A Tale of Two Birds

By Gordon B Greer

This storey expresses and illustrates the significance of the company one keeps. How one's company influences one's behaviour and helps to shape one's character.

This is the storey of a mother bird and her two young birds. The mother was killed in a storm, and the sons were separated in the storm. The tall tree on which they lived was also blown away by the strong wind, and they were blown to the other side of the forest. One landed near a gang of robbers, while the other landed near the Rishi's ashram.
A king became exhausted while following a deer one day. He came over and sat under the tree near the robbers' cave. There, the king heard the voice of a large brown bird. It was calling to the robbers to rob the king. The king quickly rose from his throne and rode away. He got close to the Rishi's ashram.
He heard the bird's voice once more. But it was diametrically opposed to what he had previously heard. This bird asked the king to take rest inside the ashram and to wait the arrival of the Rishi. The King was astounded to see the birds' similar appearance, but this voice was far too gentle. The bird informed the king that his brother had picked up the language from the robbers. When the Rishi arrived, the king told him the storey of the birds. The Rishi smiled and explained that the impact of the company was reflected in the birds' behaviour. That bird was not to blame. He was simply repeating what he had heard, and the forest was full of unexpected twists and turns.

1.  A mother bird and her two young ones lived in a forest.
2.  The mother was killed in a storm and the young birds were separated from each other.
3.  Each found a different home.

THERE once lived a bird and her two new-born babies in a forest. They had a nest in a tall, shady tree and there the mother bird took care of her little ones day and night. One day, there was a big storm. There was thunder, lightning and rain, and the wind blew down many trees. The tall tree in which the birds lived also came down. A big, heavy branch hit the nest and killed the bird. Fortunately for the baby birds, the strong wind blew them away to the other side of the forest. One of them came down near a cave where a gang of robbers lived. The other landed outside a rishi’s ashram a little distance away.

  • Robbers : Person who commits robbery, a thief, a burglar
  • Fortunately : luckily, happily, by good luck
  • blew down : to make fall

This storey is about a mother bird and her two young birds in the woods. In a tall shady tree, the mother bird was caring for her babies. A fierce storm blew through one day, causing all of the trees to fall down. A large branch fell on the nest, killing the mother bird. Fortunately, the baby birds were blown to the other side of the forest and saved. One of them made it to a robber's cave. The other came down near a rishi's ashram.

Days passed and the baby birds became big birds. One day, the king of the country came to the forest to hunt. He saw a deer and rode after it. It ran deep into the forest followed by the king. Soon the king lost his way and didn’t know where he was.

  • Hunt : to chase and try to catch and kill, to pursue

The baby birds grew bigger after a few days. The king of the country arrived in the forest one day. He was out hunting. While hunting he noticed a deer and started chasing it. The deer ran into the forests. The king became lost while chasing the deer on horse.

He rode on for a long time till he came to the other side of the forest. Very tired by now, he got off his horse and sat down under a tree that stood near a cave. Suddenly he heard a voice cry out, “Quick! Hurry up!
There’s someone under the tree. Come and take his jewels and his horse. Hurry, or else he’ll slip away.” The king was amazed. He looked up and saw a big, brown bird on the tree under which he was sitting. He also heard faint noises issuing from the cave. He quickly got on to his horse and rode away as fast as he could.

  • Amazed: surprised

The king continued riding until he reached the other side of the forest. He dismounted his horse and sat under a tree near the cave because he was tired. Suddenly, he heard a voice instructing him to be quick and rob the person outside of his everything-jewels,horse. The king was surprised and looked up to confirm. He noticed a large, brown bird on the tree, as well as faint noises coming from the cave. He jumped on the horse and ran away.

1.    The king was amazed to hear a similar voice again.
2.    He came to know the birds’ true story.
3.    He met the rishi who explained the behaviour of each bird.
Soon, he came to a clearing which looked like an ashram. It was the rishi’s ashram. The king tied his horse to a tree and sat down in its shade. Suddenly he heard a gentle voice announce, “Welcome to the ashram, Sir. Please go inside and rest. The rishi will be back soon. There’s some cold water in the pot. Please make yourself comfortable.” The king looked up and saw a big, brown bird in the tree. He was amazed. ‘This one looks like the other bird outside the cave,’ he said to himself loudly.

  • Comfortable : suitable, to be at ease

He soon arrived at an Ashram. The king sat in the shade of a tree after tying his horse to it. Here, he heard a soft voice greet him and invite him to come inside and take a rest. It also advised him to drink cold water from the pot and relax until the Rishi arrived. Surprised, the king looked up to see what was going on and discovered a similar big brown bird in the tree.

“You are right, Sir,” answered the bird. “He is my brother but he has made friends with robbers. He now talks as they do. He doesn’t talk to me any more.” Just then the rishi entered the ashram.

  • Robbers: thieves

The bird informed the king that he was correct. The bird was his brother, but he had made friends with robbers. He, too, had evolved into one of them. The bird went on to say that he and his brother had stopped talking to each other. Just then, the rishi walked into the ashram.

“Welcome, Sir,” he said to the king. “Please come inside and make yourself at home. You look tired. Rest for a while. Then you can share my food.”

  • Welcome : to greet

The Rishi welcomed the king and invited him to come inside and relax. In addition, he offered to share his food.

The king told the rishi the story of the two birds and how each had behaved so differently though they looked so alike. “The forest is full of surprises,” he said.

  • Alike : similar, identical

The king explained the differences in behaviour of the two birds that appeared to be identical. He went on to say that the forest was full of such surprises.

The holy man smiled and said, “After all, one is known by the company one keeps. That bird has always heard the talk of robbers. He imitates them and talks about robbing people. This one has repeated what he has always heard. He welcomes people to the ashram. Now, come inside and rest. I’ll tell you more about this place and these birds.”

  • Imitates : copies

The Rishi smiled and explained the importance of one's company. The bird that heard the robbers was repeating their words, while the bird with the Rishi was speaking softly and greeting the people. The Rishi requested that the king rest and offered to tell him more about the birds and the place.