Four True Friends
Once, long ago, there lived a deer, a crow and a mouse. They were friends. One day, a turtle came to them and said, “l also want to join your company and become your friend.” “You’re most welcome,” said the crow, “but there are many hunters around. We are all swift runners and shall escape quickly if a hunter comes.
How will you save yourself?” “That is why I want to join your group,” said the turtle. “l would feel protected with you!” The three friends agreed and now the group of four friends began to live happily in the forest. A few days later, a hunter came to the forest. He spotted the deer among the four friends and hurried towards him. Alarmed, the deer ran away; the crow flew away in the sky and the mouse ran into a hole.
The turtle tried to crawl away fast, but he was too slow. The hunter caught him in no time. The three friends became sad on seeing the turtle being trapped by the hunter. They began to think of a plan to free him from the hunter’s snare. Finally, they came up with a plan. The crow flew high up in the sky and spotted the hunter walking along the river bank.
As per the plan, the deer ran ahead of the hunter unnoticed and lay on the hunter’s path as if dead. The hunter saw the deer from a distance, lying on the ground. He was very happy to have found a dead deer. “Now I’ll have a good feast on it and sell its beautiful skin in the market,” thought the hunter to himself. He put the turtle down on the ground and ran to pick up the deer.
In an instant, the mouse gnawed through the turtle’s net and freed the turtle. The turtle hurriedly crawled away into the river. The moment the hunter approached the deer, he sprang up to his feet and darted away into the jungle. The hunter was taken aback. He turned back to collect the turtle that he had left behind on the ground in the snare. But he almost fainted on finding the trap lying nibbled at, and the turtle missing. “This forest must be enchanted!! All things are vanishing,” he thought and ran away as fast as his legs could carry him. He never came back to the jungle and the four friends lived a carefree life.