The Loyal Dog and the Loyal King

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The Loyal Dog and the Loyal King

A Hindu Story adapted by Ralph Roberts

Adapted for younger children by: Carrie Berger

Spiritual Theme: Letting Go


  • Light blue underlay shaped in an ark

  • Four brown felt mountains each a different height

  • King piece (wood)

  • Queen piece (wood)

  • Two brothers (wood)

  • Dog piece (wood)

  • Indra piece

  • Dharma piece

  • World Religions Source symbol;

Now, watch carefully where I go to get the story so that later, if you wish to make it your work, you will be able to find it.
Our story today comes from the Hindu religion. Do you see this symbol anywhere else in our Spirit Play room?
Point out Hindu symbol on basket.
Let’s see what we need to get ready for our story.
Spread out light blue underlay, upside down and right-side up.
Look what we have here. Which way does this go? Should it lay this way, or maybe this way?
Place the mountains in place one at a time with the smaller peaks to the right and the larger peaks to the left. As you lay them out say….
Oh, and look at these. They are triangles. They are dark. Maybe they are pyramids? I wonder?
This is a story about a king.
Place king at the base of the smallest peak.
It is a story about a king who had a wife who loved him very much.
Place the queen and brothers beside the king.
The king also had brothers who loved him dearly. This king ruled over his kingdom for many years.
With your index finger trace a small circle around the figures to represent the kingdom.

He protected the people well. And after years of battles the king decided it was time for someone else to rule his kingdom. He was going to be done with ruling. He would make the long journey to the land of immortals, the land where people live forever.

Trace a diagonal line from the smallest peak to the largest peak, and shake your head.
It would be a long, long journey. But he was ready to go.
Move king slightly away from the other figures showing that he has begun his journey.
But though he insisted that he should go alone his family would not let him go. His wife and brothers said they would go with him.
Move queen and brothers nearer to king.
And so it would be.
Begin moving figures slowly up the second peak, saying…
It was a long trip. The king worried about his family. He didn’t want them to get injured. Now before long the group realized they were being followed.
Place dog halfway up the second peak so that he can be seen at a distance from the family though still nearby.
Their traveling companion was a dog. Now this king and his family lived long ago in a different land. They believed that dogs spread diseases which could make people very sick. They also believed that dogs were unholy and if you touched a dog you could not speak to the gods. So they kept their distance from the dog.
Begin moving the family to the valley between the second and third peak. Have the dog follow behind. As you do this say….
It was such a long journey and they were getting lonely. They started to like having the dog follow them because he was good company. Although they fed him they still did not touch him.
Continue moving the group to the top of the fourth peak.
During the long hard journey the queen got sick and they were all very tired. The queen and the brothers decided not to go on further with the king. The king had to continue up the mountain alone.
Place queen and brothers back in the story basket.

The king was sad and lonely and not sure he could go on. But he had come so far that he didn’t want to quit. So he and the dog journeyed on to the land of the immortals.

Move king and dog half way up the final peak.
Finally the king reached to top of the mountain and saw a flash of light. The light was Indra the god of a thousand eyes. Indra welcomed the king and invited him into the land of the immortals where he could live in happiness forever.
Place Indra, King, and dog on peak of mountain.
The king said he could not enter without the dog who had faithfully followed him the entire way and kept him company and comforted him when he was sad.
Touch Indra and say…
King you know this can not be. Dogs are unholy he can not come in with you.
Touch the king, shake your head, and say…
But the king stood his ground and told Indra he would be faithful to the dog even if it meant he could not enter the land of immortals. The king bent down to pet the dog and turned to leave. Then there was another flash of light.
Place the Dharma piece on top of the dog.
The dog turned into Dharma, the god of justice. The king couldn’t believe his eyes! Dharma the god of justice was even more powerful than Indra. Dharma said to the king, “you have been a good friend and chose compassion, love, and kindness over the rewards of heaven. Truly you deserve reward. Enter the land of immortals and live happily forever.”
Wondering Questions:

  • I wonder if you have ever seen or heard any of this before?

  • I wonder which part of this story is the most important?

  • I wonder which part you like the best?

  • I wonder where you might be in this story?

  • I wonder if there is a part of the story that we could leave out and still have a story?

  • I wonder if there is a land where people live forever?

  • I wonder how it felt to make this long trip? Why was it hard?

  • I wonder why the dog could not enter the land of the immortals?

  • I wonder how hard it was for the king to let the dog go?

  • I wonder if a dog or other animal has ever kept you company or made you happy when you felt sad? Or made you feel brave?

  • I wonder where the Spirit of Love and Mystery is in this story?

Now watch how I put this story away, so that if you make it your work, you will be able to get it ready for the next person.

Place each object back into the basket in reverse order, naming them as you go, and then fold up the underlay and place on the basket before you take the basket to the shelf.

Now watch where I go to put this basket away so that you will know where it is found in the classroom.

Place basket on shelf.

Layout Worship Woodworks materials:

The Loyal Dog and the Loyal King younger version

World Religions


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