The Hunter and the Doves | Hitopadesha Tales
The Hunter and the Doves | Podcast
Once upon a time, there was a vast silk-cotton tree on the banks of the Godavari River. It was where a big group of doves lived. Every night, all of the doves would return to the silk cotton tree and sleep there all night. The following day, they would fly away again to look for food.
The whole group of doves left the silk-cotton tree one morning to find food. After a while of flying, one of them suddenly yelled, “Did you see that? Rice grains are scattered all over the ground. How lucky we are! Food, lots and lots of food.”
But the king of the doves was still not happy. “That is very strange indeed,” he said.
“Grains of rice in a place where no one lives! This could be a trap set by a hunter.
“Oh, please don’t stop us!” his people begged. “You can see for yourself that there is no one down there. Just fly down and have a big breakfast!”
The king agreed with what was being said, and all the doves flew down to eat the rice grains.
All of the doves were caught when a net fell on the birds. They all struggled to free themselves, but it was of no use.
“This is why I told you all to be careful. Now we’re all trapped, and the hunter will be here soon to take us away.”
The king of the doves was right, too. The hunter who set the trap walked up to the doves and said, “Oh, you stupid birds! Because of you, I caught a lot of fish today.”
Just as the hunter was getting ready to pick up the net with all the doves caught, the king of doves told his subjects, “Quick! We all need to grab the net and start flying. This is the only way for us to stay alive.”
The other doves didn’t question their king again. Instead, they did what he said. Each dove grabbed a piece of the net, spread its wings, and flew up in the same direction.
The hunter was shocked as all of the doves flew away from him as he tried to catch them in his net. “Come back here. I own you all! Wait, I’ll catch up with you when you return to land.”
Even though the hunter chased after the doves, he couldn’t keep up with them for too long and had to stop puffing and huffing.
One dove then asked his king, “Now that we’ve gotten away from the hunter, what are we going to do about the net?”
After giving it some thought, the king said, “Let’s go back to the silk cotton tree.” My friend, the mouse, lives in a hole in the tree trunk, and he will help me cut this net off of us.”
The mouse ran for his life when he saw a whole net flying through the air. But the king of the doves called out to him, “Oh, don’t worry, dear mouse. It’s just us. We were caught in a hunter’s net; this was the only way to get away.”
The mouse came back when he heard his friend’s voice. He looked at the doves and said, “Ah, I see that you were all able to save yourselves because you all worked together! Don’t worry; I’ll get you out of the net.
So, the mouse started chewing on the net, and soon all of the doves were free. Since then, the doves have never come down to eat any rice grains that fell to the ground. And they always did what their wise king told them to do.
Unity makes us strong.
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