Heron Bhagat and Crab Panchatantra Story
There was a huge pond in a forest area. Various types of creatures, birds, fishes, turtles and crabs used to live there because of the food in it for all kinds of creatures. There lived a heron nearby, which did not like to work hard at all. His eyes were also weak. To catch the fish, one has to work hard, which used to hurt him. Therefore, due to laziness, he would often go hungry. Standing on one leg, he kept thinking that what should be done to get food daily without moving his hands and feet. One day when he came up with a solution, he sat down to try it.
The heron stood on the bank of the pond and felt tears shed from his eyes. When a crab saw her shedding tears, he came near her and asked, “Mama, what’s the matter, instead of hunting fish for food, you are shedding tears standing up?”
Best Stories of Panchatantra in English
The heron hiccuped loudly and said with a sore throat, “Son, you have hunted a lot of fish. Now I will not do this sinful act any more. My soul has awakened. That’s why I’m not even catching fish that come near. You are watching.”
The crab said, “Uncle, you will not hunt, will you eat or you will not die?”
The heron took another hiccup, “It is better to destroy such a life, son, we all have to die soon anyway. I have come to know that soon there will be a drought of twelve years.
The heron told the crab that it was told to him by a trikaldarshi Mahatma, whose prediction is never wrong. The crab went and told everyone how the heron had taken the path of sacrifice and devotion and that there was a drought.
All the creatures of that pond, fishes, turtles, crabs, ducks and cranes etc. came running to the heron and said, “Bhagat Mama, now you only tell us a way to escape. Fight your intelligence, you have become a great scholar.
The heron gave some thought and told that there is a reservoir some kos away from there, in which the mountain spring flows and falls. It never dries up. If all the creatures of the reservoir go there, then there can be rescue. Now the problem was how to get there? Heron Bhagat also solved this problem “I will take you one by one carrying you on my back and reach there because now the rest of my life will be spent in serving others.”
All the living beings raised slogans of ‘Bagula Bhagatji ki Jai’.
Now Heron Bhagat has turned twelve. He used to carry a creature on his back every day, and after taking it some distance, he would go near a rock, slam it on it, kill it and eat it. Whenever there was a mood, Bhagatji would also make two rounds and the number of animals in the pond started decreasing after eating two creatures. A pile of bones of dead creatures started growing near the rock and Bhagatji’s health started improving. After eating, he became very fat. There was redness on the face and the feathers started shining with the brilliance of fat. Seeing him, other living beings would say, “Look, the fruit and virtue of serving others is being felt by Bhagatji’s body.”
Bagula Bhagat laughs a lot in his heart. He used to think that look how many foolish creatures are full in the world, who believe everyone. In the world of such fools, if we work with a little cleverness, then it is fun. A lot of feasts can be made without moving hands and feet. This went on for many days. One day the crab said to the heron “Mama, you have brought so many animals from here to there, but my turn has not come yet.”
Bhagatji said, “Son, today we put your number, come sit on my back.”
The crab was happy and sat on the back of the heron. When he reached near the rock, seeing the mountain of bones there, the head of the crab fell. He stammered, “How is this a pile of bones? How far is that reservoir, uncle?”
Heron Bhagat laughed loudly and said, “Fool, there is no reservoir there. I keep eating one by one by bringing them here on my back. You will die today.”
The crab understood everything. He shuddered, but he did not lose courage and immediately stretched his claws forward and pressed the neck of the evil heron with them and held it till his life was lost.
Then the crab returned to the pond with the severed head of the heron Bhagat and told the truth to all the creatures that how the evil heron Bhagat kept deceiving them.
Lesson: Do not blindly trust anyone’s words. In trouble, one should act patiently and wisely.