By Kamlesh Tripathi
Once, a diligent farmer was harassed by birds when they started attacking his fields. His fields were located close to the nearby forests that happened to be the habitat of many such varieties of birds. The moment the farmer used to sow the seeds and cover it with sand, these pack of birds used to land on the fields and consume the seeds from under the sand. And the farmer had gone tired trying to keep the birds at bay and was having a harrowing time. A lot of the seeds were eaten away by these birds and that was making his farming uneconomical. At last he had no alternative but to cultivate his land all over again and sow fresh seeds.
But this time anticipating the same nuisance, he brought along with him a big net and laid the trap of the net over the entire field. Many birds as before came to pick the seeds but got trapped in the net this time. And along with the birds one crane also got stuck in the net.
When the farmer started catching the birds in the net the crane implored—‘please have mercy on me. I have not put you to any loss nor have I eaten your seeds. I’m neither a hen, nor a sparrow nor any other seed consuming bird. I’m a crane. I only eat insects that are harmful for crops. Therefore please leave me.’
Farmer was angry and in his anger he blurted—‘what you say is correct, but today you have been caught along with these birds that have eaten all my seeds. So you are also their friend. And, since you have come with them you also need to face the punishment with them.’
The moral of the story is: a person is known by the company he keeps. People who are good but stay with bad people are subjected to punishment and disgrace. By accompanying miscreant birds even dutiful crane got trapped and had to pay the price.