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Story of The Pigeon and the Crow
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
|026 - The Pigeon and The Crow|
In ancient India people used to hang up straw baskets in various places to give shelter and comforts to the birds. Thus, the cook of the king’s treasurer, too, hung up one such basket to comfort of the birds. Soon a pigeon found his abode in the basket. In the dawn he would fly outside in search of food and return in the evening.
day, a crow flying over the kitchen smelt the flavour of the fishes being
cooked. He developed a strong longing for the dishes. So, he looked for an
opportunity to steel some pieces. Soon he noticed the pigeon returning
from his usual course of outing. Then it occurred to him to befriend the
pigeon to contrive a way to enjoy some pieces of meat.
this thought in his mind, he approached the naïve pigeon and began
conversation in sweet tongue. The pigeon in turn welcomed his friendship;
but at the same time cautioned him not to steel anything from the kitchen.
the cook saw the two in friendship he uttered, “Well, my bird has
brought his friend, I must hang up another basket for him, too.” So, he hung up another basket for the crow.
day, the cook dressed several kinds of fishes and began cooking them in a
pan. He then kept the lid on the pan and kept a colander on top of it and
stepped outside to wipe out the sweat from his brow. Just then the crow
stuck out its neck and saw the cook out of the kitchen. Giving in to his
temptations he found a good opportunity to scoop at a large piece of meat.
But when scooping at his target he dropped the colander with a thudding
noise. Alarmed, the cook rushed inside the kitchen and saw the crow
attempting to pilfer a piece of fish, which he was cooking for his master.
Incensed at the crow’s attempt to steel he shouted, “O rascal! You
deserve a lesson”, and he went to the door and shut it properly. Next,
he caught the crow and plucked out its feather and daubed it in hot spices
and salt all over his body and threw him back in a basket, where he lay
groaning in agony.
the evening when the pigeon returned and saw the crow breathing his last,
he said, “Look O crow! As you are head strong and not paid heed to the
counsels of a true friend you have to perish surely”.
wise pigeon then changed his abode could foresee that he, too, may incur
the wrath of the cook as being a friend of the crow. So, he in no time
flew away in search of a new home.
morning, when the cook returned to the kitchen and found the crow dead, he
hurled him along with his basket upon a heap of dust and garbage.
Lola Jataka Jataka Pali No. 274.
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