The Elephant and the Sparrow by Vishnu Sharma

Two sparrows, husband and wife, built a nest on a banyan tree where the female sparrow laid eggs. One afternoon a wild elephant came to the tree seeking shelter from the sun. Unable to bear the heat, the tusker suddenly went berserk and snapped a big branch of the tree, crushing the sparrow’s eggs in the nest. The sparrow pair somehow escaped the fury of the elephant but the wife began crying for her eggs.

A woodpecker, a close friend of the sparrow, heard her crying and moved by her grief asked her, “Why are you crying, my friend? Wise men do not grieve what is lost or what is dead or what is past. That is the difference between a learned person and an unlettered man.”

The female sparrow said, “The wicked elephant has destroyed my offspring. If you are a true friend of mine suggest a way to kill him. In my view, he who harms a person in trouble or he who ridicules a person in sorrow deserves to be punished and he who punishes such a person has no rebirth.”

“What you say is right,” said the woodpecker. “He is a friend who comes to your aid when you are in need. Everyone tries to be friendly when you are prospering. You will see how resourceful I am. I have a friend who is a fly. With his help we can kill the elephant.”

Taking the female sparrow with him, the woodpecker called on the fly and told him, “This is my dearest friend. A wild elephant has squashed her eggs. You must somehow find a way to kill that elephant. We need your help.”

The fly said, “I have a friend who is a frog. Let us go to him and seek his help also.” The female sparrow, the woodpecker and the fly went to the frog and narrated the entire story of the sparrow’s grief.

The frog said, “What is an elephant before a united crowd like us? Do as I tell you. O’ fly, go to the elephant when the sun is high in the sky and hum a sweet tune into his ears. When he closes his eyes in ecstasy, the woodpecker will scoop his eyes out. He becomes blind and thirsty and will look for water. I will go to a quicksand and begin croaking there. Thinking that there is water, the elephant will come there and sink into the quicksand and die.”

All the four played out their roles according to the frog’s plan and caused the death of the elephant.”

Moral of the story: Even the low and humble achieve results when they work together.

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