There lived a heron by a big lake. He used to catch fish and eat them. But he had become old and could not catch fish like before. He went without food for many days together.
“I have to think of a plan. Otherwise I won’t live for long,” thought the heron. Soon he came out with a clever plan. The heron sat at the water’s edge looking depressed and thoughtful. In the same lake lived a crab who was friendly and thoughtful. As he went past, he noticed how the heron looked and asked him, “Why are you looking depressed my friend?”
“What can I say,” said the heron in a sad voice. “Something terrible is going to happen.”
“What is that?” asked the crab anxiously.
The Clever Crab
“When I was on my way here this morning, I heard an astrologer say that there will be no rains in these parts for the next twelve years. The lake will dry up and we will all die. I am quite old. It does not matter if I die. But you all are so young. There is so much for you to see and enjoy,” said the heron.
The crab went to the fishes in the lake and told them what the heron had told him. They were all filled with fear. “O no! What do we do? We will all die.” they cried.
“There is a very big lake some distance from here. I can take you all there one by one.” offered the heron. All the fishes were comforted and they agreed to be carried to the bigger lake one by one.
Every day, the heron would fly the fishes one by one. He would hold one gingerly between his long beak and fly away. But instead of taking them to any lake, he would land on a rock some distance away and eat them. Then he would rest till evening and return to the lake.
After some days, the crab went up to the heron. “You have been taking the fishes to the other lake. When will you take me?” he asked.
The heron thought to himself, “I am tired of eating fish. Crab meat should be a pleasant change.”
The heron agreed to take the crab to the other lake.
But the crab was too large for the heron to carry in his beak. So the crab climbed on to the heron’s back and they started the journey. After a while, the crab grew impatient.
“How far is the lake?” he asked the heron.
“You fool,” laughed the heron. “I am not taking you to any lake. I am going to dash you against those rocks and eat you like I ate all those fishes.”
“I am not a fool to allow you to kill me,”
He held the heron’s neck in his powerful claws and strangled the wicked heron to death.