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The Pigeons and the Hunter’s net

Pakshidutta was the king of a flock of pigeons.  He lived with his subjects in a dense forest.  The pigeons lived in the hills surrounding the forest.  In the middle of the forest was a beautiful lake.  All the animals which lived in the forest would drink from the water in the lake.  There was no other source of water for miles around.

The pigeons had to search for seeds and small fruits which grew in the trees.     Pakshidutta along with his flock would visit the lake every day in the evening to quench their thirst.

As they flew low over the clear waters of the lake and settled on its shore, they would rest for a short time.  They would bathe in the lake and refresh themselves.  They would, then, drink their fill of water and fly back to their nests to their young chicks in their nests.

Pakshidutta lived happily with his flock.  He had been the leader of the pigeon for many years.  He was a wise and able leader.  He would help the weaker ones of the flock who could not find food sometimes.  He would lead the flock to the best places where food could be found.

Things went as usual for a long time, until one day a hunter came to the part of the forest where the pigeons lived.  The hunter made his living by hunting animals and selling their meat and skin in the villages around the forest.  While he had come to the forest several times, it was the first time that he had come the lake in the forest.  He also noticed the pigeons which came to the lake.  As he saw the pigeons, he was happy.  He knew that he could catch them and sell them.  He could make a lot of money.

It was late in the afternoon and the hunter decided to wait for his prey to come to the lake.  As expected, the pigeons flew and sat near the shore of the lake as usual.  It was a particularly hot day and they were tired and thirsty.  A few of them come over to the water and splashed in it as they cooled their little bodies.  The others stooped to drink the water.  It was a beautiful site.

But how would the hunter catch the birds now!  The wily hunter had set a snare for the poor birds.  He had suspended a wide net in one of the branches.  Just below the net he has sprinkled some grains and seeds.  He had a clever plan.  He would drop the net down on the pigeons when the innocent birds would come to get the grain.

The hunter had taken a place near the net.  He hid among some bushes near the lake and waited to the pigeons to take his bait.  One of the pigeons had noticed the grains spilt on the shore.  It started to walk towards the grains.

Pakshidutta, too had seen the grains.  But he was suspicious.  He wondered how such a large quantity of grain could be lying on the shores of the lake.  Surely there was more to this than meets the eye.  He looked around and saw nobody.  By then the other birds too had seen the bait.  The innocent birds were moving towards the grains when Pakshidutta called out to them.  He asked the birds to wait for some more time so that he could investigate further.  But the pigeons did not listen.  The temptation of all sorts of seeds and grains so near was too much.

The birds ignored Pakshidutta and went closer and started eating the grains.  The grains were indeed tasty.  The pigeons were busy gobbling the grains when they heard a dark covering fall over them.  They were startled.  It was the net that the hunter had dropped on them when they were right below it.  The startled pigeons cried in alarm.  They beat their wings and tried to get free.  But they could not.  They were hopelessly entangled in the net.  They cried out for help.

Pakshidutta was shocked to see his subject in danger.  The hunter would come any moment and catch the helpless birds.  He went near the net and crawled under it.  He then calmed the birds which were in a state of panic.  He had a plan.  He told to birds to flap their wings and try to fly up when he gave the signal.  Now, they listened to Pakshidutta.  Just as he gave the signal, all the pigeons flapped their wings at the same time.  They rose high above in the air along with the net which was over them.  They could lift the net with all their effort combined.

The hunter ran out of his hiding place.  He was shocked that he had lost his prey and also his net.  But the pigeons flew high over the forest and settled on top of a hill near their nests.  They then slowly extricated themselves from the nest one by one.  They thanked Pakshidutta and were sorry for not listening to him

Children, this story teaches us to think before we act and to be careful.  When a stranger offers you chocolates or ice cream, you must always refuse to have it without your parents’ permission.  This story also teaches us to be calm even in most difficult situation.  Being calm helps us to think clearly and get out of the difficulty.