The Blind Vulture:
An interesting story from Hitopadesha tales which teaches us not to blindly trust any one as a friend.
Once upon a time in a thick forest there lived many birds on a big tree. Next to this tree there was a hollow and dry tree. One day a half blind old vulture came and made the dry tree his home. The vulture had no friends or relatives. He was all alone in the forest and on the tree.
Seeing the old vulture, the birds in the next tree felt very bad and decided to bring him into their tree and share their food with the old vulture.
Next day the crow and other birds went to an old vulture and invited him to come and stay in their tree. The crow said, “ Dear friend, we feel very sad to see you alone in this dry tree. You also have no nest here. Please come and stay with us. You can also build a nest in our tree.”
The old vulture was very happy and accepted their invitation. Next day morning the old vulture went to the big tree where other birds were staying. The birds helped the vulture to build his nest and they were giving him food of fruits and nuts. In turn the vulture used to take care of the chicks.
One day it so happened that a cat was passing below the tree. He heard the chirping sounds of the young birds from the nests. The cat also saw the big vulture sitting close to the young birds.
The cat thought to fool the vulture and eat all the young birds. As the cat started climbing the tree the young birds began to chirp in fear. The vulture could sense danger and shouted, “ Who is there and what do you want ?”
The cat sensed that the vulture was half blind and decided to play a trick and fool the vulture. The cat moved slowly towards the vulture and said. “ My lord, I am a cat, I am very delighted to see you here. You are the largest of the birds and you can also be the king of the birds.” The vulture was very happy to hear such good words about him.
The cat further said, “ I am staying on the other side of the river. I have heard a lot about your good deeds. I would like to be your disciple and learn all the good deeds from you and take your blessings.”
The vulture said, “ How can I trust you as you are a carnivorous animals and eat birds that are here in the tree.” The clever and cunning cat replied, “ My lord, I have given up eating meat and I am a pure vegetarian now. Please trust me and make me your disciple.”
The vulture believed and allowed the cat to stay in the hollow of the tree. As the days passed the cat started eating the young birds one by and one. After eating the flesh the cat was putting the bones in the nest of the vulture so that nobody would doubt him.
The vulture who was blind could not make out what's happening. The birds came back and saw their young ones missing from the nest. They went in search of them and saw the bones in the nest of the vulture.
The birds thought that the vulture had killed all the young birds and became very angry. The birds shouted, “ You blind vulture, we gave you shelter as you were alone. But you ate all our kids. Get out from our tree at once.”
The vulture tried to convince the birds that the cat must have eaten and not him. But the birds did not believe the vulture. The vulture went back to his dry tree and stayed all alone again.
Moral: Never trust someone whom you hardly met.
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