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8-Karn Parv, 41  
Stories-MBH - 6-War - page 32

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Proud Crow

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Story of a Proud Crow
Ch   41

Branched from   6-War-32-battle-17

[Ch 41] Sanjaya said to Dhritraashtra - "When Karn said to Shalya that "Either I will kill the two Krishn, or they will kill me." Shalya once more said to him - "Listen a story of crow which I am going to tell you then you may decide what to do ---

Story of a Proud Crow

There lived a Vaishya who was very kind, pure and pious. He had several sons whom he loved very much. And there lived a crow also who used to feed himself on the remains of food left by Vaishya and his sons. Vaishya's sons were also very kind to him. They regularly gave him milk, yogurt, food, honey etc food items. Thus the crow used to grow on their good items. He considered himself much superior than his other companion crows and even superior crows. He used to insult them.

Once it so happened that some beautiful swans came there. They were fast-flying like Garud. Seeing those swans the Vaishya boys said to crow - "O ranger of skies, You are superior to all winged creatures." That proud crow who fed on remains of those children's foods took their words to be true and alighted in the flock of the swans who were capable of traversing the great distances at their will. He tried to find out as who was their leader.

Then the foolish crow, at last challenged him saying, "Let us compete in flight". Hearing crow's challenge those swans started laughing, then said to crow - "We are swans from Maansarovar Lake. We traverse the whole Earth and are admired for our long flights. O fool, being a crow how can you challenge us for flight? O crow, how can you fly with us?" The crow was very proud so he disregarded swan's words and said to him - "I am skilled in hundred and one different kind of motions doing a hundred Yojan in a separate kind of motion. I shall display those motions to you- rising up, swooping down, whirling around, coursing straight, wheeling in a circle, rushing proudly etc then you can witness my strength."

Hearing these words, one of the swans said to the crow - "We are sure that you can fly with one hundred and one different kind of motions, but I, however, fly that one kind of motion that all birds know, because I do not know any other one. You may fly in any motion you might know and like." At this the crows who gathered there to support their brother's challenge to swans, laughed and said - "How can one type of flight be better than one hundred and one different kinds of flights?"

Then the swan and the crow flew in the sky and challenged each other. The swan flew only in one kind of flight, while crow use his many kinds of flights. Both started flying showing their skills in their styles. The crow greatly enjoyed his different kinds of flights and started cawing loudly. Swans also laughed but in mockery. After a few moments the swan flying up looked like yielding over crow with his one motion. Seeing this the crows said - "It seems that the swan is yielding."

Hearing these words of crows, the swans swiftly flew westward with great velocity to the ocean which was the abode of crocodiles. Seeing this the flying crow feared, because he did not see any island or tree to perch upon if he got tired. He started thinking as where to take rest when he gets tired. Ocean is a vast expanse of waters and full of monster creatures. Men know that waters of the ocean is as limitless as the sky but how could that crow know all this?

The swan was much forward than the crow, he looked back and though he was capable of, he could not leave him behind, so he waited for him. The crow somehow came up to the swan tired. Then the swan like good folk spoke to him - "You said to us that you know many kinds of flights, but you never told us this kind of flight to us. Is it a secret type of flight? What is the name of this kind of flight, O crow, which now you have adopted? You are repeatedly touching water with your wings and beak, what kind of flight you are practicing now? Come quickly, I am waiting for you."

Shalya continued the story - "The crow was very tired and exhausted. He said to swan - "We are crows, we fly just here and there. Please save me, help me to take me the shore of the ocean." The crow was so tired that saying these words he actually fell on the water. Seeing him at the point of the death, the swan said - "You remember your words that you told us that you could course the sky with one hundred and one types of flights, and we thought that you are superior to us, but sorry, still you fell in the sea." The crow raised his head with great difficulty and said - "I was proud of feeding myself on the remains of those children's food so I considered myself equal to Garud and insulted all crows and birds. My life is in your hands now, please take me to the shore. If I am back in my country, I will never insult my own folks.

The swan found him weak, exhausted, drenched, feared, trembling, so he took him by his feet and slowly helped him to ride his back and brought him back on the island from where they started their flight. Then he flew away where he wanted to go. Thus this was the proud crow and the good pious swan. After this incident the crow started living piously and peacefully. Now he did not insult anybody.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/15/10