A collection of Indian tales of wit, wisdom, humour, bravery, devotion and lots more...

Category: Animal Tales Page 2 of 3

Power of the Mind

Long long ago, in a village in North India, there lived a well-to-do farmer named Balbir. He was a hard worker and was very sincere and so naturally, he earned a good amount of money. His wife was also a sweet-natured lady.
Unfortunately, his wife died during childbirth of their first child, a son, who was named Ganesh. Balbir married again, but the second wife Seetha was equally a good natured and kind woman. She treated Ganesh as her own child and Ganesh never got to know that his mother had died. In due course Balbir had two more sons, Umesh and Naresh and the couple brought up all the three sons equally well and even Naresh and Umesh did not know that Ganesh was their step brother.

The boys were also hard working and toiled with their father and Balbir had acquired considerable wealth in the form of lands. Balbir was also good in managing the lands productively. Balbir grew old and died one day. Ganesh took up his father’s place and showed that he was equally capable in managing the lands. Their wealth continued to grow.
There were a couple of jealous neighbours who were always looking for an opportunity to pull down Balbir’s growth and now that he was not around anymore, they got a chance. They casually mentioned to Naresh and Umesh that Ganesh was actually their step brother and it was he who was wielding the baton now and if left unchecked, he could any day drive away Naresh and Umesh.

The brothers were shocked. They went to their mother and demanded to know the truth. The mother admitted that as for his being their step brother, what the neighbours told was true. “But sons,” said she, “Ganesh Bhaiyya is so affectionate to you. Why on the earth do you imagine that he would drive you away?” The brothers were unwilling to relent. Naresh said, “I am so angry that I want to murder him” Umesh added, “My blood boils to think that we have been sharing our wealth with a step brother. Hmmph..I want to get rid of him forever!” Seetha, a kind soul as she was felt very distressed to see their anger and wanted to teach them a lesson. “Okay sons,” she said, “You do not show your anger thus. I will get rid of him”. The sons were pacified.

A few days later, Naresh and Umesh had gone to see their cousin in the next village. That night, Ganesh and his mother were asleep. Suddenly Ganesh heard his mother scream loud “Snake! Snake!” Ganesh woke up with a start and took up the stick near his bed. “Where mother? Where is it?”, he asked looking around everywhere. Seetha, with a frightened look on her face said, “I… I saw it.. entering your mouth and it vanished…” Saying thus, she fainted.
Ganesh was shell-shocked as he had this habit of sleeping with his mouth open. He immediately sprinkled some water on his mother and she woke up. He comforted her saying that it must be a dream and she went back to sleep. But that night changed Ganesh totally. He became very worried and kept on thinking of the snake. He could not rest his mind.
Slowly over the days, he was not talking much and was always seen with a worried and depressed look. He did not eat much and did not do any physical work. He did not seem to be interested in any material thing. This took a toll on his health and within two weeks he became bed-ridden.

His younger brothers were feeling gleeful for without physically getting rid of him, he was now out of active life and now they had all the wealth to themselves to manage and they totally ignored Ganesh and started to take their own decisions. The jealous neighbours were waiting for this day. Slowly, they started interfering in the brothers’ decisions and imposing their will. One of them even occupied a chunk of land belonging to the brothers, by putting up a small house, on the pretext that it was to supervise the rice planting in his field which was nearby. The other neighbour also was planning a similar exercise on another portion of the land. Umesh and Naresh could physically work very hard no doubt, but they did not possess the assertiveness or shrewdness that their elder brother Ganesh had.

Slowly, Umesh and Naresh started to realise that they were being taken for a ride by the neighbours and in no time, the neighbours would usurp the whole of their wealth. For the first time, they felt very sore about their own attitude towards Ganesh. They felt that if Ganesh had been around, all this could have been averted. That night they spoke out their mind to their mother and told her that they realised how mean they were. “We thought of killing Bhaiyya,” said Naresh. “We are ashamed, mother, of how bad we have been” echoed Umesh. “Poor Bhaiyya, we have not been even talking to him for the past two months. After how well he has protected father’s property, we realise how good he is, and….mother, as you said, we feel Ganesh Bhaiyya would not have even dreamt of chasing us away”. He continued, “But, what is the use now, Bhaiyya is bed-ridden and looks miserable. I do not know whether we can save him even. I shall go to the town tomorrow and find out if the Vaid (doctor) can come home and see Bhaiyya”.

Seetha saw that the brothers had realised their folly. She told them, “ Naresh and Umesh, before you go to the doctor, go to the temple of the Goddess in the hills and stay a night there and offer prayers. Then you can come home and go to the doctor”. “As you say, mother said the brothers and started for the temple the very next morning.

That night, again, Ganesh heard his mother shriek in the middle of the night. “Snake” she cried, “Ganesh, a snake!!!” Ganesh was not able to get up. But Seetha got up and lit a lamp and happily said, Ganesh, I saw the same snake which entered your mouth, go out of your mouth. There… there, it slid out through the window.” Ganesh who was so weak and could not even sit up, slowly got up. His face had a relieved look. “Are you sure mother? “ he asked. “Yes” said Seetha. It was the same snake. It got out of your mouth and slid away”. That was enough. Ganesh was up early in the morning and was feeling hungry. Seetha gladly gave him breakfast. He ate well that day and chatted with his mother on the goings on in their lands. When he heard about the antics of the neighbours, he was furious and vowed to shoo them away from their land.

The next day when Naresh and Umesh returned, they were pleasantly surprised to see Ganesh sitting up in his bed and eating. They fell at his feet and asked for forgiveness for their rude behaviour. Ganesh had not a wee bit of hatred and he embraced them and told them, he would be up soon and would start working. Both the brothers were relieved and so was Seetha.

For, she knew the Power of the Mind!!

The Cranes And The Serpent – The enemy of an enemy is not always a friend!!!

This is a story from the Hitopadesha. Hitopadesha as the name suggests is Hitha+Upadesha in Sanskrit which means, benevolent advice. This set of stories named as Hitopadesha is said to have been written in Sanskrit, by a person by name Narayana Pandit in the 12th century for a King by name Dhavalachandra.

It is understood that Emperor Akbar was very much impressed by these stories and had them translated by none other than Abul Fazl. Like Panchatantra, most of the characters are animals, birds and reptiles in these stories also.

This story tells us that an enemy’s enemy need not always be a friend. Further, when any action is proposed to be taken it is always better to be farsighted instead of looking for quick fix solutions.

Long long ago on the banks of river Airavati (present day River Ravi), there lived a couple of cranes on a fig tree.
Though the river ensured them plenty of fish, the cranes were very unhappy. The reason for their unhappiness was a serpent that lived in a burrow at the bottom of the tree. The serpent ate up the eggs of the cranes when they were laid or ate up the chicks if the chicks were lucky enough to be born.

After a long time, unable to bear this misery, the cranes sought the advice of an elderly crane for a solution for their problem. The elderly crane thought for a while and told them, “Listen, there lives a mongoose in a hole near the bushes not far away from here” and he showed them the bushes. “The mongoose is a natural enemy of the snake. So bring lot of fish from the river and lay a trail from the bushes to your tree in whose burrow the snake lives. The mongoose will surely kill the snake”.

The crane couple was very happy at this advice and the very next day the male crane brought lot of fish and laid a trail from the bushes to the bottom of their tree. As expected, that evening, the mongoose smelt the fish and eating up the fish, came till the bottom of the tree where the snake lived. Fortunately for the cranes, the snake was just the slithering out for his evening outing. The mongoose noticed the snake and immediately pounced on him and there ensued a deadly fight. After a while, the snake was killed.

The cranes cried out in joy on seeing the snake dead. Immediately,seeing their parents make so much noise, the chicks panicked and also made lot of noise from the nest.

That was it! The mongoose looked up and the next moment, much to the horror of the cranes, climbed up the tree and in a split second, had carried away the two chicks crushing them by their necks. The cries of the chicks had attracted the mongoose and now it knew that there was a nest on the tree.

The action of the cranes had been too hasty for they had not even thought that the mongoose also ate small chicks and could climb trees.

So……. The enemy of an enemy is not always a friend and no action should be taken in haste!!!

The Trees And The Animals

This is a story from the Jataka Tales which shows how all living things are interdependent on each other for their sustenance and wellbeing.

Long, long ago in a forest in North India, a group of trees were having a discussion. They were disgusted about the carcasses left by the wild animals after eating their fill . The animals used to bring their prey and eat it under the shade of the trees and rest there.

The Sal Tree was very disgruntled. “These animals make the whole place stinking and it is so disgusting”, he said, “They have no regard for us!” “Yes, what you say is true”, murmured the Jamun tree, “The smell is unbearable especially during rains”. The Neem tree chipped in, “Yeah, since we do not object, the animals do not care. It is high time we did something”. The other trees swayed in agreement.

The Peepul tree who was the oldest among the lot said in a deep voice, “Hey Young fellows, learn to adjust in life. After all, we are all dependant on each other. We give them shade and they protect us….” Even before the Peepul completed, the Sal said, “Hmmph.. protect us is it? They only know how to dirty the place. I am not allowing this anymore huh!” The Peepul, as wise as it was, kept quiet for no advice given without asking is valued.

The next day, as soon as a leopard came and sat under the Sal Tree, the tree shook violently, as if possessed. The leopard was shocked out of his wits and ran away. Over the next few days, the Sal Tree and his friends behaved in a similar manner, shooing away all the wild animals. After a few days, no animal came near these trees. The Peepul Tree was watching with a sigh.

A few months later, the Sal Tree was very proud to have shooed away all the wild animals and was very happy that there was no stink anymore. The very next day, a group of men came in to the forest with their axes. The Sal was shocked when the men came and started deciding on which tree to cut first. “Oh no”, cried the Sal. “Why did these people come here? Who will save us?” The other trees around the Sal were also panicking, when the old Peepul spoke, “You shooed away our saviours. Had you a little patience at that time, you would not repent now. Now that there are no wild animals, more of us will be cut up soon.”

But before the Sal could reply, the axe fell on his neck…

Karataka and Damanaka

This story is one from the Panchatantra which appears in the chapter “Loss of friends” or “Mitra Bheda” as it was called in Sanskrit. There is a lot for our politicians in particular to learn from this story which is why maybe Vishnu Sharman who taught three princes worldly wisdom told this story.

Once there was a merchant by name Vardhman, who was in the habit of taking his wares to the nearby city for selling the same.  He used to take a route through the forest. On one of his usual trips, one of the bulls of his cart by name Sanjeevaka injured his fore leg very badly  and could walk no further. The  heartless merchant unyoked the bull and converted his cart into a one bullock cart and proceeded on his way, leaving poor Sanjeevaka  to fend for himself in the treacherous  forest.

Sanjeevaka was very sad but he had enough fresh fodder around, something which was not available in the city or even villages and so he ate and drank to his content and was free of the burden of work and his leg healed by itself in a few days. He was now a free bird and he started enjoying the forest life in fact!

Now, there was a lion by name Pingalaka who was living in a den near the place where Sanjeevaka was living. Pingalaka had two jackals by names Karataka and Damanaka who were once his ministers. He had dismissed them as they had tried to cheat him earlier. But they were desperate to get back their posts as they could get free meat every day when the  Pingalaka hunted.

One day, Pingalaka  went to the lake nearby to drink water. Just as he bent down to take a sip, he heard a loud noise ” Hrrrmph!”. It startled him. He was at a loss to find out what the noise was. Filled with fear and keeping his tail between his legs  he ran back to his den. Unfortunately for him, Damanaka was around and saw the “King of the jungle” running like a coward. “Come on Karataka”, he said to his brother, “See the King , running like a coward? Come let us find out what frightened him!” he said with a mean grin. Karataka, was on the other hand not much interested in being nosey and advised Damanaka against it. But Damanaka persisted and went to Pingalaka and asked him about the incident.

Pingalaka was hugely embarrassed. Here was a jackal who saw him run away, Chee Chee! He did not know what to say and finally told him what happened. He felt ashamed of himself. Damanaka was smiling to himself. Now that he knew what happened, he could strike a deal favourable for himself!!

He thought for a while and addressed Pingalaka, “Oh Lord of the jungle, I am at your service ever. I shall find out who made the terrifying noise and bring him to you as your servant!” Saying thus , he went in the direction from where the noise came.

He wandered for sometime and shortly he saw Sanjeevaka and knew that it was Sanjeevaka’s noise that the Lion had heard. He chuckled to himself. “After all, it is a bull”, he thought, “Our King is afraid of a mere bull!!!”. So thinking he approached Sanjeevaka and enquired all about him and how he happened to be roaming about in the forest. When Sanjeevaka told him his story, Damanaka said in a whispering voice ” Good that you have not been seen by our King Pingalaka! If his eyes light on you, consider yourself as dead!”. The bull was frightened and asked Damanaka what should be done.

Damanaka said, “Do not worry. I shall take you to our King tomorrow. I shall speak to him today and see that you are not hurt in any manner. Bye bye” and went his way. He straightaway went to Pingalaka, who was anxiously waiting to know what happened. Damanaka saw the king and said” My Lord, the noise you heard yesterday was made by a huge bull. He is so strong and looks very dangerous. For your sake, I risked my life and went and met him. It seems he is the vehicle of Lord Shiva! But do you think I would have let you down? Huh, I told him that you are the King of the jungle and the vehicle of Goddess Durga. He has agreed to be your servant and will come and see you tomorrow.”

Pingalaka was relieved and was quite happy that Damanaka had helped him. The next day, Sanjeevaka came to see Pingalaka. Pingalaka received him with caution and Sanjeevaka was equally cautious about the lion. But the mutual respect and fear slowly turned into good friendship and they both started spending lot of time together much to the ire of the jackals. Pingalaka was much inspired by Sanjeevaka’s goodness and he almost became very saintly. He just hunted small animals enough for himself and only when he was really hungry.

Karataka and Damanaka  were thoroughly disappointed by this turn of events. They were hoping to get back their ministerial posts and have free meal every day but contrary to their expectation, the events happening were totally opposite. Both of them were quite worried about their future. They knew that as long as Sanjeevaka was around, things would never change. Earlier, they had hoped that Pingalaka would spend much of his time with Sanjeevaka and they could manage the affairs of the kingdom, including the sharing of the meat hunted by Pingalaka. But here was Pingalaka, who had even stopped hunting!

Karataka said, “Damanaka, I think we have to do something about this. We cannot let this go on much longer.” Then, he whispered something into Damanaka’s ears and Damanaka went to the place where Sanjeevaka was living. Karataka, in the meanwhile, went to see the lion. He noticed that Pingalaka was in a good mood and started his talk. “O Lord, King of the Jungle, I, the humble Karataka has come to greet you. I am deeply pained to see your health deteriorating. You have become so thin, while your friend Sanjeevaka is growing stronger day by day”. Pinagalaka was quick to tell Karataka not to raise the topic of his friendship with Sanjeevaka. “He is an extremely honest and faithful bull”, he said.

Karataka immediately said “Oh my Lord, I am not speaking anything ill on him. I am just warning you that your friend seems to be becoming stronger feeding on the lush grass growing in your territory and I …. feel that he wants to vanquish you and become the King. Please do not get angry O King. It was just in good intention I told you…. Please be careful O Lord, especially when you see the bull bending his head showing his horns…. because that means a bull is going to attack…” Saying thus, he slunk away. The seed of suspicion was sown and that was enough . Pingalaka’s mind was poisoned and his thoughts kept coming back on the possible attack by Sanjeevaka.

By this time Damanaka had gone and met Sanjeevaka and said, “Sanjeevaka, though you have chosen to not be friends with us, I have come to tell you something for your own good.” He paused while Sanjeevaka looked puzzled and then continued, “The King has become terribly weak these days and not able to hunt as he used to earlier… I think he is thinking of killing you, my dear friend, as you are the easiest target,so be very careful!” Sanjeevaka was thoroughly shocked while Damanaka continued, “When you go to meet Pingalaka next, please be wary and always be ready to strike. Show your horns so that Pingalaka does not dare  to attack you”. Damanaka also left the scene having done his role. Sanjeevaka was thoroughly confused and now started to doubt Pingalaka.

The next day when he went to see Pingalaka, he remembered Damanaka’s words. Pingalaka was sitting on a cliff, his mind full of doubts about Sanjeevaka’s intention. He was staring angrily at Sanjeevaka from the cliff when Sanjeevaka also, full of misgivings in his mind, bent his head a little, showing his horns. Pingalaka did not waste a moment. From the cliff, he pounced on Sanjeevaka and caught his neck and in a few moments Sanjeevaka was dead. Alas, it was a hasty decision, but that was what Karataka and Damanaka had wanted to happen.

It is said that in later days Pingalaka repented for his action, but it was too late…

Always be friendly with your neighbours

Long long ago in the forest of Swetharanya, there lived a two hawks. They had recently migrated to this forest from another forest as  humans had begun to inhabit that forest in which they lived earlier. Here, they had built their nest on a tall tree by the side of the river Swetha Pushkarini. There were a couple of eggs in their nest which were about to hatch any time.

The hawks were very happy in the new forest which was free of humans and in due course their eggs hatched into cute little chicks.

From the day they had come into Swetharanya, Shyeni, the female hawk was insisting that they should find out who their neighbours were and be friendly with them. The male hawk Shyena , on the other hand was not so particular and was also lazy and did not bother. However , due to the persistence of Shyeni, he finally went to seek his neighbours. In a burrow in another tree lived a Kingfisher by name Suchitraka. He was very happy when Shyena met him and they both became good friends.

Now, there was a lion by name Jatila in a cave near the river. Shyena met the lion and introduced himself and became good friends with him too. Finally he found that there was this tortoise by name Dadru living in a bush just below the tree where he had his nest. And so, because of the hawks’ efforts, Suchitraka, Jatila and Dadru became friends with Shyeni and Shyena.

They used to meet everyday and exchange courtesies. Life was going on smoothly until one day……

It was a new moon night and the forest was pitch dark. It posed no problem for the hawks and their friends as they could see well in the nights also. It was just after midnight, when Shyeni thought she heard some rustling near the tree. She peered out of the nest and was shocked to see two human figures groping their way through the dark. Shyeni and Shyena could fly away but what about their chicks? They were yet to grow wings fully and were very vulnerable. Shyeni was worried.

When the men came near the clearing under the tree, they stopped. “Hmm.. it seems we have lost our way.. All because of you “, grunted one fellow who was giant like. “Don’t blame me for everything . It was You who wanted to come with me?” retorted the other who was of a smaller built. “Ok Ok” said the bigger man, “I am feeling hungry. Get me something to eat. I was a fool to come fishing with you in the river. We didn’t catch even one fish and you let the net get washed away by the current. Now, go and get some food to eat.. Fast!” he ordered.

By now Shyena was also awake and was wondering what to do if the chicks woke up and started making noise. The very next moment, what he dreaded happened. The chicks were disturbed by the sound of the men and started making screeching noises. The men were first frightened but then knew that it was the sound of young birds. “Aha.. ” said the bigger fellow, “I can see the nest on the top most branch. Now, you fool, go and collect some twigs and we shall make a fire and eat roasted chicks…” he ordered the smaller fellow. The smaller fellow got up mumbling something and ambled into the bushes peering in the dark for twigs and slowly brought some. “Faster, you fool, now rub some stones and make fire, fast.. and go and get some more twigs….” said the bigger fellow and the other one obeyed him.

Soon, a fire had started to blaze and the bigger fellow now tried to climb up the tall tree. Shyeni was panicking and told Shyena to go and call their friends. Shyena also, not knowing what to do went straight  to Suchitraka and called out to him . “Suchitraka, Suchitraka, my friend, Please come and help me!” he cried out, “My chicks are in danger!”. Suchitraka woke up with a start and flew out fast to see the blazing fire and the man trying to climb the tree. The tree had its branches high up and so the man was struggling to get a foothold and go up.

Suchitraka thought for a moment and like a flash of lightning dived into the nearby river, came out like an arrow from the quiver and went over the fire and flapped his wings hard. The water droplets fell on the fire and the fire made a fizzling sound. The man who was trying to climb the tree, turned around, but Suchitraka had vanished for another round of water spraying. He did this act again and again. The fire was now struggling to burn  due to the continuous spraying of water and  was almost extinguished and the enraged men saw the bird  and came running at Suchitraka waving a cloth.

Suchitraka was terribly tired of this exercise and flew into his burrow and dropped down due to exertion. The bigger man then said, “Don’t worry, I shall climb the tree and kill the chicks and we can go home and have a good breakfast” and continued his efforts to climb the tree.

Now Shyena was worried. What could he do next? In the meanwhile, Dadru, hearing the commotion had come out of the bushes. In a flash he understood what was going on. He pulled himself up and walked as fast as he could near the smaller man and the man almost tripped on Dadru in the dark. But he found that it was a tortoise and shouted to his comrade , “Hey , don’t take the trouble of getting the chicks. Here is a tortoise. It’s a long time since we had tortoise meat. Lets’s take him home. Come on”

The bigger man sneered at him and said “You Budhdhoo, how do you propose to take a tortoise home? Lead it like a doggie Huh? We do not have any weapons . Go , Go and get some creepers from over there and we shall make a rope to tie and carry him    . Go fast,  you dud!, else the tortoise will go away !” The smaller man retorted with a grunt and went to bring some creepers. Dadru consciously moved very very slowly and the men thought they could catch it. The man returned with many creepers and they started making a rope.

Shyena and Shyeni were very worried now. They could not afford to lose Dadru for the sake of their chicks. Shyeni said to Shyena , “Go , go quickly and call Jatila!!” Shyena flew fast and called Jatila from his den. Jatila sprang up and came running . The men had caught Dadru and were about to tie him up when from their back they hear a roar “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….”  Terrified, they turned around and to their  horror found a big huge lion staring at them menacingly as he  roared again. The roar was deafening and the next moment, the men forgot Dadru, the chicks and all and started running for their lives.

They ran out of the forest never to be seen again. And the hawks thanked the three friends for saving them and their friendship bonds were further strengthened.

Shyena looked at Shyeni thankfully as it was at her insistence that he became friendly with their neighbours.

Moral: Always maintain a good relationship with your neighbours.

The story of the vulture and the cunning cat

Long long ago in the forests of central India , there was a huge huge banyan tree. The tree was house to hundreds of birds who had built nests on the innumerable branches. All the birds left the tree during the day to look for food and came back by nightfall.

During a particular time of the year, lots of chicks had hatched on the tree and the parent birds were compelled to leave them and go to look for food.

One day, late in the evening, a very old  vulture by name Grudhra , battered by age and could barely fly , came to the tree. His eyesight had also become very bad due to his age . He was walking very slowly and was almost about to hit the tree when some of the birds saw him. He was a huge figure and they were frightened by him but soon realised that he was almost blind and had blunt claws and beak and so could not harm anyone.

Some of the bolder birds came down and asked him ” Who are you Sir and may we ask what you are doing here??” The vulture said “My name is Grudhra and  I am an orphan. I have become very weak due to age  that I have to struggle to get food every day. I have not had food for days and have come wandering in search of food.” The birds felt pity on him and offered him a deal. They told him, “Sir, we have our chicks on the tree and we have to go out the whole day for food  and there is no one to look after them. So if you stay in the hollow at the bottom of the tree and look after our chicks from danger while we are out, we shall bring you food everyday”. Grudhra was happy and he agreed to the deal.

Accordingly, from the next day, the vulture used to come out of the hollow and stand under the tree the whole day and the small animals like fox and cats who were on the prowl to hunt the chicks were intimidated by the imposing figure of the vulture and kept away. In the evenings the birds used to bring food for the vulture. This arrangement went on well for quite some days and both the vulture and the birds were happy.

One day a cunning cat by name Bidaala slowly came near the tree. He had seen so many chicks and was very eager to devour  some of them. But suddenly he noticed Grudhra and was taken aback. He thought the vulture would pounce on him and he would be minced meat in moments. But to his surprise, Grudhra slowly turned around and in a deep voice asked “Who is there???” The clever Bidaala understood that the vulture was blind but he could not underestimate the power of a vulture. So he said in a meek voice ,” I am a mendicant cat by name Bidaala and I am on a yatra to see the holy places in this part of the country. Sorry if I have disturbed you Sir”. Grudhra could not see the cat clearly and the voice of the cat was so meek that he believed what he said.

“Oh! Welcome Sir. I am Grudhra , an old vulture and guardian of these birds” said the vulture. “You may be my guest in the hollow of the tree where I reside for as many days as you please Sir” he continued. The cat said ,” Oh! call me Bidaala. I am much younger to you Sir and it is my good fortune to serve elderly souls like you”. Grudhra was very pleased as he had got a companion to talk during day time.

Slowly Bidaala won the confidence of Grudhra. He stayed in the hollow being careful enough to come out of the hollow only when the last of the birds had left and go back in before the birds came back in the evening.

One day he tried his fortune and deftly caught a chick by its neck from one of the lower branches, so quickly that it could not make noise. Swiftly he ran into the bushes and devoured the chick. All the other chicks made lot of noise but Grudhra could not see any animal nearby and soon the noise died down. This started happening once in three days and later became more frequent. The parent birds noticed the missing ones but were at a loss to find out who was behind it. Bidaala was careful to leave the bones in the bushes.

One day a crane who had also lost one of her chicks happened to see the bunch of bones in the bushes. Coincidentally, the vulture was not able to eat much food in the evenings as he was feeling little sick. The crane told the birds of the heap of bones and they came to a conclusion that it was Grudhra who had devoured their little ones and therefore was not eating well in the evenings.

Poor Grudhra!. The birds had unanimously decided to attack Grudhra and they swooped on him, swarmed around him pecking him with their beaks and claws making lot of noise .Grudhra tried to protest as  Bidaala watched in horror from the hollow.  Finally, Grudhra, not able to bear the attack sank and fell down senseless. He could not speak and life was ebbing away.

Then , the birds flew up the tree their anger still simmering. Just then, Bidaala slinked out of the hollow and started running towards the bushes where he used to devour the chicks. The birds , only then noticed Bidaala and understood that it was Bidaala, not Grudhra who was the real culprit.

Alas! it was too late. They had killed a member of their own clan who was innocent and was so old.

This is the story of the Vulture and the Cunning cat.

P.S. This happens with us human beings too. So Always do not act in a haste.

The talkative Tortoise

This is a tale from the Jatakas.

Once upon a time in northern India , there was a small pond near which lived a tortoise He  was a very talkative tortoise and would pick a conversation with anyone who came near the pond.

One day two beautiful young wild ducks named came to the pond. The tortoise befriended them as usual. The ducks started coming to the pond often and every time they would talk about the beautiful spot where they lived. “We live on the banks of Sweta Sarovar” one would say and the other would tease the tortoise, “Have you seen a lake like Sweta Sarovar? ha!”

As days went by, the tortoise got a strong desire to visit this famous “Sarovar”. But in his heart of hearts he knew that even if he walked at his fastest pace for years together, he would not be able to reach the place. So, the next day, when the ducks came for their usual visit, Mr. Tortoise slowly broached the subject . “Hmm.. I … I want…. Hmm.. to see ……Hmm. Swetha Sarovar” , he said to the ducks. The ducks were aghast . One said “Hey Brother, we know you cannot even walk fast. Where is the question of going to Swetha Sarovar which is miles away huh?”  The other one thought for a while and said ” But wait, there is a way. What if we do like this? We shall hold  a stick in our beaks and Torty  can hold on to the stick with his mouth” .

“Good idea” said the tortoise. “I can come with you and go to Swetha Sarovar and see the beautiful place and swim to my heart’s content and laze around and….” “Stop” said one of the ducks. “Do not go on and on. You are too talkative!. If you keep on talking like this how can you come with us? You have to shut up till the time we reach our place”.

“OK” said the tortoise. “I shall come with mouth shut however much I am tempted to talk. I promise.” The ducks took his word for it  and brought a sturdy stick which they could carry and which would bear the weight of the tortoise. They chose to fly the next day and the day had a fine weather. The ducks warned the tortoise once more “Brother Torty, Be careful and focus on holding the stick . Or else…..” ” I know, I know” , said the tortoise. “I will be careful”. And so, the journey started and the ducks lifted up into the air beautifully holding the stick with all their strength and focus. They flew over hills, rivers and lakes and the country side. Just as they were passing by the first village, there were many children playing outside their houses, and one of the kids cried out , “Hey, there is a tortoise flying!!” All the other kids joined in chorus “Flying tortoise, flying tortoise”. The elders came running out of the houses hearing the sound and they also started commenting, ” Is it not a wonder? A flying tortoise??” The tortoise who had kept mum all along could not keep his mouth shut any more. He totally forgot what would happen if he opened his mouth and started asking ,”Are they talking about me…..” Before he could complete his sentence, he crashed BAAAAM on the ground and was dead and gone. The villagers who were, a minute back wondering at the flying tortoise were scrambling to get tortoise meat!.

The ducks muttered to themselves, ” This is what happens when one is too talkative!” Poor tortoise. His dream of Swetha Sarovar was never fulfilled.

torty

The story of Changu and Mangu

Changu and Mangu were two frogs who lived in a pond at the back of a farm house. The farm house had many cows and there was no dearth of milk and curds in the house. The ladies of the house used to churn butter in huge pots.

Once in a while Changu and Mangu used to wander inside the farm house but they were hardly noticed as they were very small in size.One day as they were having their usual  stroll, Changu accidentally fell into a pot of cream which had been kept for churning butter. Mangu thought Changu had jumped into the pot to have fun and he also followed suit.

The cream was very thick and both Changu and Mangu found it very hard to get out of the pot as the cream was very slippery. They could not swim easily too for the same reason. Mangu immediately lost heart and said to Changu ,”We are doomed and our fate is sealed in this pot today, friend.” Changu said “Mangu do not lose heart so easily, someone will come to churn the butter and find us and we can get out of this humongous pot. Try and keep swimming even if slowly, till then.” But Mangu was in  no mood to listen. He had already made up his mind that he would not live and therefore  moaned and groaned about his fate and did not even attempt to swim and soon sank down.

Changu did not give up and kept on swimming. Suddenly he found that the swimming was easier. the liquid had become thinner as the butter had separated and what was this??? A big ball of butter was floating beside him. Changu thought quickly and very nimbly jumped on the butter ball and in a second jumped out of the pot. He had saved himself from death!!!

He went home, sad about Mangu who gave up so easily and lost his life. He also realised what one could achieve with untiring efforts and belief in oneself.

The Greedy Mosquito

Once upon a time in a palace of a king, lived a family of bedbugs under the bed of the king. They were a happy lot as they got their fill of sweet royal blood every night without any effort. The king usually did not sleep immediately after lying down on his bed, but once he fell asleep, he was a really sound sleeper. The bedbugs were very careful to come out only after checking if the king was asleep and this was going on for quite some time.

One day, a mosquito chanced to get into the royal bedroom and perched on the underside of the bed. The wisest bug named Mootpooch came out and saw the mosquito. “Who are you and what are you doing here?”, asked the bug. “I am the Kosuku, the mosquito who lives in the nearby village”, said the mosquito. “I happened to come by this way and I have heard my father say that royal blood is the tastiest. So I thought I would have a taste of it.”

Mootpooch looked pensive. He said, “Look Kosuku, my family and myself have been living here peacefully for so long. You look very young and impulsive. I will just give you one piece of advice. Just wait till the king drifts into deep sleep and then I shall give the signal and thereafter you can have the blood to your heart’s content because if the king wakes up in between, it will be hell for all of us.”

Kosuku nodded his head in agreement and was waiting impatiently on one of the royal curtains waiting for the king. After a while the king came and sat on the bed. He said his daily prayers and meditated for some time and then lay down on the bed. Kosuku was peeping out of the curtain now and then. The king had started sleeping just then when the impatient Kosuku went near his ear and sang an “Oingggggg….” Almost immediately, he bit the king on his ear. The king tossed around and at once Kosuku aimed at his arm, biting furiously, getting intoxicated with the taste of royal blood. He bit here and there and Mootpooch, who had just come out was alarmed at what was happening. He tried to signal to Kosuku to stop but Kosuku was in no mood to listen to anybody. Suddenly the king sat up and SWAT, SWAT; the king’s huge palm smashed Kosuku. The king’s sleep gone, he called in his attendants and told them to thoroughly check the bed for any more mosquitoes and the attendants removed the matress, catching Mootpooch’s entire family unawares when all of them had assembled for their dinner and SWAT,SWAT,SWISH, SWISH went the attendants’ heavy dusters crushing the whole family of Mootpooch.

The greed of Kosuku, the mosquito, thus caused the destruction of himself and all the bugs!!!

Greed Kills!

Never Give Advice Unless It is Sought

Once upon a time in a forest there lived a group of monkeys. The group was a very unruly one and made lot of noise wherever they went.

As we know, monkeys like to imitate whatever we do. These monkeys had observed in the village a person starting a bonfire and the group of people sitting and warming themselves in the cold night. The monkeys wanted to imitate the person that evening and they broke logs and twigs and arranged them near a tree as they had seen the person arrange.

Now, they did not know how the fire was lit, though one monkey had seen the man putting a glowing object in between the logs and the fire had caught on.

Just then the monkey noticed a few fireflies fluttering glowing in the dusk and caught one of them and tried hard to push it in between the logs and blew it “Phoooooo!” The firefly flew away. The monkey kept on repeating the action and each time the fly would flit away. The monkeys got really angry.

Just then a little birdie perched on the tree cried out “Hey monkeys, those are fireflies, those will not set fire to the logs” The monkeys ignored the birdie. The birdie did not catch the message. She kept on saying the same thing. The rowdiest monkey of all got so irritated that he just leapt and caught the birdie and screwed her neck off.

The poor birdie did not know that the result of giving advice which is not sought could be fatal!!

Moral: Never give advice to anyone unless it is sought.

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