The Panchatantra – Story 19

UPBRINGING DETERMINES CHARACTER

In a mountain tract, there was a parrot with two young ones. One day, when the mother bird had gone in search of food, a robber of the vicinity stole both the young ones. One of them fell from his basket by chance. The other was taken to his home by the robber and taught to speak. The parrot which had fallen from the basket was found by a wandering sage and taken to his hermitage and taught to speak. After a considerable time had passed, a King, whose horse had bolted and separated him from the rest of his hunting party, passed by this robber’s house. Seeing him, the parrot there said at once in a cruel voice, ‘Master, here comes some man on horseback. Bind him, bind him ! Kill him, kill him!’.

Hearing this, the King was terribly afraid and spurred his horse and rode at break-neck speed. Soon he reached the spot where the hermitage was situated. The other parrot from his cage saw him approach and said, ‘Welcome, O, king kindly rest here. Drink this sparkling water and taste these luscious fruits. O, sages, bring water for this guest to the shade of this big tree which gives a cool breeze.’ Hearing this, the King opened his- eyes wide with astonishment and thought, ‘What is this difference due to ?’ He asked the parrot, ‘I saw another parrot just like you in this forest. He is a cruel bird and shouted out “Bind, bind; Kill, kill” Why is this ?’ Then the parrot related the story of the two brothers and said, ‘Our father and mother are the same. Sages brought me up whereas a robber brought him up. You see, O King, how upbringing determines character.’ 

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One thought on “The Panchatantra – Story 19

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