Crafty Crane And The Craftier Crab
Long back an old crane
lived near a large lake. As he had grown old, he was not able to catch fishes
from the lake anymore. He was becoming weak day by day due to lack of food. To
come out of situation of hunger, he thought of a plan. As per his plan, he sat
at the edge of the lake for everybody to see him and began crying.
When a crab saw him, crab
took pity on him and went near and asked,” Friend, what is the matter? Why are
you not catching fishes today?” Crane replied “Son, I would not touch any fish
anymore. I have decided to renounce all worldly matters, and decided to
undertake a fast until my death".
The crab asked, "If
you have renounced worldly matters, why are you crying?" The crane
explained, "I am here in this lake from my birth. I have grown old here.
And I came to hear that this lake will dry up as there will be no rains for the
coming years". The crab was shocked to hear this and asked him from where
did he hear this? The crane replied, “Astrologers have forecast that there will
be no rains for the next twelve years”. You can see there is already not much
water in the lake and very soon the lake will dry up completely due to lack of
rain. I am worried about these poor fish and other creatures in the lake. They
will soon die without water."
The crab carried this news
of danger to all creatures of the lake. All of them came to the crane in panic
and requested him to show them the way to overcome this danger. Everyone asked
the crane “Is there no way we can save ourselves?”
The crane replied, “Why
not, there is a big lake near from here that has plenty of water. I can carry
all of you one by one to that lake.”
The wicked crane had
succeeded in his plan. Every day, he would carry one of them on his back
pretending to take them to the other lake. After flying a little away from the
lake, he would hit them against a rock and eat them up. He would then return
after some time to the lake and give them false messages, how they are happy in
the other lake.
This continued for many
days, when the crab said to the crane, "Sir, you take others to the lake
but it is me who is your first friend. Please take me to the other lake to save
The crane was too happy as
he was tired of eating fish every day. The crab was happy and sat on the back
of the crane. As the crane was flying close to the spot where he ate all the
fish, the crab saw a heap of fish bones and asked the crane, “Sir, we have come
long distance and I see no lake anywhere. Tell me, where is the lake?”
The crane replied, “You
are a fool to trust me. There is no lake. I am going to eat you.” The crab at once caught the neck of the crane in his claws and strangled him to
death. Slowly, the crab reached the lake back.
The other water creatures
in the lake were surprised to see him back. They became curious, and asked
him,” Where is the crane?” The crab replied, "We were being made fools!
What crane told about the lake drying up was all false. He was taking one of us
every day for his meal. There is no need to worry; we are safe in this lake. It
is not going to dry up at all."
Moral: When things go wrong, we should use our
intelligence to overcome the situation.