The Black Snake and Mongoose - Panchatantra Stories

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In a jungle, on a banyan tree, a number of herons had built their nests in it. In the hollow of the tree lived a black snake. He used to eat up the heron’s young, before their wings had sprouted.

‘One heron, whose children had been eaten by the snake, came to the bank of the river Saraswati with tears in his eyes. ‘A crab saw him and asked, “Uncle! Why are you crying?”

“What can I do?” said the heron. “I am so unlucky that all my children have been eaten up by the black shanks. I’m crying I am heartbroken.

The crab heard this, he thought to himself, “This heron is a natural enemy of our species. What I’ll do is tell him truth and lies in such a way that all the other herons will be completely destroyed. As they say, ‘Let your speech be soft as butter, but your heart as hard as stone, but advise your enemy in such a way that he is wiped out, along with his race’.”

‘And so, the crab said to the heron, “Uncle! If this is the case, then scatter some bits of fish and mutton from the burrow of the mongoose to the snake’s hole, so that the mongoose will follow the food, reach the snake’s hole and kill him.”

The heron listened to the crab’s advice and did as he had told him to.

As the crab had anticipated, the mongoose followed the trail of fish and mutton, reached the snake’s hole and killed him. But unfortunately, in due course, the mongoose also killed off all the herons living on the top of the tree as well.

Moral of The Story, So, continued the judges, ‘that’s why we said, “A wise man thinks not only of a solution to his problems, but also of its consequences.”

‘Papabuddhi thought of a solution but he did not consider how it would work out. That’s why he came to grief.’ “So, continued Karatak, “That’s why I said that you, Damanak, are like Papabuddhi. You too thought of a plan to make these two quarrel - but you did not think of the harm that would come out of it. You had better keep away from me, for, if you can bring Pingalak to this state, God only knows what you will do to me. For, in a situation like this, anything can happen. As Jveernadhana said to the judges - Where rats can eat away a heavy iron balance, undoubtedly, a flamingo can also fly off with a child.

“How was that?” asked Damanak. Karatak told this story. THE IRON BALANCE

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