Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Panchtantra
Once there was a huge pond in a jungle area. It had housed lots and lots of aquatic creatures. There were fish of all hues, frogs, and crabs. One fine day an old wizened crane landed up on the banks of the pond. Due to old age, his eyes were clouded with cataracts, and he found it difficult to move his neck at reasonable speed to catch even a slow fish. Besides, his once sharp and hammer like beak had now become almost a liability for him. In desperation he began to shed tears.
Tears are the the most potent deceivers you know that. The tears of this grandfather crane flew in abundance and even seeped into the pond. The fish and other creature, though utterly foolish, were of golden heart. They themselves started crying when they saw the grandfather crane shedding tears. It was a galore of tears, a symphony of Mukharee Raag.
Finally, a small fish asked - "Uncle, uncle, why are you crying? You are sighing also. What happened to you, O Uncle."
"Nothing has happened to me, my child," replied the crane. "I was only thinking of my bloodstained past. How many of your elders and siblings have been eaten away by me in my long career? Now it is time for me to think of my welfare in the next world. With huge amount of sin in my account, how can I face my maker? So, to expiate my sins, I have decided to shed tears of remorse in your presence, and also sit here without any movement and without eating anything, I would wriggle out of my mortal coils as an expiated and purified being."
"However...." he continued, "I have a bad news to convey to you. I have heard that there will not be any rain in this area for the coming twelve years. You all know I was also born and brought up around here. When I hear that my pond and my dearest friends living in the pond are all going to disappear due to failure of rains, my heart is at the point of a huge explosion. I really do not know what to do. I have nothing to gain or lose for myself.... but when I think of you all, my beloved children..." the grandfather crane's voice trailed and he broke into a loud wail.
The tidings spread like
wildfire. The tortoises, fish and crabs were all worried. Someone approached
the crane and asked - "Uncle Crane, You are wise, can you find a way out
One fish volunteered for the first flight. He was taken on the beak of the crane, carried straight to the nearby huge rock, killed and eaten by the crane. The crane came back and described at great length the jubilation of the fish which had reached safely the new pond. Thus day by day, the fish and the tortoises ascended the beak of the crane and were sent to the abode of death with the huge rock bearing witness to the great deed. The bones of the hapless creatures were bleaching while on the black rock.
One day, it was the turn of a crab. The crab preferred to hold on to the neck of the crab with its four strong hands, They started the flight, and when the crab looked down he saw the black rock with huge amounts of the bones of his colleagues lying there. He was quick enough to grasp the whole matter. He slowly asked the uncle crane - "Uncle, How are my cousins doing in the new pond? Are they happy?" Now that the crane felt that the crab was going to be his feast, he replied teasingly - "Happy in the other pond? You fool, you can see whatever of them is left over the rock there, You are also going there without any delay. "
The crab understood what he had to do. He started plunging the sharp clutches of his forearms into the long neck of the crane. The crab said. "I was smelling something foul from the day one. Now I know what a cruel hypocrite you are, you Uncle crane. This is the end of you."
Saying this he pressed his sharp nails on the neck of the crane and ensured that the uncle fell dead on the ground. The crab walked back to his old pond and informed the remaining inhabitants about the great deeds and sacrifice of their great uncle crane.
Tears can be deceptive.
Shedding tears do not work always.
Created by Sushma Gupta on August 9, 2007
Modified on 05/06/13