The foolish crane and the cunning crab

Once on a big banyan tree was home of a number of a crane. The crane had many children. In the hollow of that tree lived a cobra, which used to feed on the young cranes which would not fly. When the mother crane saw the cobra lunching on her offspring, she was very sad and began to cry. Seeing the sorrowing crane, a crab asked her what made her cry.

The crane told the crab, “Day on day, the cobra is killing my children. I am not able to protect my children. Please show me some way to get rid of this cobra.”

The crab then thought, “These cranes are our born enemies. I shall give her advice that is misleading and suicidal. That will see the end of all these cranes. Elders have always said that if you want to wipe out your enemy your words should be soft like butter and your heart like a stone.

Then the crab told the crane, “Dear crane, strew pieces of meat from the mongoose’s burrow to the hollow of the cobra. The mongoose will follow the trail of meat to the cobra burrow and will kill it.”

The crane did as the crab advised her. The mongoose came following the meat trail and killed not only the cobra but also all the cranes on the tree.

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