The Dove And The Crow (Anonymous: 2nd Century B.C. or later)
It is thought that the collection of fables now known as the Panchatantra had assumed definite shape at least as early as the Sixth Century A.D.; it is possible that it dates back to the Second Century B.C. Nothing is known of the author. The little stories that make up the collection are mostly Beast Fables; which were originally designed to instruct young princes. “Panchatantra” means “five books.”
The Dove And The Crow – The present story, from the second book or Tantra, is reprinted from Ancient Indian Fables and Stories, by permission of the publisher, John Murray. It has no title in the original.
The Dove And The Crow
When Vishnu Sarma had finished telling and expounding these fables, his pupils were lost in admiration of their teacher; whose wisdom had been so clearly marked by his dexterous mingling of amusement with instruction.
They rose and all three fell at his feet, thanking him for the wise lessons he had given them; they assured him that henceforth. He would have been regarded as their guru. And that they hoped with his help and advice to rise from the state of ignorance in which they had hitherto been. They prayed him to continue the work so happily begun and to give them more of his interesting lessons.
The Dove And The Crow – Vishnu Sarma was charmed to see that his pupils were well disposed and noticed with satisfaction that his plan had so far succeeded. He continued his task with enthusiasm and proceeded to tell them fresh fables.
“Now,” said Vishnu Sarma, “listen, my young princes, to the fable I am going to tell you. In the complex nature of this life we must all help one another. It is by this mutual help that the weak escape the dangers, to which they are exposed from the strong, as you shall now hear.”