The cunning judge

 
Contributed by : Ravina Sewani   
The cunning judge

This is a classic story from panchtantra.

This is a story of cat, rabbit and sparrow.

Once upon a time, a sparrow lived on a tree. He had a beautiful and comfortable nest in the tree and used to live in it happily. Each day, the sparrow would go out in search of food and return to the nest in the evening.


One day, the sparrow as usual went out to look for food but it started raining heavily so the sparrow had to take shelter in another tree’s branches. The sparrow kept waiting for the rain to stop so that he could go home but the rain did not stop all night.

In the morning, when the sky cleared, the sparrow returned to his nest. He was shocked to find a rabbit in his nice and comfortable nest. The sparrow became angry and said, “This is my home. Please leave at once and go back to wherever you have come from.” “Don’t be such a fool,” the rabbit replied. “Things like trees, rivers and lakes don’t belong to anyone. They are only yours as long as you are living in them. If, in your absence, your place is acquired by someone else, then it belongs to them. So, this place is now mine. Don’t disturb me now.”

But the sparrow did not see any logic in the rabbit’s statement. He wanted his home back. He said, “Let us go and seek the advice of some wise person who can help us to settle this matter.


Now it so happened, that a wild cat who used to live at a little distance from the tree overheard the conversation of the sparrow and the rabbit. He thought of taking advantage of the situation. So he quickly took a dip in the river and then sat like a priest chanting the name of God loudly. When the sparrow and the rabbit heard the chanting and saw the cat sitting there like a priest, they thought that he must be a very wise person. So, they went to consult him hoping that he provide them with impartial justice.

The cat was very happy to see the sparrow and the rabbit. He pretended to listen with interest as they told their story and put forth their arguments. As soon as the time was right, he pounced upon them and killed both of them and ate them for his meal. This is how tussles over little, insignificant matters may sometimes lead to disaster.


Moral:

When you fight among yourself over little things, some third person gains from that usually.




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