeitei fireplace for cooking and `wari` means story. While cooking mothers used to tell the children these stories. I am sharing such a phunga wari with you. I hope that you will appreciate it and also the culture of Manipur.



How the frog defeated the elephant and the tiger. 


Long time back, there was a jungle where lived a fearless and equally ruthless tiger. All the animals in the jungle were afraid of him and no one dared to come near to the tiger. Also in the jungle was a strong and daring elephant. He had heard lot about the tiger and wanted to have a duel with him.
One day the elephant went to the tiger and challenged to have a duel and whoever wins it will be the king of the jungle. The tiger accepted the challenge and came out to fight with the elephant.
The tiger roared so loudly that it seemed that the mountains were on the verge of collapse, the elephant trumped so loudly that the whole jungle was shaking. Finally the duel began and both of them fought with equal valor. However at last the tiger won the battle. The tiger had just had his food so he was not in a mood to eat, so he decided to let the elephant live and thought he will kill him when it is time to eat.
So he kept the elephant captive and went out for roaming in the jungle. The dejected elephant was feeling very low and lonely, he saw a frog nearby and asked him to come. But it turned out that the frog was sleeping and got angry at the loud voice of elephant. He challenged the elephant for a race to prove that he is stronger than the elephant. To this the elephant accepted the challenge and both got ready to begin the race. They made a finishing line and decided whoever reaches it first is the strongest of the two.
When the race began, the frog jumped on the top of the elephant, the elephant not knowing this kept running hard and finally when he was about to reach the finishing line, the frog jumped from the top of the elephant and reached the finishing line first.
The elephant applauded the frog`s wit and they both became good friends. When the elephant told the story about the tiger and told him that he will kill him as soon as he returns from his walk, the frog assured him to be calm and he will take care of the tiger. He asked the elephant to hide in some place when the tiger comes and told him that he will deal with the tiger.
When the tiger came back from his walk, he got furious not to see the elephant in his captivity. He asked the frog where was the elephant and what he was doing there. The frog headstrong as the tiger got angry with tigers statement and both began to argue. Finally another race was fixed and they both agreed that whoever wins the race will be the king of the jungle.
The frog used the same tactics and finally the Tiger was defeated. The embarrassed tiger left the jungle and never came back. This way the witty frog saved the elephant`s life and they stayed as friends for the rest of their lives.

Moral of the story


Wits and intelligence is better than strength.