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Story of The Baveru Island
The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma
Once the merchants of Varanasi went to the Baveru Island. They carried a crow with them. At that time there was no bird in the island; and most people had not seen any bird in their life-time. So, when the crow was put on display the people thronged to look at the bird with great curiosity. Some remarked, “Look at its glossy colour!” Some said, “Look at its silky fur! Some said, “Look at its pretty beak and its jewelled eye-balls!” Thus, the people praised the bird. Later, they approached the merchants and said, “Sirs you have several birds like this in your land. You sell this to us because you can find another in your land”. And they offered them one piece of coin as the price of the bird. The merchants agreed to sell but demanded a higher price. Finally, the deal was made and the people bought the crow at the rate of one hundred coins.
The natives of the island
then carried the crow in a pompous procession and placed it in a golden
cage. The crow was treated with variety of meat, fish and wild fruits.
Thus, a crow, which is known for ten evil characteristics, enjoyed all
sorts of gains and praises.
The dancing peacock
The merchants, who
wanted a better bargain, said, “Sirs! We first brought a crow and you
took it from us. Now, we bring a peacock and you want to take that, too.
Next time, we would not bring any bird to your land.” But the people
insisted and offered higher and higher price. Finally, the deal was made
at the rate of one thousand coins.
The people then placed
the peacock in a cage, which was made of seven jewels. They then treated
the new bird with all sorts of fish and meat, honey and fried corn and so
on. Since then the crow was hardly given any attention. No body then
offered it anything. So, one day, when it got an opportunity to move out
it flew from the cage with its shrill “caw, caw” and settled down on a