The old greedy crane


Never be greedy
There was an old crane, who lived by a lake. He was so old that he could not arrange for his food. The fish swam around him, but he was so weak that he could not catch them.

One day, he was very hungry. He hadn't had anything to eat for days together. In total dejection he sat on the bank of the lake and began weeping. A crab who was passing by, heard him crying and asked him for the reason.

All of a sudden, he hit upon an idea. He asked the crab to have patience and allow him some time to overcome his emotion. The crab consoled him and became silent. Meanwhile, the crane pretended to have overcome his emotions and began saying in a sad tone, "Perhaps, you are not aware of the future of the acquatic animals of this lake. They will soon die without water."

"What!" the crab exclaimed.

"Yes", the crane said. "A fortune teller has told me that very soon this lake will go dry and all the creatures living in it will die. This thought of impending doom has sunken my heart with grief." After a pause, the crane continued, "There is another lake at some distance from here. All the big creatures like crocodiles, tortoises, frogs etc. can travel upto that lake, but I am worried about those, who cannot travel by land, like fish. They will die without water. This is the reason why I am so sad. I want to help them."

All the creatures in the lake were dumbstruck to know the future of the lake but they became very happy to know that the crane was ready to help them.

"There is a big lake, full of water, a few miles away from here. I'll carry such helpless creatures on my back", said the crane, "and put them safely in the big lake."

Everyone in the lake agreed to this proposal. Now the crane started carrying one creature at a time, on his back. First, he started with fish and carried them on his back; but, instead of taking them to the big lake, he took them to a nearby hill and ate them.

And in this way, the crane ate a large number of fish everyday.

Within a few days, he regained his health and became stout.

One day, the crab said to the crane, "Friend, you seem to have forgotten me. I thought, I would be the first one to be carried to the big lake, but I have a feeling that I have been completely ignored."

"No, I haven't forgotten you", said the crane cunningly. He was tired of eating fish everyday. He wanted to have a change. So he said to the crab, "Come my friend. Sit on my back"

The crab gladly sat on the crane's back and the crane flew towards the big lake.

"How far is the lake now?" the crab asked. The crane thought that the crab was quite an innocent creature. He would never know his evil plans. So, he said angrily, "You fool, do you think I am your servant? There is no other lake around here. I made this plan in order to be able to eat you all. Now you too be prepared to die."

But the crab didn't loose his senses. He quickly grabbed the long neck of the crane with his sharp claws and told him to return to the old lake. He threatened to cut the crane's neck into two, if he didn't obey him.

The crane was left with no choice, but to return to the old lake On reaching the lake the crab immediately jumped off the back of the crane. Then he told all the other creatures about the crane's misdeeds. This made the creatures very angry. They attacked the crane and killed him.

Panchatantra Stories

1. A poor brahmin's dream
2. Beware of mean friends
3. Brahmadatta, the crab and the snake
4. Courtesy
5. Dantila the trader and gorambha the sweeper
6. Death and lord indra's parrot
7. Dharambuddhi and paapbuddhi
8. Hello! cave
9. King chandra and the monkey chief
10. King nanda and vararuchi
11. Somilaka the weaver
12. The bad lady and the wolf
13. The bats
14. The bear and golu and molu
15. The bird with two heads
16. The brahmin and the delicious dishes
17. The brahmin and the diamonds
18. The brahmin and the snake
19. The brahmin and the three thugs
20. The bullock and the lion
21. The camel with a bell round his neck
22. The cat, the rat and the hunter
23. The clever jackal
24. The cow and the tiger
25. The crow and the monkey
26. The crow and the water pitcher
27. The cunning judge
28. The cunning snake
29. The devta and the weaver
30. The dhobi's donkey
31. The dog in a foreign country
32. The donkey and the cunning fox
33. The donkey and the leopard's skin
34. The donkey who sang a song
35. The fake king
36. The falcon and the crow
37. The fool and the crooks
38. The foolish jackal
39. The four foolish brahmins
40. The four friends and the hunter
41. The fox and the elephant
42. The frog and the serpent
43. The giant and the helpless brahmin
44. The giant and the horse thief
45. The golden bird and the king
46. The golden birds and the golden swans
47. The golden goats
48. The hermit and the jumping rat
49. The horse and the lion
50. The hunter and the doves
51. The jackal and the arrow
52. The jackal and the drum
53. The king and the parrots
54. The king cobra and the ants
55. The lapwings and the sea
56. The lion and the hare
57. The lion and the woodcutter
58. The lion's bad breath
59. The lioness and the young jackal
60. The little mice and the big elephants
61. The louse and the bed-bug
62. The marriage of a snake
63. The merchant and the barber
64. The merchant's son
65. The mice that ate balance
66. The mongoose and the baby in the cradle
67. The monkey and the crocodile
68. The monkey and the log
69. The monkeys and the red berries
70. The mouse and the bull
71. The old greedy crane
72. The old wise crow
73. The peacock and the fox
74. The potter's truth
75. The prince and the bear
76. The prince and the seedling
77. The rabbits and the elephants
78. The revenge of the elephant
79. The rich mohan and the poor sohan
80. The rotating wheel
81. The sage and the mouse
82. The shepherd and the wolf
83. The stag and his antlers
84. The talkative tortoise
85. The thief and the sanyasi
86. The thief, the giant and the brahmin
87. The trick of the crow
88. The useful thief
89. The village mouse visits town mouse
90. The visit of the swan
91. The wind and the sun
92. The wise crab
93. The wolf and the crane
94. The wolf and the lamb
95. Three fish and the fishermen
96. Two fish and a frog
97. United we stand: divided we fall
98. When the lion came back to life
99. Who will bell the cat
100. Why the owls became enemies of the crows

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