Clever Swan: Story of a far-sighted swan – Once upon a time there was a huge banyan tree in a forest. It was very old and its strong branches had spread for wide an all sides. A flight of swans had made their nests among the branches of this tree. They had been living safely in these nests for a long time.
One of the swans was very old and wise. He was a far-sighted swan. One day he saw a twiner growing near the roots of the tree. The wise clever swan called all his companions and told them, “friends! This small twiner will grow thicker and harder in due course and curl round the tree-stem.”
“So what?” asked the other swans.
Clever Swan: Indian Folktale
“The wise clever swan argued “if we let this twiner grow it will become strong and the hunter will be able to climb the tree by means of this twiner. Shall we remain safe in that case?”
“But it is very small yet. It is not a danger for us now,” said one of the swans.
“Nip the evil in the bud, they say. Harmful things must be destroyed when they are small. This twiner is small and is soft and thin so it can easily be destroyed by uprooting it now. When it has grown thicker and harder, it will be difficult to cut it. It may be the source of danger then,” warned the wise swan.
The other swans took it very carelessly and retorted, “we will see it then.”
So, the twiner remained intact since the warning or the wise swan was ignored. The time passed the twiner was now thick and strong. It has also curled around the banyan tree.
One day when all the swans were away hunting for food a bird-catcher happened to come to that tree. “Well! This tree is adobe of swans. How safely they have built their nests! I must catch all of them,” murmured the bird-catcher to himself.
The hunter climbed the tree with the help of twiner and set the trap to catch the swans. The swans returned at dusk but they did not notice the trap. So, as soon as they flew down to their nests, they got trapped in it. In spite of their best efforts, they could not get free. Feeling helpless, they shouted for help.
The wise swan said “you did not pay any heed to my warnings and the result is before you.” Then he consoled them saying, “it is no use of crying, take heart, we should do something to save our lives.”
“We all beg your pardon, for ignoring your warnings. It is only you who can get us out of this danger now.” the other swans requested the wise swan.
“Listen to me,” said the wise swan, “when the bird-catcher comes tomorrow morning, we shall feign death lying motionless, holding our breathes. He will start taking us out of the trap and placing us on the ground one by one. When he places the last of us on the ground, we should all fly.”
All swans agreed to the wise swan’s plan. The bird-catcher came the next morning. Climbing up the tree, he found all the swans dead. He started taking them out of the trap and throwing them on ground.
When the bird-catcher had thrown the last swan on the ground, the swan flew away all at once.
“OH! All of them are alive. What a fool I am! I took them to be dead,” murmured the bird-catcher.
Amazed and repentant, the bird-catcher left the place in the hope of finding some other game.