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The cunning crane

2006-07-13 23:37

  Once there lived a crane near a pond. He was cunning and deceitful. The pond was full of fish, frogs and crabs. The crane fed on these animals every day.

  In due course of time, the crane grew old. He found it hard to catch his prey and so he had to go without food often. He said to him one day, “ If this goes on, I am sure to starve to death some day. So, I must do something to get food regularly.” Thinking hard, he chalked out a cunning plan. The very next day, the crane stood on the bank of the pond. He looked very sad and doleful. The animals in the pond were very surprised to see him, the whispered to one another, “ What has happened to the crane? Why is he not preying today?”

  A bold frog took courage and asked the crane, “Well, sir! Why are you so doleful? Wouldn't you have food today?”

  “What should I tell you, brother? It is very painful to tell you what is going to happen,” replied the crane in a heavy voice.

  “What is that, sir?” asked the frog.

  “I have heard that this pond will be filled up with earth. This news has made me sad,” replied the crane.

  “It is very sad news indeed. What will happen to the fish? They are all sure to die,” argued the frog in wonder.

  “That is what makes me sad. Since the moment I heard this news, I have been extremely worried,” said the crane.

  In no time, this news spread like a wildfire in the entire pond. All the animals in the pond felt awfully worried. They gathered near the crane and said, “Only you can rid us of this trouble, sir.”

  The crane said, “I have thought of a plan. There is a big and deep pond at some distance from here. I can make all of you reach there, if you so desire.”

  All the fish, frogs and crabs were so worried that they said, “Sir, you are senior to us in age and wisdom. We are ready to follow your plan. Do as you wish to save our lives.”

  “All right; I shall take all of you to the other pond. But there is one problem with me. As I have grown old, I cannot carry all of you together. So, you will have to go with me one by one,” said the crane.

  All the animals agreed to what the crane had said. The crane picked up some fish in his beak and flew away. Instead of taking them to other pond, he went to a big rock. Killing all of them there, he ate them up.

  When the crane ate his fill, he fell asleep. When he got up and felt hungry, he again reached the pond. The fish were already waiting for him. He again picked up some of them and bringing them to the rock gobbled them.

  This went on for a number of days and the number of fish came down considerably in the pond. One day a crab said to the crane, “ Sir, you have carried number of fish to the other pond. Take me now.”

  “Why not? It is your turn now.” Having said this, the crane thought, “I am fed up with eating fish for so many days. I must eat this crab today for a change of taste.”

  So, the crane caught the crab in his beak and flew away. Reaching near the rock, he began to fly down in order to land there. The crab chanced to look down. He did not see any pond there. He could not understand why the crane was landing there. He said to the crane, “Sir, I can't see any pond here. Why are you landing here? Carry me to where you carried the fish.”

  The crane burst into laughter and said, “Don't worry, I am taking you there only. Look at the rock.”

  When the crab looked at the rock, he found bones and bones scattered about. He saw through the wickedness of the crane. The thought of death made the crab tremble all over. He thought, “I must do something to save myself.”

  Thinking so, the crab began to fix his pincers deep into the crane's neck. The crane tried his best to get free but all in vain. In short time, the crane's neck got severed from his body and came down tumbling to the ground. The crab dragged it back to the pond. Seeing the crab animals of pond were highly amazed. They asked him, “Brother! Why have you returned? Where is the crane?” “The crane hasn't come! But I have brought his neck. Brothers and sisters! The crane was very cunning, he carried the fish after deceiving us all, killed them on a rock and devoured them. He was going to kill me also, but I cut off his neck with my pincers,” replied the crab.

  Hearing this, all the animals of the pond were very happy.

  MORAL- Bad deeds lead to bad results. So, always do good deeds.

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