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The Elephant and the Sparrow

(Story found in:  Franklin Edgerton's reconstruction Durgasimha's Kannada translation Purnabhadra's recension Hitopadesha by Narayana )

A couple of sparrows lived happily in their nest on top of a huge tree in a jungle.
The Elephant And The Sparrow - Panchatantra Story Picture
The female sparrow had laid her eggs in the nest and they were expecting their newborns soon.
On a particular day, unable to bear the heat of the summer sun, an elephant went berserk.
He crashed into all trees in his way. On his way, he broke the branches of the tree that supported the nest of the sparrow couple.
As the branches fell, so did the nest and all the newly laid eggs smashed against the ground.
Although the sparrows managed to escape by flying away, they were heart-broken to see that they had lost the eggs. The female sparrow began to cry and wail loudly.
The Elephant And The Sparrow - Panchatantra Story Picture
A woodpecker, who was at a little distance, was touched by cries.
He went to her and said, "Dear good sparrow! There is nothing you can do by crying. What is destined to happen, will happen for sure."
The female sparrow replied, "That is indeed true. But all my children were killed by this wicked elephant, this is also true. We had done no harm to him."
"If you consider yourself to be a friend", continued the female sparrow, "Please suggest me a way to destroy this elephant and avenge the death of my children".
"So I will", replied the woodpecker, "I have a fly as a friend. Let us go and ask for her help to destroy this cruel elephant".
Thus, the woodpecker and the female sparrow went to meet the fly. The woodpecker explained, "My friend, please meet this sparrow. She is a dear friend of mine. Her eggs were destroyed by a wicked elephant; please help us find a way to destroy this cruel elephant."
The Elephant And The Sparrow - Panchatantra Story Picture
"I will certainly help you", the fly said after hearing the events, "How can I be your friend, and yet not help you when you need me. I have a frog as a good friend, let us seek his help to destroy this wicked elephant."
Thus, the female sparrow, woodpecker and the fly went to the frog, and explained him of all the events for which they had come to him for help.
The old frog said after hearing everything, "The elephant is big, but he is alone. What can this elephant do, if we work together to destroy him? I have a plan!"
He explained, "Fly! When the sun is scorching, your task would be to buzz in his ears. When he closes his eyes in sheer ecstasy, the woodpecker's task would be to peck his eyes and make him blind. In this scorching summer, he will certainly search for water, but being blinded already he will not be able to do so. I will then sit on the edge of the nearby pit and croak at the top of my voice."
The Elephant And The Sparrow - Panchatantra Story Picture
He continued, "When the thirsty elephant hears me, he will think there is a pond or lake nearby and follow my voice. And when he does so, he will fall into the pit and perish. This way, we can avenge the death of the sparrow's children!"
The others agreed to the plan, and organized to do their part of the tasks as laid by the old frog.
They executed their tasks successfully, and the elephant fell into a muddy pit and was severely wounded.
The wise indeed say:
Even the low and humble achieve results when they work together.
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