Once upon a time, there lived a lapwing and his wife on a sea-shore. When it was time for the lapwing’s wife to lay eggs, she said to her husband. “I don’t want to lay eggs here on the sea shore. The sea might eat up my eggs. Let us go to some pond or lake.”
“Don’t be foolish”, said the lapwing. “Even our ancestors laid eggs here. Let the sea eat our eggs. I’ll teach him a lesson, if he tries to do so .
The lapwing’s wife laid eggs on the sea-shore and flew in the sky in search of food. But when she came back to the sea-shore, she was shocked to see all her eggs missing. She began to weep.
When the lapwing came to know about it, he became red with rage. He called a meeting of all the birds and narrated to them the unjust and cruel exercise of power by the sea.
Addressing all the other birds around him, he said, “Today the sea has swept away our eggs. Tomorrow it might be your turn.”
The birds understood the logic and became highly upset over this incidence. They decided to meet their king, the eagle. The king eagle was infuriated to hear the story of the lapwing.
He said to the birds, “Don’t worry. I’ll punish the sea for his misdeeds right now. I’ll suck all its water and make it dry.”
Lord Vishnu who was holding a conference in the heaven heard the outcry of the birds. He dispatched his messenger to king eagle and told him to wait.
Then Lord Vishnu himself addressed the sea and put a condition before him that either he should return the lapwing’s eggs or else he should be prepared to lose existence.
The sea god was frightened to hear Lord Vishnu’s commands. He returned the eggs to the lapwing. He also promised that he will never wash away the birds’eggs lying on the sea-shore, in future.