and the Three Friends
The Hunter and the Three Friends :
More Dhammapada Stories
There was a great friendship between a deer, a tortoise and a woodpecker. They were always seen together. They spent most of their time, chatting or playing by a lakeside.
One day, a hunter came to the forest and laid a trap behind the brush near the lake. The deer happened to be returning from the lake. He stepped on the trap and was caught in the trap. He cried out with pain. He called his friends and cried, “I have been trapped. Please come and help me". The woodpecker was at the time sitting on a tree. He heard the deer’s crises. He flew to him. The tortoise also came running at full speed. They were horrified to see their friend in the trap. They thought of a plan.
The woodpecker flew and called a mouse that lived in a nearby hole. The mouse and the tortoise started cutting the trap. In the meantime, the woodpecker flew to the hunter’s camp. The hunter was just coming out of the crises of the deer and was anxious to catch him. The woodpecker sitting on the tent. He decided to go out from the back door of the tent.
However, the woodpecker had anticipated this. He too went to the back door of the tent and as soon the hunter came out, pecked on this head again. The hunter felt giddy and sat down on a stone to take rest. The woodpecker’s purpose was solved. He flew back to the deer.
By then, the mouse and the tortoise had cut open the trap and deer was free. He thanked his friends and the mouse for their timely help.
Just then, the deer saw the hunter approaching. He warned his friends. The mouse, the deer and the woodpecker escaped. But the tortoise was caught. He put him into his bag and tied it with a strong string.
The woodpecker had seen all this. He called out to the deer and informed him that the hunter had caught the tortoise. It was now deer’s turn to help his friend. He thought, “if a go and lie down in the hunter’s path, the hunter would keep his bag containing the tortoise on the ground and try to catch me. When he will be nearing me, I shall run very fast. The hunter will follow me. I shall take him to the thickest part of the forest from where it will be very difficult for him to find his way back.
In the meantime, the woodpecker will cut open the bag and release the tortoise". He told his plan to the woodpecker approved of the plan and advised the deer to be very careful. “Be alert of the hunter’s footsteps and run as fast as you can “. The woodpecker advised him.
The deer told the woodpecker not to worry about him and took a short cut to reach the hunter’s path. He lay down on the path, pretending to be dead. Soon the hunter came along the path and was very happy to see a dead deer in front him.
As expected, he kept his bag at a side and ran to pick up the deer. The deer had been very alert. As soon as he heard his footsteps, he stood up and ran swiftly. For a second, the hunter remained rooted to the ground. He had been twice deceived by the deer. He was now bent upon catching the deer. He forgot his bag and the tortoise and ran behind the deer.
In the meanwhile, the woodpecker had already the hunter’s bag. He was opening it. Soon he was successful in opening the bag. The tortoise thanked him for his help. The woodpecker was worried about the deer. So he advised the tortoise to go and hide in the lake, while he himself flew in the direction in which the deer and the hunter had run. Soon, he could see the deer being followed by the hunter. He also flew over without losing the sight of the deer.
The deer had reached a thick part of the forest. His intention was to lead the hunter into the deepest part of the forest and leave him there. He would never be able to find his way back to the lake. He ran fast with the hunter following him. When he entered the thickest part of the forest, he hid behind a bush. The hunter went ahead. The deer then ran in the reverse direction. The woodpecker flew don to him and congratulated him on his success. The two friends then returned to the lake. The tortoise had been waiting for them. He had prepared meal for them. The three friends sat down to eat their meal. It had been a tiring, but adventurous day for them. They had thoroughly enjoyed their adventure.
The Hunter and the Three Friends - The Hunter and the Three Friends - The Hunter and the Three Friends
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