Long ago, there lived an old crane near a lake on the bank of which was a tall coconut tree. The lake is almost dry there was just enough fish for the crane to live on. But the old crane was vain about his tree and his lake. How I wish other cranes too would come and settle here and see how lucky I am.
Then one day, he saw a flock of cranes flying past his lake. Stop !stop! Please stop. The leader of the flock saw him, that old bird is calling out to us. let’s fly down and see what he wants. When they reached the bank, Ah! I’m so glad you heard me please be my guests. You can perch on the coconut tree and eat the fish in the lake.
He is good, but he is foolish. He wants to impress us, but at what cost! He will starve to death if we accept his invitation. So, on behalf of his flock, the wise leader declined the offer. We are pleased with your affection for us. But please permit us to go our way. Yes, our wise leader is right. We are so many of us. What you have is sufficient only for you please permit us to go elsewhere. If you don’t accept my hospitality, I will give up my life. The wise leader had no choice but to accept. All right. We shall be your guests to come then.
Let us go to my tree, so the cranes all went to the coconut tree. The old crane felt quite proud and strutted about in his vanity. Make yourselves comfortable and when you are hungry. Please eat the fish in my lake. There is enough fish for all of you. The flock of cranes took him at his word and began feasting on the fish. Aha! I bet I can eat more than you. I bet you can’t. I’ve eaten six fish already. can either of you better that? With all their betting they soon finished all the fish in the lake.
Oh, dear! Not a single fish left. What shall I give them in the evening? What shall I eat when they are gone? The old crane began to repent of his folly, but it was too late. The evening the leader of the flock came to him. There is nothing here for our evening meal. We are grateful to you for your hospitality but we must leave now. I cannot let my flocks starve.
As they flew away the leader felt sorry for the lone crane near the lake. He’s too old to fly with us. If only he had listened to us! Poor fool! He will not survive for long. A few days later weak and hungry, the vain, old crane breathed his last.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH BEFORE HELPING OTHERS.