"Fables" will be an ongoing thing which will be updated as and when I read or hear some story worth mentioning. These are not personal accounts & hence are not original work.
Gurudev Drona used to perform a Yadnya every year. Each of his disciple was supposed to get a live animal to be sacrificed in the Yadnya. When asked about this strange ritual the Guru had replied that this increased a persons courage & self - reliance. Karna at all the previous years had offered a deer, antelope, a wild boar, etc. This year he wished to take with him something different which he hadn't captured as yet & thought a tiger would make an ideal sacrificial offering. He roamed the entire length of the forest. He came across all sorts of different animals, but a tiger was nowhere in sight. Thirsty with his efforts he finally came upon the banks of the Bahuda & bent low to drink some water. Just as he was about to take a drink a massive black & white spotted cheetah pounced on him. Karna lost his balance & fell in the river. Karna fought the cheetah for a better part of an hour...& continued fighting till the cheetah was too tired to move. Pulling out a long creeper from a nearby tree Karna bound the cheetahs hind & fore legs & dragged it to the ashram alive. He tossed the thus bound but alive cheetah in the enclosure where all other sacrificial offerings were kept & went off to sleep.
The next day, while the Yadnya was in progress a student informed Gurudev Drona that someone had bought a cheetah as an offering. Gurudev rushed outside while Karna thought that today finally he will get his due credit & his efforts & valour will be recognised. But that was not to be!!! The Guru asked that the cheetah be set free. When asked the reason he replied that a Yadnya is performed for peace of mind & hence it is forbidden to sacrifice a cheetah.
Karna was disgusted with the lesson Gurudev had unknowingly taught him. He could never fathom as to why cruel & predatory animals like the cheetah are spared while harmless creatures like goats & deers are sacrificed.
Source:- Mrutyunjay by Shivaji Sawant