The Golden Birds And The Golden Swans – Panchatantra Stories 6
Once upon a time there lived a mighty king in the state of Rajasthan. He had a beautiful palace in the ‘city of lakes’. One such lake surrounded his palace with a beautiful garden around it. There were many golden swans living at this lake. These golden swans used to shed golden feathers everyday. The king collected all such feathers and kept them in his state treasury.
Once, a huge golden bird came flying to the lake. He perched on the branch of a tall tree standing near the lake. He liked the lake’s sweet water very much and decided to make the lake his home. But the swans didn’t tolerate his presence there.
“Who’re you?” the golden swans asked the golden bird. “What for have you come here? Better get out, otherwise, we’ll beat you.”
“Why? Is this not king’s palace ground?” the golden bird asked. “It was,” the swans replied, “but, not now. We’ve bought this place from the king. Now even he can’t enter the lake area without our permission. Do you understand? Now get out of this place.”
The golden bird then flew to the palace garden and waited for the king to arrive to take a walk in the garden. Soon the king came there with his armed guards and began to take morning stroll in the garden.
The golden bird then flew to the king and said to him, “Your Majesty, I came to your beautiful kingdom from a foreign land. I wanted to settle here. But, the golden swans already living here drove me out of the lake. They are very arrogant. They say that they have bought the lake from you and now even you can’t enter the lake without their permission. I advised them not to speak ill, but still they talk arrogantly.”
Hearing this the king became very angry. He ordered his soldiers to go to the lake and kill all those arrogant golden swans, because they had spoken ill of him.
However an elderly swan guarding the lake saw the soldiers coming towards the lake with naked swords in their hands. He was quick to know what was going to happen. He called a gathering of golden swans and said to them, “Let’s fly to some other lake. The king’s soldiers are coming to kill us.”
Acting upon his good advice, all the golden swans took to their wings, well before the king’s soldiers arrived there to kill them.
It was a great loss for the king, for he believed a stranger blindly and ordered his soldiers to kill the golden swans. Now he would never get those golden feathers. The golden swans too had to abandon the beautiful royal lake because of their arrogant nature.
The king became so dejected to lose those golden swans that he asked the golden bird to find a different home for himself somewhere else.
Moral: Never act hastily believing a stranger’s words. It’s also undesirable to be as arrogant as the golden swans were.