Once upon a time, there lived many doves in the jungle. One day they went out in search of food. They flew long distances but did not get anything to eat. All of them were now completely exhausted.
A young dove asked the King Dove, “Your majesty, please permit us to take some rest.”
The king replied, “Have courage, my dear young fellow. We shall definitely get something to eat very soon.”
The young dove started flapping his wings with force and soon left everyone behind.
After sometime, he turned back and spoke to others, “Hey, I see lots of grains down there.”
Hearing this, all the doves started rushing towards the scattered rice under a banyan tree. Suddenly the King Dove said, “It is too good to be true. There is something amiss. Don’t rush towards the grains, it may be a trick. Some hunter must have laid a trap.”
But the doves were ravenous. The sight of the grains were too tempting. Without giving a thought to the king’s advice, they swooped down and started eating the grains. After having their fill they tried to fly only to realise that they were caught in a net.
The King Dove said, “I told you before that it is a trick of some hunter.”
All of them felt ashamed and scared.
One of them said, “O, King of doves, Kindly save us. We’re sorry for what we did. This has happened for the first time with us. We won’t do it again. Do anything but just save us.”
So the king Dove said , “all of you must try to fly with the net in unison, all of you.”
Just then they saw a hunter approaching towards them. The King Dove said, “Now all of you, fly together”.
So all the doves flapped their wings together and flew with the net. The hunter stood dazed. He couldn’t believe what he had just seen.
As the doves approached a temple, the King Dove said, “Get down near the temple. A rat, who is an old friend of mine, lives there. He will nibble the net with his sharp teeth and get us free.”
So everyone was thrilled at their success. They headed for the temple and descended near it along with the net.
Then the King Dove called the rat, “O my friend! Come out and help us. We are in trouble.”
The rat recognised his friend’s voice. He peeped out of his hole.
He said, “Just wait for sometime, I’ll call some of my friends who will set you free.”
Saying so he went to get his friends.
After sometime a number of rats came and began to nibble the net.
They nibbled all the strings of the net. Soon the rats set the doves free.
The doves thanked the rats and flew back to their nests.
Adapted from Panchatantra