Once upon a time a pair of sparrows built a nest on a banyan tree where the female sparrow laid eggs. One afternoon a wild elephant came to the tree seeking shelter from the sun. Unable to bear the heat, the elephant suddenly went mad and snapped a big branch of the tree, crushing the sparrow’s eggs in the nest. The sparrow pair somehow escaped the fury of the elephant but they lost their eggs. Wife sparrow started crying for her eggs.
A woodpecker, a close friend of the sparrow, heard her crying and asked her, “Why are you crying, my friend? Wise men do not grieve what is lost or what is dead or what is past. That is the difference between a learned person and an unlettered man.”
The female sparrow said, “The wicked elephant has destroyed my eggs. If you are my true friend suggest a way to kill him. He deserves this punishment.”
“What you say is right,” said the woodpecker. “Everyone tries to be friendly when you are prospering. But a friend in need is friend indeed. You will see how resourceful I am. I have a friend who is a fly. He can help us in killing the elephant.”
The woodpecker called on the fly and told him, “This is my dearest friend. A wild elephant has squashed her eggs. We must somehow find a way to kill that elephant. We need your help.”
The fly said, “I have a friend who is a frog. Let us go to him and seek his help also.” The female sparrow, the woodpecker and the fly went to the frog and narrated the entire story of the sparrow’s grief.
The frog said, “We can even kill the elephant together. Do as I tell you. O’ fly, go to the elephant when the sun is high in the sky and hum a sweet tune into his ears. When he closes his eyes in ecstasy, the woodpecker will scoop his eyes out. He becomes blind and when he will be thirsty, he will look for water. I will go to a quicksand and begin croaking there. Thinking that there is water, the elephant will come there and sink into the quicksand and die.”
All the four played out their roles according to the frog’s plan and killed the elephant.