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The 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 my life."
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.
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