The Heron And The Crab

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This story is part 4 of 4 stories in the series Panchatantra Stories

Long time ago there lived a heron by the side of a pond. It was a lazy creature and once devised a plan to get supply of fish without doing much work.

He went to the side of the pond and put on a gloomy face without attempting to catch any fish.

The pond was also inhabited by a crab, which was wise and often helped the fish in the pond. On seeing the gloomy heron, the crab asked her what the matter was.

The heron said, “Alas! I am worried that the pond is going to be soon devoid of any fish, which are in turn my source of food. I overheard a group of fishermen talking about catching all the fish in this pond. But I know of a pond somewhat far away, where all the fish will be safe. If the fishes are interested, i can carry a few each day to the other pond where they will be safe.”

All the fish were eager to make use of the heron in reaching the safer destination. So everyday some of them volunteer to go with the heron. The heron took some fish each day in the beak, and on reaching a large rock used to eat all the fish and leave the bones of the fish at the rock.

This way, she was able to get a continuous supply of fish at no effort at all. In the end, the curiosity got the better of the crab, and one day it volunteered to go with the fish. When it got closer to the rock, it realized the foul play the heron had been playing on the poor fish.

Enraged, it tightened its claws around the neck of the heron and snapped the head of the heron off. The heron thus died a selfish death. The crab crept back to the pond and told all the fish about the lies the heron had been telling.

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