Friday, February 20, 2009

Tripitaka Tales 1

The Quarrelsome Birdflock
Published by Twister on 2009/2/20 (8 reads)

The story of a Hunter and a Flock of Birds - whilst the birds are living in harmony, it is impossible to catch them out, so the hunter waits for them to quarrel.

(from Sak Yantpedia's "Buddha Tales" section)

Once upon a time, in the Town of Varanasi in the time of Brahmatad there was a large flock of birds, grouped in their thousands in the forest. In that Lifetime, the Buddha was born as a bird with extraordinary cleverness. He was the leader of the flock of birds that rested in this forest. Devadhata (Buddha's greatest enemy in the life as Siddhartha) was also born at this time into the flock of birds as a rather stubborn and stupid bird.
At the same time as this, there was a hunter living in the area whose main source of income came from catching and selling birds in the forest.
His way of catching them was that of throwing a net over the birds as they were pecking the floor looking for seeds on the floor, and then tread on the net and remove each bird one by one and put them in the basket. He would then take them to be sold on the market; this was his profession with which he raised his family. The clever leader of the flock of birds knew about the hunter's activities in the area, and alwasy had counted the hunter as an enemy to be respected.

One day, the Clever bird said to the flock; "Mother and Father, brothers and sisters, You may perhaps remember or know of the hunter who is always throwing his net trying to catch us - he is our executioner! We shall have to see friends and relatives disappear and be lost to us forever because of his actions. What are we doing to prevent him from being able to catch us?

One of the birds remarked "Yes that's right! lets confer and think about this - the clever bird then suggested "I have a way that will help to save us, but i am not sure if we can accept it or not". "What method? tell us!" the birds cried out in unison. "Tell us, and we shall surely do as you suggest!" So the clever bird told the way for them to help each other be saved; As of this day, whenever the hunter was around and threw his net over them, then each bird should put his hed into the eyes of the net, and all lift the net up together at the same time.Then, flying with the net, they should fly down onto a Thorn bush, catching the net on the thorns. And there from slowly be able to drop out of the net to the ground.
"Oh what a stroke of genius!" agreed the rest of the flock with a sound of chirping; "we willsurely do as you say, and escape the clutches of the hunter's net".
The next day, the flock went out to search for food as usual, as for the hunter, he also was out in the forest doing his usual hunting rounds.
This time though, when the hunter was around, the birds would be on their toes and careful.

As the flock saw the hunter approaching, they would become extremely vigilant, and as the hunter threw the net, they remembered the instructions of the clever bird, each bird inserting his head into the net and they all flew up simultaneously and dropeed the net down on a thorny hedge. They then were able to drop down to the floor and fly away to safety. The hunter then proceeded to work disentangling the net from the thorn hedge, with the intention to continue the hunt. But by the time he had disentangled it, it was already beginning to get dark, so he made his way home. He wasn't able to retrieve even a single bird from the net - it appeared he was going to hjave to return home empty handed, with only his empty net and basket. The next day, the hunter renewed his attempts, vowing to return with a catch today.. but the result was exactly the same as the day before; when he threw his net, the birds cleverly all worked together to lift the net and leave it entangled on the thorn bushes. The hunter wasted the day disentangling his net again, and returned home empty handed once more.The hunter's wife was displeased and comlained "I haven't seen you bring anything home at all for two days already!" "Today is the same again". "Do you have someone else you are caring for and use all your money for that? why are you empty handed? you always caught plenty before?" "No no my dear, please don't be angry with me, it isn't that at all!" "In the moment the birds they are clever, they all help each other to lift my nets when i throw them, and entangle my net on the bushes to escape. Then it takes me all day to disentangle the net, and i am empty handed". "Maybe you should think about a new profession" said his wife. "The birds are more clever than the humans already - have you thought of another profession yet?" "No, i don't have to have a new profession my dear, this is a good profession already. All i have to do is wait a while until the amisty of the birds is broken, and then they will fall prey to my net!"
Not many days after the hunter had soothed his wife's anger, there occured an incident which caused the birds to argue to the point of losing thier mutual amisty. This happened when one of the birds who was flying down to look for seeds on the ground, accidentally landed with one foot on another bird's head. "Who kicked my head?", said the affected bird. "I'm sorry I'm sorry, i didn't mean to step on you" said the other bird.
continued on Yantpedia

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