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Panchatantra Stories – Don’t be Greedy

When a crane makes a plan to get food, does everything go well or does her plan fail?

Once upon a time there was a crane who was standing near a pond and was thinking about her fate. She was old and weak and could not hunt for food, hence she was brooding. Finally, she came up with a plan and smiled to herself.

Soon after, she put on an act by appearing to be sad and dull. A crab came near the crane and asked her as to what was bothering her. The crane said that an astrologer had come here and had predicted that there would be no rains this year and hence this lake would dry up. The crab was listening intently and was beginning to feel sad too as many of his fish friends lived there.

The crane continued to say that she had a plan and she was willing to help. When the crab asked the crane as to how she would help, the crane replied by saying that she would carry the fishes in her long beak and take them to another nearby lake where the water would never dry up. The crab accepted this plan and went to inform his fish friends in the lake. 

From the next day, the crane would carry a few fishes daily in its beak. After a certain distance, she would drop the fishes on a rock and kill them and devour them. This continued for many days and many fishes were killed. Everything was going well for the crane, but she felt that she needed variety in her food and decided to eat the crab the next day. 

The next day, the crane asked the crab to come and he agreed. The crab climbed onto the crane’s back and they started to travel. After a certain distance, the crab saw many fish bones lying below on the rocks. He grew suspicious and knew that he had been deceived by the crane. He blamed himself for all the friends who had died because of the trust he had wrongly placed and decided to kill the crane. He used his claws and strangled the crane to death. He then returned to his home and told the other fishes about what had happened.

Moral – One must always learn to be happy with whatever they have, instead of wishing for something they do not have.

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