A friend in need is a friend indeed! | Sunday Observer

A friend in need is a friend indeed!

10 October, 2021

Long ago, there was a big and beautiful forest. A variety of birds and animals lived here as there was plenty of food and the many waterways provided plenty of water.

Suddenly, everything changed. A severe drought dried up the water. The animals and birds ran hither and thither looking for water.

The deer In this forest there lived a small deer that was kind hearted and good towards all the other animals and birds. It too hunted high and low for water.

One day, to its great joy the deer found a pond of pure water. It was hidden by a huge rock and the deer came across it by accident as he was walking on the rock. This pond never ran dry even during the severest drought.

The deer drank its fill of the pure water and gambolled away happily. As it had plenty of water the deer spent it time happily. One day the deer met a crow. The crow was very sharp and saw at once that the deer was happy inspite of the drought.

“Little deer” said the crow, “You seem to be happy even though we have no water. I am sure you have found some water. I am so thirsty. Please tell me where the water is”.

The kind hearted deer led the crow to the pond. Thereafter, the crow and the deer spent their time together.

One day they met a kaerala, another kind of bird. He asked the deer and the crow where to find water and they showed the pond. All three drank their fill and stayed together. In a few days a tortoise and a jackal joined them and they all spend time together drinking water from the pond whenever they needed it.

A hunter met them one day when he was looking for water. He asked the friends whether they knew where he could find water.

The friends were kind enough to show the hunter the pond. The hunter was a bad man. He thought it would be nice to eat the flesh of the deer. Hunters love venison or the flesh of the deer.

The wicked hunter set a trap for the little deer and it got caught in it. He struggled to free himself but could not do it. His friends were very distressed and wracked their brains to find a way to free the deer.

They went to the jackal who was resting on a rock and told him what had happened. They also reminded the jackal that the deer helped them to get water. They begged the jackal to help the deer.

The jackal did not say anything. He knew that when the hunter killed the deer he would get a share of the flesh. Therefore, the jackal did not do anything to help the deer. The hunter came and saw the trapped deer and got ready to kill it. He hung his bag of food on a branch. Then he took his hatchet and started to go towards the deer. Just then the kaerala cried as loud as he could. The hunter stopped in his tracks as the cry of the kaerala is considered to be a bad omen.

After a few minutes, the hunter started towards the trapped deer. The crow came swooping down and pecked at the hunter’s bag of food. The hunter turned and angrily chased away the crow. He then went towards the deer. Again, the crow attacked the bag of food and the hunter turned and chased away the crow. As soon as the hunter moved away from the bag and went towards the deer the crow attacked the bag and the hunter had to chase him away. The crow kept on attacking the food to distract the hunter from killing the deer.

While the birds were distracting the hunter the tortoise was slowly but steadily gnawing the ropes in the trap. They were gradually becoming loose and the deer too was struggling to free himself.

The jackal hid behind a tree and watched all what was happening.

Once gain, the crow attacked the bag of food and the hunter got very angry and threw his hatchet at the crow. It missed the crow but hit the jackal who bolted crying in pain.The tortoise managed to bite through the ropes and finally, the deer was free! It raced to freedom.

The deer was lucky to have such wonderful friends as the two birds and the tortoise.

Source: Folklore