Kancharam had been flying for 10 hours without a halt. He had come to the western state of Gujarat to attend his childhood friend Bholuram’s wedding. He had stayed just for the wedding.
As soon as it was over, he said good bye to his friend and left. Now he was flying back home. That was in Jaipur, Rajasthan. He was very, very tired. And thirsty, too.
The burning heat of the midday sun made him feel faint. Kancharam looked around for water. There was none.
Then he remembered that he was flying over the Saurashtra district in Gujarat. There was a terrible drought there: No water for people or cattle.
He remembered Bholuram’s one-eyed grandfather saying that it was the worst drought in a 100 years.
The cattle were dying and the people were leaving their homes to go to places where they could find water. Kancharam got really scared. Where could he find water? He had no strength left in his wings.
It was then that he saw a yellow pitcher on the ground. A pitcher of water!. Yippee, he told himself. He would have danced if he had not felt so weak.
Kancharam went near the pitcher and thirstily put his head inside.
Nothing but disappointment.
The neck of the pitcher was too long and slender.
His beak was short. Very short.
The neck of the pitcher was too long and slender. His beak was short.
He felt like crying. So he sobbed his heart out. He looked around wildly; his eyes fell on some pebbles nearby.
Yes! He got an idea.
He picked up the pebbles one by one and threw them into the pitcher.
As the pebbles went inside, the water level rose. Soon it came up to the mouth of the pitcher. This time, Kancharam did a little jig. Only a little, for he was thirsty indeed.
For the next couple of minutes, the only sound that could be heard was that of someone gulping water. Kancharam was hard at work.
After he had quenched his thirst, he was ready to fly back home. So that he could tell his friends how smart he was.