In a forest close to the river bank mere lived a crane with his wife. They were very unhappy. Every time the wife laid eggs in their nest, a big black cobra who lived in a hollow in the tree, would eat them up. The crane had a friend the crab. He went to his friend the crab and shared his misery. “I feel so hopeless….That sneaking thief has eaten our eggs again,” complained the crane angrily.
“Don’t worry,” said the crab comfortingly. “You need not be hopeless when you have a friend like me. We will come up with a solution.”
The crab sat to think of a plan. Suddenly he jumped up and rushed to the crane.
“Friend, I have a wonderful plan,” said the crab and whispered something into the crane’s car.
The crane flew back to his nest and told his wife all about the crab’s plan. He was very excited.
“Are you sure this will work?” asked the wife.
“I hope we are not making a mistake. Think twice before going ahead with the plan.”
But the crane was eager to try out the plan. The crane flew down to the river bank and began to fish. He caught several little fishes and went down to the hole in which a mongoose lived. He dropped a fish at the mouth of the hole. Then he took another fish and dropped it a little further away from the first one. Repeating this, he made a trail of fishes leading to the tree where his nest was.
The mongoose smelt the fish and came out of the hole. “Ah, a fish!” exclaimed the mongoose joyfully and quickly ate it up. He then followed the trail of fishes. As he neared the tree where the cranes and the snake lived, the trail ended. Finding no more fishes, he looked around.
Suddenly he came across the black cobra at the foot of the tree. Seeing the mongoose, the cobra fought for his life. Both fought for a long time and in the end the mongoose killed the snake. The cranes who were watching the fight from their nest sighed with relief.
The next day the mongoose began to follow the same trail hoping to find more food. When he came to the tree where the trail ended, he decided to climb the tree in search of food.
The cranes who were away at the river bank returned to find the mongoose climbing down the tree. On looking in their nest, they discovered that this time, the mongoose had eaten up all their eggs.
“Alas! We got rid of one enemy only to find another,” said the crane to his wife.