It was a beautiful day, in the forest as the Peacock and his lady walked around the lush green surroundings. The Peacock suddenly broke into a dance, while the Peahen watched, both lost in their own happy world.
Suddenly they heard the roar of the king of the jungle. The Lion, as the king was not too happy at what he thought was disturbance to his peace by the birds prancing around. He ordered the Peacock to stop dancing immediately. But the Peacock did not listen to him and continued dancing. Angry and agitated at being disobeyed, the king pounced on the peacock, but both birds immediately flew away to a nearby tree.
The king of the jungle was so angry that his orders had been disobeyed that he wanted to immediately do something about it. He talked to his assistant the Tiger and told him how disobedient the birds had been. The Tiger agreed to the Lion's story, adding that the Peacocks were indeed a nuisance because whenever he was out hunting they would cry out and warn the animals before hand of the Tiger's coming.
Both hatched a plan in order to catch the impudent peacock. Soon one day, a Jackal visited the Peacock s as they were dancing again. On seeing the Jackal, the birds immediately flew to a tree top to save themselves. The Jackal pleaded with the Peacock to come with him, since his wife was not well. He said that his wife had given birth a few days ago and had since then been behaving absurdly. The doctor, a Mr. Crow had advised them to show the wife the dance of a Peacock, if they wanted her condition to improve.
On hearing this, the Peacock laughed a lot. He said, 'I'm sorry but perhaps you don't know that I dance only to pleasure my wife." The Jackal had to return empty handed and this completely made a flop story of the plan that had been hatched by the Lion and the Tiger to catch the Peacock, when they thought he would accompany the Jackal.
But the Lion would not give up yet. And he got a chance to avenge his insult when he saw one day the Peacock was chasing a snake. The Snake is usually food for Peacock’s and the Lion thought this would be a good time to take his revenge. He suddenly pounced on the Peacock and even though he could not actually catch the bird, which flew away, the act had the effect of making the Snake easily get away, just when the Peacock was about to catch it.
This act on part of the Lion angered the Peacock who asked the lion why he had done it. When the Lion told him that he was angry at the Peacock because it had not listened to him, who was the King of the jungle, the Peacock said, ‘you might be the king of the animals, but we are birds and it is our right to fly wherever we want in the jungle and my dance was for pleasure, it should not affect you so much. But what you have done, I shall not forget and take revenge.’
Very soon, one day the Lion was out hunting and he had almost sunk his teeth into a young Lamb. Just then he saw, the mighty wings of an Eagle swoop down and snatch away the little Lamb with powerful claws. As an astonished and crestfallen Lion looked on, the Eagle said, ‘You have snatched away the prey of one of the birds, something not tolerated amongst animals. Being the king of birds, it was an insult to all of us. We as birds roam free and we soar high above everyone. We are the poets amongst animals. But we do not take away the prey from another animal’s mouth. I give back to you what was yours’
Saying so the Eagle dropped the lamb into the astonished feet of the Lion and soared off.
*Please note, I am no translator. It’s a beautiful & simple story that I read & thought of sharing with friends here. The story is a gist of the original story by the writer Banaphool, the Bengali writer. Banaphool is the pen name of the Bengali author, Balai Chand Mukhopadhyay. Born in Bihar, he began writing as a teenager and adopted the his pen name Banaphool (wild-flower in Bengali) to hide his work from his tutors. He is most noted for his short vignettes, often just one page long.
(Image credit- http://devdutt.com/articles/indian-mythology/sacred-beasts.html )