Sunday, 20 May 2012

THE SPARROW AND THE ELEPHANT STORY FROM PANCHATANTRA TALES OF INDIA


This is a nice fable from the album of Panchatantra. Once upon a time, there lived a sparrow with her husband on a banyan tree. They built a nest and the sparrow laid her eggs in the nest. One afternoon, a wild elephant came under the tree unable to bear the heat of the sun. Suddenly in a fit of rage, the elephant broke a branch of the tree on which the nest was built. Unfortunately, all the eggs of the sparrow got crushed though the parents were saved. The she-sparrow was full of grief and began weeping for her eggs.

A woodpecker, a close friend of the sparrow, heard her crying and moved by her grief asked her, “Why are you crying, my friend?” The she-sparrow said, “The wicked elephant has destroyed my offspring. If you are a true friend of mine suggest a way to kill him”. The woodpecker consoled her and told her that he knew a fly and she would definitely help them, to kill the elephant.

Both of them together went to seek the help of the fly. On meeting the fly, the woodpecker said, “This is my dearest friend. A wild elephant has crushed her eggs. You have to find a way to kill that elephant. We need your help.” The fly replied, “One of my friends is a frog. Let us go to him and take his help too”. The she-sparrow, the woodpecker and the fly went to the frog and narrated the whole incident.

The frog said, “What can an elephant do before a united crowd like us? Do what I tell you. Dear Fly, you go to the elephant when the sun is high in the sky and hum a sweet tune into his ears. When he closes his eyes in delight, the woodpecker will scoop his eyes out. Like this, he will become blind. When he will get thirsty, he will look for water. I will go to a marshy land and begin croaking there. Thinking that there is water, the elephant will come there. He will sink into the marshy area and die.”

The next day in the noon, all the three played out the plan and the elephant was killed, when he drowned into a marshy area after being blinded by the woodpecker, when he closed his eyes in response to the music. Thus, with the smartness of all the three animals, the sparrow took her revenge on the elephant.

Moral: Wit is superior to brute force.

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