Another great story from Jataka Tales. Once upon a time, there lived a woodpecker and a lion. One day, the lion hunted a big bison and sat down to devour it. It so happened that while having his meal, a big bone got stuck in the lion’s throat. He was not able to remove it and was in great pain.
A kind hearted woodpecker lived nearby. He offered to help the lion. He, however, told the lion that he would only take out the bone if the lion promised not to eat him while removing the bone. The lion gladly agreed and opened his mouth in front of the woodpecker. The woodpecker hopped inside the lion’s mouth, stretched his head deep inside the lion’s throat and easily pulled out the bone. The lion kept his promise and let the woodpecker fly away to safety after taking out the bone.
Soon the lion recovered completely and made another kill. The woodpecker also thought of joining the lion and asked for a small share of meat. To his utter disappointment the lion blatantly refused to share his meal and said, “How dare you ask me for more favours? I have already done so much for you!” The woodpecker did not understand what the lion was talking about. The lion then clarified, “You should be thankful to me that I did not gobble you up when you were taking out the bone from my throat. Now do not expect anything else from me and go away.” The woodpecker said to himself, “It was indeed a mistake to help such an ungrateful creature!”
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