Mandavisarpini was a white flea. She lived in the folds of the exquisite white silk sheet that covered the bed of a king in a certain country.
She fed on the king’s blood without anybody noticing, and was happy to spend her days.
One day, a bug managed to enter the beautifully decorated bedroom of the king.
When the flea saw him, she warned, “O Bug, what are you doing in the king’s bedroom. Leave at once before you get caught!”
The bug replied, “Madam, even if I were a good-for-nothing bug, that is no way to treat a guest. One should welcome a guest with humble words, sweet behaviour and offer refreshments”
The bug continued, “I have fed myself with all types of blood, but never have I had the pleasure of the blood of a king. It must be very sweet, for the king eats the choicest of food. I would love to taste the king’s blood, if you permit.”
The flea was taken aback, “O Bug, you have a nasty bite, like a sharp needle. Besides, I feed on the king’s blood only when he is deep into his sleep. I can permit you to feed on the king’s blood only if you promise to wait till he is asleep.”
The bug agreed, “I promise to wait till the king is asleep, and only after you have fed yourself, will I feed myself on his blood.”
Soon after they decided on such terms, the king came to his bedroom and lay down to sleep.
The bug could not control himself, and decided to take a tiny bite of the king, without waiting. As the king was yet to fall asleep, he jumped at the sharp bite of the bug.
The king shouted at his servants, “Hey, there is something in my bed that has bitten me. Look for it, as I have already been bitten.”
On hearing this, the bug quickly hid himself in a corner of the bed, before the servants could start searching for him.
However, the servants scrutinized the entire bed, sheet by sheet, and found the flea between the folds. They killed her at once, and the king went to sleep without anymore worries.
The wise indeed say:
The false promises of friends as well as strangers have no value. You end up paying for it.