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Short Stories

      The Tale of the Owl

Ages ago, there was a beautiful and dense forest known as Jetavana at Savatthi in India . Buddha, in those days, was staying in that peaceful forest. One day, some people came running to Buddha and said, “O' great one, an owl has gone crazy. It is chasing crows and killing them!” Buddha said, “You all know that crows and owls are sworn enemies. They just cannot stand each other.” “But, why?” asked someone. Buddha then told them the story how owls and crows became enemies.

The story of their animosity dates back to the earliest of times. One day, all living beings got together to choose their king. Humans chose a perfect, healthy and handsome man to lead them as king. The animals looked for the strongest and royal animal, and found no one better than the lion. So, the lion was named the king of the animals. When it came to the fishes, they chose a beautiful and large fish named Ananda.

Birds have many beautiful species. So, they had a tough time choosing the best among them all. Finally, they decided to name the wise owl as their king. All birds seemed to like the choice except the crow. When the owl's name was announced, the crow did not like it and he started to protest loudly. The crow shouted, “How can you make an angry-looking bird our king? Do we not have any wiser and better choices?” The crow's comments hit the red-faced owl hard. He got mad with anger. The crow saw that and flew away. The owl chased the crow, and ever since owls and crows are enemies.

The birds did not like the owl's behavior and decided to choose another bird. They finally crowned the beautiful and graceful swan their king, who was none other than the Buddha.

Moral: Anger makes you lose control over yourself, causing harm to others and yourself too.