Once upon a time two men from a remote village in the
Mahiyangana area were ambling along a jungle road talking of this and that
(occasionally scratching their backsides) chewing Betel and spitting red betel
juice all over the place whilst the women folk were busy working in the fields.
This is rather typical of Srilankan villagers.
of this story: This was an original goody-goody story which appeared in the
"Kumaraodaya", a Sinhala text for grade 1 in the 1950s. Our version has
a goody-goody ending as well but the ending may be unsuitable for
The two men were friends by the way.
You Go Down To The Woods Today You're In For A Big Surprise...
Suddenly, they heard a low growl just like
that of a Bear and the next minute a Bear appeared. Sound travels faster than
The two men panicked and would
have nearly soiled their underwear except that they were not wearing
One man thought quickly, tucked
his sarong into an Amude (thereby exposing his buttocks, but that's by the way)
and quickly clambered up a nearby tree which unfortunately was full of red ants
but red ant bites are far preferable to Bear bites.
other man thought equally quickly and came up with the same idea but was
handicapped by the fact that he couldn't climb trees. (This was the result of a
bad childhood accident when he fell out of a tree and nearly ended up singing
soprano.) He therefore abandoned the idea of following his friend's example.
The friend was by now rapidly becoming an ex-friend for having abandoned ship!
He thought a little bit
Meanwhile the bear was advancing
in slow motion like they do in wildlife films. "Jaws"-like
Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum music was playing on the soundtrack. The man
decided that the only thing to do was to lie down and pretend to be dead. He
had read a story about two men and a bear.
He proceeded to lie face down on the ground. In his haste he didn't notice the
freshly deposited cow dung but a faceful of steaming cow dung is better than
being mauled by a bear.
In any case
it could have been bull shit instead of cow dung which is the sort of minor
technical detail that crosses one's mind when lying helplessly face down in the
path of a charging bear.
The bear was a little
bit confused because he had never seen these hairless apes behaving like this.
He of course knew that hairy apes - the ones with tails - regularly climbed
trees, exposed their pink buttocks and did crazy things like grooming each
other. But to see the hairless apes climbing trees and exposing their
disgusting non-pink buttocks or lying like that in cow dung was a new one on
The hairless apes are crazier
than the hairy ones thought the bear. Maybe they should have stayed up in the
trees as well thought the bear.
Under the circumstances he decided to approach cautiously and
silently and having turned off the sound effects.
The bear sniffed around the man on the ground.
Bears are fussy. Villagers don't wash often and there emanating from the man
was strong body odour mixed with the strong smell of cow dung. The bear sniffed
around the man's ears and was disgusted to note the accumulation of dirt behind
the ears. These hairless apes are filthy, he thought.
"Bugger this!" said the bear to himself and
disappeared back into the jungle. (Technical Note: Bears hunt singly and have
no choice but to speak to themselves.)
Relieved, the man got up and refused to speak to
his so called friend who had abandoned ship.
"Never mind that but what did the bear whisper in
you ear?" asked the guy up the tree climbing down and releasing his
"I am not telling
"Aw, c'mon now! No secrets
between friends! What did the bear say to you? Kiyapang Yakko!"
"I am not telling you! Palayang
"You've got cow dung on your
"I am not telling you! Palayang
"I'll kick you in the
" Oh all right I will tell
you. The bear told me to invest all my savings on the SriLankan Stock
Exchange as it is going to be a Bull Market. "
This was an exciting bit of inside information.
As everybody knows stock market performance is referred to as a "Bull Market"
or a "Bear Market" and it therefore stands to reason that bears should be
knowledgeable on market movements.(So are bulls but this story is about a
The next day the guy who had abandoned his friend
and had climbed up the tree took all his savings and behaving in his usual
sneaky, smarmy, furtive and oily manner took the 0800 bus from Mahiyangana to
Colombo via Hunnasgiriya and Kandy without telling his friend or even his wife.
He ended up in Colombo Fort and had some difficulty in finding the stock
exchange as Colombo is full of touts and it is dangerous to carry a lot of
money. Eventually, he managed to find the place and invested all his
Ahhh! he thought. Tomorrow morning I will be a
That night he slept on
the Galle Face Green and dreamed of millions, a Benz car, whisky and girls in
The next day the
SriLankan Stock Exchange plunged dramatically taking with it our friend's
savings. Our friend took a plunge as well
..in typical stockmarket
investor/broker fashion....from the top floor of the Ceylinco
The falling part of it
didn't actually kill him but hitting the ground at the end of the fall did. He
had precisely 2.83 seconds to think of this which is how long it takes to fall
from the Ceylinco Building.
1.Revenge is sweet!
2.Stockbrokers' advice is a load of bull!