Another great story from Jataka Tales. A long time ago, there lived a family of hawks in a thick forest near a lake. The family included Mother Hawk, Father Hawk and Baby Hawks.
One fine day, Mother Hawk asked Father Hawk, “My dear, how many friends do you have near here?” Father Hawk replied, “None so far!” The Female Hawk said, “ You must find some new friends so that we at least have someone to help us, if ever we are in trouble or in danger”. Father Hawk agreed with the Mother Hawk and asked, “With whom shall I make friends?” Mother Hawk suggested, “You can make friends with the kingfisher, the lion and the turtle, who live just near our lake.”
Father Hawk set out to meet the lion, the kingfisher and the turtle one by one, and made friends with them. All of them soon became fast friends and were leading their lives happily.
Suddenly one day, some men came to the forest for hunting. They hunted in the forest from morning till night, but found nothing. They were so tired that they decided to spend the night near the lake and lay down to sleep under the tree on which the hawk family lived. However, the hunters could not sleep because they were being disturbed by the flies and the mosquitoes.
They finally got up in the middle of the night and lit a fire to drive the flies and mosquitoes away. The Baby Hawks got frightened on seeing smoke and fire and started crying out loud. When the hunters heard the cry of the young birds, they made up their minds to catch the young ones in the morning and eat their meat for breakfast.
The hawks overheard the conversation of the hunters. Mother Hawk got frightened and asked her husband to go and get some help from their friends. Father-Hawk flew speedily to the kingfisher’s nest and woke him up. He narrated the whole incident to him and requested him to come and help them out. The kingfisher also flew to the hawk’s nest and saw the hunters making fire with leaves and small woods.
He swiftly took a dip into the water, soaked his wings in water and sprinkled it on the fire by flapping his wings over it. The fire got extinguished. The hunters made another fire but, the kingfisher put it out once again. Every time a fire was made, the kingfisher put it out. By midnight, the kingfisher was exhausted and could not put out any more fires.
Looking at the condition of the kingfisher, Mother Hawk asked Father Hawk to call the turtle for help. The turtle readily agreed to help his friend. He dived deep into the water, collected some mud from the bottom of the lake and put out the fire with it. On seeing the turtle, the hunters changed their mind and said, “Why to bother for the young hawks? Let us kill this turtle and consume its delicious meat for breakfast.” But as they had nothing to catch the turtle, they tore off their clothes and made a big bag out of them. But the turtle was much cleverer than the hunters. When he saw them making a bag to catch him, he quickly jumped back into the lake. The hunters were so impatient to catch the turtle that they also jumped into the water. They, however, failed to find the turtle who was hiding deep in the water and had to come out empty handed. They were now very tired and drenched in water, without any clothes. They said, “No matter what happens now, we will eat the young hawks at sunrise. If any animal tries to foil our plan, we will kill it.”
Father Hawk now rushed to the lion and begged for his help. The lion said, “Don’t worry, my friend! I will be there in a moment.”
Soon, the lion came roaring at the place. When the hunters heard the loud roar of the lion, they ran away from the scene as fast as they could run. When the lion reached the tree, there was no sign of the hunters. At that time, the kingfisher and the turtle also came on the scene. The hawks thanked their friends from the bottom of their hearts.
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