Panchatantra: The Lapwings And The Sea
A long time ago, a couple of lapwings used to live on the seashore. When it was time for the female lapwing to lay her eggs, she said to her husband, “Dear, I do not want to lay eggs here on the shore. I ......
A long time ago, a couple of lapwings used to live on the seashore. When it was time for the female lapwing to lay her eggs, she said to her husband, “Dear, I do not want to lay eggs here on the shore. I am scared that the sea will eat them up. Let us go to some lake or pond where our eggs can be safe.”
“Don’t be silly,” replied the male lapwing. “You are worrying unnecessarily. All of our ancestors have laid eggs here. Nothing will happen. I will teach the sea a lesson if he dares to eat our eggs.”
So, the female lapwing laid her eggs on the seashore. Soon after, she went away in search of food, leaving the eggs there. When she came back, she could not find the eggs anywhere. She was very sad at the loss of her eggs and began to weep bitterly. When she told her husband about it, he was filled with rage. He called a meeting of all the birds and told them about the incident. He told them about how the sea was being cruel and unjust and misusing his power. “We must get together and fight against this injustice.” he said. “Today, the sea has eaten up our eggs. Tomorrow, the same thing could happen with your eggs too.”
The other birds understood the seriousness of the situation. Everyone was very upset over the incident. They decided to report the matter to their king, the eagle and request him to grant them justice. The eagle was infuriated on hearing about the incident. He said, “I will not tolerate such injustice towards my subjects. I will see to it myself that the sea gets punished for his evil deed. I will suck up all his water and leave him completely dry.”
This outcry of the birds was heard by Lord Vishnu in heaven and he thought that he must intervene. He sent his messenger to the eagle with the message that the eagle should wait and that he would take care of the matter himself.
So, Lord Vishnu appeared before the sea and ordered him to return the lapwings’ eggs at once or he would have to give up his existence forever. The sea was frightened. He returned the lapwings’ eggs at once and promised that he would never eat any birds’ eggs from the sea shore ever again.
In this way, the birds ensured safety for their eggs. This is why it is said that you must not tolerate injustice and should always raise your voice against it.
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