Stories about unity | A Panchatantra story retold - The hunter and the doves

Stories about unity

Stories about unity often demonstrate the moral that unity is strength. This is an important lesson for all of us, particularly young children to appreciate, more so in these divisive times. The hunter and the doves is a Panchatantra story retold here. This story about unity demonstrates through the action of the doves this important moral i.e. in unity is strength.


The hunter and the doves

Daisy Dove was tired. She had been flying for a long time along with a whole group of doves looking for food. Nobody had left out some grains for the doves that day. Poor Daisy was hungry and tired. She had to keep on flying looking out for food and all that flying only made her hungrier! Of course all the doves were getting tired, even King Dove, who was really quite a strong bird.

Suddenly the doves spotted a whole lot of grains strewn on the ground below. There were squeals of joy. "Food," cried some of them. "Oh! Look so much of grains there," cried others as they all prepared to swoop down and feast on the grains.

King Dove is suspicious

"Wait a minute," warned King Dove. "Something is wrong here! Who on earth would have spread out this much grain in this deserted place. There are no houses nearby, nobody seems to live here!"

"But we are so hungry King," cried Daisy and the others. "Please let us have the grains!"

"I heard that some hunters are active in this area," cautioned King Dove. "I hope this is not a trap."

But all the doves were very, very hungry and King Dove gave in reluctantly. The birds swooped in to feast on the grains.

The hunter spreads his net

And there was indeed a hunter around!. As soon as he saw the doves on the ground, he came out from behind a tall tree and spread out a huge net over the doves. All the doves were caught in the net.

There was a moment of stunned silence, then there was panic all around. Some doves cried, some tried to fly but of course were not able to, and some were just stunned into inaction.

"We should have listened to King Dove," the doves lamented. "Whatever shall we do now? This seems to be the end of the road for us."

And there was a lot of lament, pity and then blame too. Some doves blamed the others for not heeding King Dove's first instinct, some started fighting and some weeping.


King Dove shows the way

But King Dove was made of better stuff. Not only did he not say, "I told you so," he also came up with an immediate idea. Seeing that the hunter had gone down to the river thinking the doves to be firmly trapped in the net and helpless, King Dove made an escape plan.

"My dear friends," he said, "Don't be despondent. We can still escape but we must all act together and in union. In unity lies strength, listen to my plan - and this will work only if all of us act in unison, a few of us alone cannot make this work. I shall count down form 10 to 1 (King Dove was good with numbers too!) and when I reach 1, all of us should start flapping our wings and try our very best to fly upwards. If one or two of us try to do so, we will not succeed but if all of us try we can fly away carrying the net with us."

The net in the sky

All the doves were inspired by King Dove's plan and agreed to do as he said. And so when the count down reached 1, all the birds flapped their wings in unison and tried to fly. And there was an amazing sight of the net suddenly rising up in the sky. The hunter was just coming back, when he saw the net just rise up and go high in the sky. He was stunned and also a little frightened. "This is a strange place," he thought. "The net flies by itself! Better I leave this place and go elsewhere."

And so the hunter went away from that place never to return.

The doves fly to freedom

And the doves were happy to be out of reach of the hunter but where wondering what to do next to get rid of the net. King Dove had a plan for that too! (That is why he was king!) "Fly towards that hill on the other side of the river," he commanded. "At the foot of that hill lives my friend, Misu Mouse. He will help us to be freed from the net."

The doves flew towards the foot of the hill. King Dove called out to his friend. Misu Mouse was at first a little astonished seeing a huge net flying in the sky, and landing close to his house, but soon King Dove told him of their problem. Misu had sharp teeth and soon bit and tore the net and the doves were able to fly out. They thanked Misu Mouse and flew away.

"You see, friends, in unity is strength." said King Dove. "We were able to escape because we acted unitedly, otherwise we would still be trapped.

The Panchatantra stories

The Panchatantra stories are believed to have been composed about eighteen centuries ago. This beautiful collection of stories and fables is commonly attributed to Vishnu Sharma. These short stories, though simple and short present valuable lessons and morals. The utility of moral short stories such as from the Panchatantra have withstood the test of time and are as fresh and insightful today as they were ages ago.

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