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Story No 58

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58 - Tale of the Fox and the Crow

A fox lived in a cave in a mountain and as often a cub was born to him and grew big, he would eat the young one, because he felt very hungry. If he left the cub alive and bred it and preserved it, he could have enjoyed its children. Yet this was very grievous to him.

Now, a crow had made the nest on a tree near that mountain. When the fox saw him, he thought that he would extend the friendship with this crow so that he would help him to get his daily bread, because the crow could do many things in such matters, which he himself could not do. So he went to the crow and spoke to him - "I salute you, O Crow. You are my neighbor and you have a right on me because I am your neighbor. Also I love you very much. What do you say?" The crow replied - "Although the true speech is the best speech but these words are not coming out from your heart that is why you are my enemy - I am the eaten and you are the eater. I am the bird kind and you are the beast kind, that is why this friendship cannot be materialized."

The fox said - "I wish to be with you to the end that we may help each other. I have many tales of the goodness of friendship I can tell you if you wish to hear." The crow said - "You can tell the stories to me so that I can judge." The fox said - "Then listen to this story of a flea and a mouse. Once upon a time, there lived a merchant who had lots of money and merchandise. One night a flea took shelter in the merchant's carpet-bed and finding his body soft, and being hungry and thirsty, drank his blood. The merchant woke by the smart of the bite and called a slave-girl and servants. They tried to search for the flea. But the flea had fled and hid in a mouse's home.

When the mouse saw him, she asked him - "Why have you come to me? You are not of my nature, nor of my kind." The flea said - "I have come to take refuge in your house from slaughtering. I am not going to make any mischief or anything else with you so you don't have to leave your house. I will soon repay your favor." Hearing this the mouse said - "If what you are saying is true, you may stay here. Do not be sad for the loss of blood of the merchant, be content, it is safer here." The flea said - "I heard you and I will obey you." So the tie of love arose between them, and he used to visit merchant's bed by night and stay with mouse by day.

One day, it so happened, that the merchant brought many Deenaars home and began to turn them over. When the mouse heard the sound of the coin, she put her head out of the hole and gazed at them till he put them under his pillow and went to bed. She said to flea - "You have not seen the fortune the merchant has. Do you know any way to bring any Deenaar to us?" Flea said - "It is not a good idea until one has the ability to do it, like the sparrow which picks up grain and falls into the net and is caught by the hunter. You don't have the strength to take the Deenaars and to transport them to your house, nor I have the force to do this. On the contrary, I could not carry even a single coin from them; but what will you do with them?"

The mouse said - "I have made 70 openings for my house, but I have set a separate place to keep the costly things, and if you cannot drive the merchant out of the house, there is no success for me, and that will be our fate." "OK, I will try to drive him out of the house for you." That night, he bit the merchant very hard several times, so the merchant lost patience, went out and slept on the bench outside the door till morning. Meanwhile the mouse came and started carrying Deenaars into her hole till she carried all of them." The fox continued - "Thus the flea helped the mouse." 

The crow said - "It all depends upon the individual whether he wants to repay or not to repay. If I show you, who is my enemy, a favor, I will be cut off from the world,  because you are crafty and cunning and must not be trusted upon oath. Just now I heard the story your treachery with your mate wolf that how did you behaved with him. You dealt with him when he was of your own kind, and you had been with him for some time, still you did not spare him; then how can I trust you as to what your dealing with the one who is not of your own kind and is your enemy. Nor can I compare you and me with a falcon and the birds." "How?"

The crow answered - "Once there was a falcon who was very cruel in his youth so the hunters used to fear him. He always injured other birds. As he grew old, he became weak, so his power became less but at the same time his cunningness increased. Now he used to eat by fraud and cheating. And you are like this. Even if you fail yourself, your cunningness will never fail. If you will not get food straightway, you will use fraud to get it. But I am not of that kind. I have sharp mind and eyes. I fear for you, lest if you face a stronger force than yourself, then you will suffer as the sparrow suffered." Fox asked - "How the sparrow suffered, tell me its tale?"

The crow replied - "Once a sparrow was sitting over a sheep, when he looked about, he saw a great eagle coming down upon a newly born lamb and carry it off in his claws and fly away. At this the sparrow clapped his wings and said - "I will also do this." And he mimicked greater than he. So he flew down, sat on a fat ram. As soon as he sat on it, he flapped his wings to fly away but his feet became tangled in his wool, and however he tried hard, he could not fly. The shepherd was looking on all this - the previous incident and this one too. So he came up to him, seized him, tied his feet with a twine, and threw it to his children. So you are like the sparrow. Go and live in peace."

The fox ground his teeth in disappointment and sorrow. Hearing the sound of his teeth, the crow said to him - "What sound you are making by your teeth?" Answered the fox - "I am grinding my teeth because you are a greater rascal than myself." And went away to his home.

End of Story No 58



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/12/14