THE DOVES AND THE BIRD CATCHER
A big tree grew in a forest. It was full of leaves and fruits.
Many birds came to the tree to eat the fruits. One day a hunter came there to catch birds. He spread a net beneath the tree and strew some grains on the net. A crow saw him doing this. It told the other birds, ” O birds! Do not try to eat the grains below! A bird-catcher has spread a net to catch you!”
A large number of doves came flying from afar. Seeing the grains lying on the ground they circled over the place. The crow shouted to them, “Do not go near those grains!” But the doves were hungry and did not listen to the crow. They all came down eagerly and started eating the grain.
Their legs were caught in the net, and they started crying. The leader of the -doves, Chitragriva, said, ” Do not grieve, friends. We made a mistake, and so we suffer. The hunter will be hiding somewhere near. Before he comes, we must escape!
How can we escape?” they asked in chorus. “All of you keep yourselves ready. When I say the word, we must all fly up into the air with the net. If ‘all of us risefrom the ground at the same time, the net will easily come flying with us. The Minter will not be able to catch us!” explained the leader.
“O yes, O yes!” shouted the other doves and, at the word from the leader, all ofthem flew. up into the air together carrying the net with them!
The hunter saw them and, cried, Oh! My net is gone!
What shall I do now?
The doves landed safely at a far-off place.
The doves had a mouse friend.
Chitragriva called him and asked him to gnaw at the net. The mouse did so, the net came to bits, and all the doves escaped.