The Birds, the Beasts and the Bat

The Birds and the Beasts declared war against each other. No compromise was possible, and so they went at it tooth and claw. It is said the quarrel grew out of the persecution the race of Geese suffered at the teeth of the Fox family. The Beasts, too, had cause for fight. The Eagle was constantly pouncing on the Hare, and the Owl dined daily on Mice.

It was a terrible battle. Many a Hare and many a Mouse died. Chickens and Geese fell by the score—and the victor always stopped for a feast.

Now the Bat family had not openly joined either side. They were a very politic race. So when they saw the Birds getting the better of it, they were Birds for all there was in it. But when the tide of battle turned, they immediately sided with the Beasts.

When the battle was over, the conduct of the Bats was discussed at the peace conference. Such deceit was unpardonable, and Birds and Beasts made common cause to drive out the Bats. And since then the Bat family hides in dark towers and deserted ruins, flying out only in the night.

 

Moral

The deceitful have no friends.

A Raven and a Swan

A Raven, which you know is black as coal, was envious of the Swan, because her feathers were as white as the purest snow...

The Three Questions

King Akbar was very fond of Birbal. This made a certain courtier very jealous. Now this courtier always wanted to be chief minister, but this was not possible as Birbal filled that position.  One day ...

The Ants and the Grasshopper

One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine...

The Farmer and the Cranes

Some Cranes saw a farmer plowing a large field. When the work of plowing was done, they patiently watched him sow the seed. It was their feast, they thought...

The Goatherd and the Goat

A Goat strayed away from the flock, tempted by a patch of clover. The Goatherd tried to call it back, but in vain. It would not obey him. Then he picked up a stone and threw it, breaking the Goat's horn...

The Dog in the Manger

A Dog asleep in a manger filled with hay, was awakened by the Cattle, which came in tired and hungry from working in the field...

The Ass and the Load of Salt

A Merchant, driving his Ass homeward from the seashore with a heavy load of salt, came to a river crossed by a shallow ford...

The Lion's Share

A long time ago, the Lion, the Fox, the Jackal, and the Wolf agreed to go hunting together, sharing with each other whatever they found...

The Stag, the Sheep and The Wolf

One day a Stag came to a Sheep and asked her to lend him a measure of wheat. The Sheep knew him for a very swift runner, who could easily take himself out of reach, were he so inclined...