Panchatantra Story: The Crab and the Stork 

In a green forest at the bottom of a mountain, was a beautiful pond. This pond was home to many fishes, frogs, and crabs living together peacefully. Among them lived an exceptional and smart stork that ruled both the air and the water. This stork had all that he wanted. He fed on the creatures of the pond and flew high up in the skies above.  

In keeping with the laws of nature, this was the perfect way of life. Every creature in this pond was well-fed, and everyone lived in harmony. However, this delicate balance could not be maintained for long. As the years went by, age caught up to the magnificent stork, and this bird of the skies and the water wasn’t as agile as he used to be.  

The feathers from the stork’s wings began to fall out; his bones showed signs of aging. The pain and weakness made it difficult for this once-strong stork to hunt and fill his belly. Meals soon became harder to come by. The creatures of the pond easily escaped his once-powerful grip; his beak often failed to hold on to the quick crabs, frogs, and fishes that he did manage to catch. Many times, the stork stayed hungry, and he got weaker by the day.  

Going hungry every day wasn’t right for the stork. This helpless stork was facing almost certain death. Very soon, he realized that he needed to come up with a brilliant plan to solve his problem. So, the stork put his smart brain to work and came up with a shockingly evil idea. He pretended to be very sad and worried, and he gathered all the creatures of the pond together. He said, ‘Brothers and sisters of this beautiful pond, we are now facing great trouble.’  

Also Read: The Crocodile and the Monkey

The other creatures were quite naturally scared by his words. They asked, ‘our brother the stork, why are you so sad and scared?’ ‘Let us know about your bad news. We will get together and solve this problem.’ 

The stork didn’t waste any time and went straight to telling his lies, ‘my friends of this pond; we may soon lose our home, humans have taken over this forest.’ ‘They plan to direct the waters of this pond to a dam they are building in the city.’ ‘If we do not find a new home, all of us will be dead soon.’

He needed to give some proof, so he said, ‘my sister from the pond nearby is now homeless, her friends are all dead, and I’m afraid the same will happen to us.’ The creatures of the pond were terrified. These were creatures that lived all their lives in this pond; they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, and without water, none of them could live. 

The small and simple creatures of the pond trusted every word the large stork spoke. They all agreed that the stork was the cleverest among them, so they begged the stork to save their lives. The stork pretended to think long and hard, and then the stork said, ‘My brothers and sisters, we have to find another pond to call our home, and I know just the right one.’  ‘I will personally take each one of you to our new home, one of you at a time, in my beak. 

The other creatures were quite happy with this plan. They all agreed to accept the help offered by the stork. For these poor creatures, this was the only way to stay alive. For the stork, this was his wicked way to fill his hungry belly. The stork was very happy, but he hid his feelings from the other creatures of the pond. The stork’s evil plan was working. He was now sure that he would get his food every day without much trouble. 

From the next day, the stork got to work on his wicked idea. The creatures of the pond happily climbed into his beak. The stork then flew off with them a few miles away, dropped them from a great height, and ate the dead fishes, frogs, and crabs without much trouble. Every day, in this way, he killed and ate many frogs, crabs, and fishes. Soon the stork became very greedy. The stork was eating more than he needed to, and the pond soon became an empty and lonely place.  

The stork was eating more and more, getting fatter every day. Soon all creatures of the pond were gone, and only one crab was left. Now that it was the last crab’s turn, this little crab was excited about going to a new and safe home. He had been waiting to join his crab friends and family for many days. He happily climbed into the stork’s beak, and soon the stork was flying high up in the air. After a while, the crab wanted to know where he was going. The crab peeked out of the stork’s beak. What he saw shocked him.

The stork was flying over dry land, and there was not a pond in sight. The crab was afraid, and cried out, ‘Brother stork, where are you taking me, there is not a single pond in sight.’ The stork let out an evil laugh and said, ‘Why would I take you to another pond, you are my meal for today.’  

Though the crab was afraid, he was a quick-thinking crab. The crab shouted out, ‘but I was the last crab in the pond, where do you think you will get your next meal, you are now too old and weak to hunt.’ The stork got worried. The crab grabbed this chance and said, ‘I know of another much smaller and shallow pond where my brother lives, hunting for your food will be far easier.’ ‘If I show you the pond, can you spare my life?’  

The greedy stork loved the crab’s plan. The stork was old and lazy, and he didn’t want to hunt anymore. So, the idea of fish, frogs, crabs to eat, without any trouble, made him very happy. He followed the crab’s directions. After much flying and no pond in sight, the stork was very tired and cried out, ‘where is this pond you are talking about?’ The crab pointed out to a cave in the mountains and said, ‘there, that is the secret entrance to the pond.’ The tired yet happy stork flew right into the cave. The greedy stork excitedly entered deep into the cave, without fear.  

Inside the cave, all the stork could see was two scary red eyes coming towards him. The crab screamed from inside the stork’s mouth, ‘Oh great king, I have brought you this wicked and cruel stork.’ ‘He has killed all our crab brothers.’ The stork was now facing a giant crab, the king of all crabs. This crab was so much bigger than tiny crab caught in its beak. This crab was as big as the stork.

The stork was too tired to run away; he was begging for his life. He knew that the strong king crab could quickly kill him. He was on his knees, crying. ‘Most merciful king, spare my life, and I will change my ways,’ the stork said. The crab king replied, ‘you cannot change your ways, you are a hunter while the frogs, fishes, and crabs are your food.’ The stork was very scared. He was sure that the dangerous king crab would soon kill him. The crab king continued, ‘while you cannot stop your hunger, you can stop your greed.’ ‘You should not have killed so many frogs, fishes, and crabs, and emptied the pond.’ 

At that moment, the stork knew he was wrong to be so greedy. He begged for his life. He let the crab go from within his beak and promised to be a better stork. Though big and powerful, the crab king was kind and forgiving. He spared the stork’s life and took the tiny crab to safety. In the end, nature corrected the mistakes of the stork. The stork was sorry for his actions. He promised never to be greedy anymore and kept that promise.

Moral: Work honestly to meet your needs. Do not give in to greed.

4 thoughts on “Panchatantra Story: The Crab and the Stork 

  1. Pingback: Panchatantra Story: The Loyal Mongoose | MORAL STORIES THAT ENLIGHTEN, BOOK REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

  2. Pingback: Panchatantra Story: The Monkey and The Crocodile | MORAL STORIES THAT ENLIGHTEN, BOOK REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

  3. Pingback: Panchtantra Story: The Tortoise and the Rabbit | MORAL STORIES THAT ENLIGHTEN, BOOK REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

  4. Pingback: Panchtantra Story: The Thief Who Turned into a Brahmin | MORAL STORIES THAT ENLIGHTEN, BOOK REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

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