The Auto-Rickshaw Driver Who Honked His Horn

This is the Aesop fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, retold by me, about the lovely city of Bangalore


There once was an auto-rickshaw driver who was bored as he drove around in his auto, causing traffic jams as he weaved in and out of lanes to pick up passengers. To amuse himself he beeped his horn for no good reason at all, startling the pedestrians crossing the street and the motorcycles whizzing past.

Cars swerved and pedestrians jumped, fearing they were about to be hit. But when the drivers and passers-by looked around, they found no vehicles in their path. The auto driver laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

“Don’t beep your horn for no reason, auto driver,” said the others, “when there’s no one in your way!” They drove away, shaking their heads.

Later, the auto driver beeped his horn again, BEEP! BEEP! To his naughty delight, he watched the other drivers bob and swerve to get out of his path.

When the other drivers saw no speeding cars barreling towards them they sternly said, “Save your horn for when there is really something wrong! Don’t beep your horn when there is no one in your way!”

But the driver just grinned and watched them drive away, shaking their heads once more and disappearing back into the traffic.

Later, the auto driver was approaching a giant intersection with a red light. It was late at night without much traffic, which as we all know means stopping is optional. All of the sudden, a big truck came speeding up from the other direction. Already in the middle of the intersection, the auto driver  beeped his horn as loudly as he could BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEP!

But the truck driver didn’t slow, he had gotten so used to hearing horns everywhere he went, that it had lost all meaning.

At sunset, the auto driver’s family wondered why he hadn’t returned home after work. They went to his normal driving spot and found him standing next to a smashed auto.

“There was a really big truck driver here! He didn’t see my auto and he ran it over! I beeped my horn but he didn’t even notice! I escaped just in time! Why didn’t he stop?”

An old man tried to comfort the driver as they all walked home.

“We’ll help you fix your auto in the morning,” he said, putting his arm around the auto driver, “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth!”




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