There was a huge banyan tree standing on the outer boundaries of a village. All kinds of birds had their homes in this tree. Even the travelers would come and relax under its cool shade during the hot summer days.
Once, a fowler came to take a rest there. He also had a huge net with him. He set his net under the tree and strewed some grains of rice to lure the birds.
A crow living in the tree saw it and cautioned his friends not to go down to eat the rice.
But at the same moment, a flock of doves came flying over the banyan tree. They saw grains of rice strewn around and without losing a moment, descended on the ground to eat the grains of rice.
As soon as they started eating the rice, a huge net fell over them and they were all trapped. They tried everything to come out of the net, but in vain. They saw the fowler coming towards them. He was very happy to find a large number of doves trapped inside the net.
However, the king of doves was very intelligent and clever. He said to other doves, “We must do something immediately to free ourselves from the clutches of this fowler. I’ve an idea. We should all fly up together clutching the net in our beaks. We will decide our next course of action later. Now, come on friends, let’s fly.”
So each dove picked up a part of the huge net in his beak and they all flew up together. Seeing the birds flying along with the whole net, the fowler was surprised.
He could never imagine this. He ran after the flying birds, shouting madly, but could not catch them. Soon the birds flew out of his sight.
When the king dove saw that the fowler had given up the chase, he said to his friends, “Now we all have to get out of this net. There lives a mouse on the nearby hillock. He is my friend. Let’s go to him for his help.”
All the doves flew on to meet the mouse. When the mouse heard the doves making noise in front of his hole, he got frightened and hid himself deeper into the hole.
He came out only when he heard the king dove saying, “Friend, it’s 1, the king dove. We’re in great difficulty. Please come out and help us.”
Hearing the dove, his friend’s voice, the mouse came out of his hole and saw the king dove and his friends trapped in the net.
“Oh!”, said the mouse, “Who’s done all this to you?”
The king dove narrated the whole story. The mouse immediately started nibbling at the net around the king dove. The king dove said, “No, my friend. First set my followers free.
A king cannot keep his subjects in pain and enjoy the freedom for himself.”
The mouse praised the king dove for his nobleness and nibbled at the portion of the net, which would set free the other doves first. And only at last, he freed the king dove.
All the doves were very grateful to the mouse. They thanked the mouse and then flew to their destination happily.