It is another interesting story from the album of Jataka Tales. Once upon a time, there lived a family of Hawks in a lake near a forest. The family included Female-Hawk, Male-Hawk and their Kid-Hawks. All of them were passing their days happily. There also lived a Lion, a Kingfisher and a Turtle on the northern, the eastern and the southern shore of this lake respectively. One day, the Female-Hawk asked her husband, Sweetheart, how many friends do you have near here?
The Male-Hawk replied, I do have friends, but not one in this
part of the forest. The Female-Hawk asked, Dear, you must
find some friends. At least, we should have some one who can help us, if
ever we are in trouble or in danger. The Male-Hawk asked, With
whom shall I make friends? The Female-Hawk suggested, You
can make friends with the Kingfisher, the Lion and the Turtle, who lives
on the eastern, the northern and the southern shore of this lake.
The Male-Hawk liked the idea and went to the lion, the kingfisher and
the turtle one by one and made friends with them. Everyone was happy to
make a new friend. Everything was going smooth in their life. Suddenly
one day, some men came to the forest for hunting. They hunted in the
forest from morning till night, but found nothing. They didnt want
to go home empty-handed, so they went to the lake in order to see what
they could find there.
After the whole day, they were tired. When they couldnt locate
anything even on the lake, one of them said, let us stay here
tonight and see what we can find in the morning". All of them
agreed to the proposal. They made beds of leaves for themselves and lay
down to sleep. They made their beds under the tree in which the Hawk
family had its nest. However, the hunters could not sleep because they
were disturbed by the flies and the mosquitoes.
Ultimately, they got up and built a fire on the shore of the lake, so
that the fumes would drive away the flies and mosquitoes. The fumes
awoke the hawks and the kid-hawks cried out. Hearing the cries of the
Kid-Hawks, one of the hunters said to the other, Did you hear
that? That was the cry of the birds. They will make well for our
breakfast. There are young ones in that nest pointing towards the
nest. The Hunters put more wood on the fire and made it blaze up.
The Hawks listened to the conversation of the hunters. The Female-Hawk
got frightened and said to her husband, These men are planning to
eat our young ones. We have to ask our friends to save us. Ask the
Kingfisher to help us, as we are in danger. The Male-Hawk flew
speedily to the Kingfishers nest and made him awake with his cry.
The Kingfisher asked the Hawk, Why have you come at this late hour
of night? The Male-hawk narrated the whole story to the
The Kingfisher consoled the Hawk and said, Dont worry my
friend. I will help you. Go back and comfort your mate. I am just coming.
The Male-Hawk flew back to his nest quickly and the Kingfisher also came
at the location. On arriving, the Kingfisher saw the burning fire and
instantly, beating the water with his wings sprinkled water on the fire
and put it out. The Hunters made another fire and one of them, tried to
climb up the tree. The Kingfisher put out the fire once again.
As often as a fire was made, the Kingfisher put it out. By the
Midnight, the Kingfisher got very tired. The Female-Hawk noticed the
condition of the Kingfisher and said to her husband, The
Kingfisher is tired. Go and ask the Turtle to come and help us. In the
meantime, the Kingfisher may take some rest. The Male-Hawk quickly
flew down and asked the Kingfisher, Rest a while friend. I am
going to get the Turtle.
Subsequently, the Male-Hawk flew towards the southern shore of the lake
and wakened the Turtle. The Turtle asked the Hawk, What happened
friend? Why you have come? The Male-Hawk replied, A danger
has come to us and told the whole story about the hunters. He also
said, The Kingfisher has been working for hours and he is tired by
now, that is why I have come to you. At once, the turtle said, I
will help you.
After this, the Turtle went to the place where the Hawks lived. He
dived into the water, collected some mud and put the fire out with it.
On seeing the Turtle, the hunters cried, Why to bother for the
young hawks? Let us kill this Turtle. It will make a nice breakfast for
us. We have to be careful otherwise it will bite us. Let us throw a net
over it and turn it over. But they didnt have nets with
them, so they took some vines and tore their clothes to make a net.
When they tried to put the net over the Turtle, they could not roll him
over. Instead, the Turtle suddenly dived down into the deep water making
their efforts vain. The hunters got so impatient to get the turtle that
they went down into the deep water. When they came out of the water,
they said, Half of the night, a Kingfisher kept putting out our
fires. Now, we have torn our clothes and got wet while trying to get
this turtle. We will make another fire and eat those young hawks at
sunrise. With this, they started making another fire.
The Female-Hawk was hearing the conversation of the hunters. She said
to her partner, I am afraid, sooner or later these men will get
our young ones. Go and ask our friend, the Lion to help us. The
Male-Hawk flew to the Lion at once. The Lion asked the Hawk, Why
have you come at this late hour of night? The Hawk narrated him
the whole story. The Lion said, Dont worry friend. I just
come. You go back and comfort your mate and the young ones.
Soon, the Lion came roaring at the place. On hearing the Lions
roar, the hunters cried, Now, all of us would be killed.
They ran away from the scene as fast as they could run. When the Lion
approached the tree, not even a single hunter was visible. At that time,
the Kingfisher and the Turtle also came on the scene. The Hawks were
happy to find the hunters were gone. They appreciated the efforts made
by all of the friends and lived happily thereafter.
Moral: Friends in need are friends indeed.
The Hawks and Their Friends is an interesting tale / story from the album of Jataka tales.