After narrating the story of the fox which was beaten to death for cheating, Karataka told to Damanaka “We need to be very careful while dealing with our enemies. Sometimes, they may portray as well wishers and act kindly. After winning our trust, they will hit us death blow. We should think like the crow which acted smartly and taught the eagles, who killed his fellow beings, a befitting lesson. We should know to protect ourselves.”
‘This is surprising. How did a crow teach eagles a lesson? Please narrate me the story’, requested Damanaka.
Karataka started narrating the story.
Once a group of crows made nests in a huge tree and were residing there. For some strange reason they had enmity with a bunch of eagles that were residing in a nearby cave. Their enmity grew over a period of time. It had reached a stage where they could not bear each other’s sight and were ready to kill each other.
Both the groups had a king, minister and some key followers. The eagles were eagerly waiting to take the first plunge and kill the crows. One day, the minister of eagles summoned all and said, “Tonight is the time. You may attack and kill all the crows while they are sleeping”.
As per plan, that night, all the eagles attacked the crows at once, injured them with their beaks and killed most of them. Fortunately, the king crow, minister crow and some other managed to survive with some injuries.
The minister was deeply disturbed. He decided to teach a lesson to the coward eagles that attacked them in the night, despite their might. He quickly came up with a plan and instructed all the other crows to move over to another tree at a safer distance. He said, ‘I will let you know at the right opportunity to teach the eagles a lesson. Till then stay away from the sight of these eagles. Be ready for my instructions!’
As per his advice, all the remaining crows moved to a safer place under the leadership of their king. The minister crow lied still among the dead corpses of its brethren.
King eagle was waiting for it to dawn to see the plight of the crows and have the last laugh. As the sun came up in the sky, he went to the crows’ home along with his minister and some key followers. They flew all over the tree to see, if any crow was still alive.
The minister crow who was waiting for this moment started moving a little and acted as if he was in deep pain. The eagle king immediately came near to kill the minister crow. The crow appealed, “Please spare me. I have tried my best to convince the king crow and others to not develop enmity with you. I said, eagles are the kings of birds led by Lord Garuda. It is not a smart thing to have enmity with such mighty birds. Had they paid heed to my advice, they would all have been happily alive today and we would have been good friends. I am already injured deeply. Please do not kill me. I will be your good friend.”
The minister eagle noticed the king was ready to forgive and let him go. He warned against any such move. However the king eagle was completely sold to the crow’s line of thought. He decided to protect the crow and took him to their cave
The minister however, put up a watch of guard on the crow’s moves. The crow showed no signs of revenge. He was very friendly and did not miss an opportunity to help the eagles.
As time passed, the minister and other eagles also got convinced and befriended the crow. Gradually, they became less cautious about the crow’s moves and reduced the guard.
The king eagle’s birthday called for celebrations. It was party time. All the eagles had a nice time. They became very tired after all the celebrations and went into deep sleep.
The minister crow decided it is the right time to act. He summoned other crows to collect lots of sticks and dry twigs and spread them all over the cave. When they have filled the cave with enough twigs, the minister requested the king to light the fire. In no time, the fire spread all over the cave and burned all the eagles to death.
The crows flew away to their new home safely
After narrating the story Karataka said, “Even though the king eagle knew, the crows belonged to the enemy’s camp, he decided to befriend and offer protection to the minister crow. He did not pay heed to his minister’s advice. It is important to act with utmost caution when dealing with enemies. However, the twist is, it is not always bad to offer solace to your enemies. It depends on your ability to take care of yourself.”
– Translated by Balaji Gorantla from Telugu original by
Srimathi Molagu Krishna Priya, Veerullapadu