Gateway to the Classics: Indian Fables by Ramaswami Raju
Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju

The Raven, the Serpent, and the Bracelet

A raven had her nest on a tree; at the foot of the tree a serpent had its hole. The serpent went up the tree, and ate up the young birds in the raven's nest.

The raven said, "I am indeed very sorry that you have had to eat up my dear little ones for want of food. Should you be so good as to keep to your hole and leave my nest unmolested, I would give you every day a portion of the meal I get for myself."

The serpent, extremely irritated at this, replied, "You black, dirty thing that feeds on carrion, I would rather eat up your young ones and yourself than touch anything that you may fetch me."

The raven flew off to the palace, and taking up one of the bracelets of the queen, dropped it into the hole of the serpent. The servants of the royal household followed the bird, and dug into the hole to recover the bracelet. The serpent rushed out hissing at them, and was killed in a moment.

The wicked often fail to appreciate kindness in others, and compel them to work their ruin.

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