There stood two big banyan trees, side by side, in a dense forest. In fact, they were at such a short distance from each other that they formed one huge banyan tree. Thousands of cranes lived in this tree.
In a deep hole in its trunk, there also lived a big black snake.
The snake used to climb up the tree to its branches and eat the baby cranes from their nests, when their parents were away in search of food.
This had become a daily routine. And the unfortunate cranes were the soft targets.
Every evening, on return to their nests, the hapless cranes would find their nestling missing, and they were so helpless that they could not do anything to get rid of the big black snake.
One day, a crab saw some cranes standing by the side of the lake and weeping bitterly. He asked them the reason of their grief. The cranes said, “There’s a big black snake living in the banyan tree. Everyday he eats up our babies. We don’t know how to get rid of him.”
The crab thought to himself that the cranes too were crabs’ enemies. They ate crabs’ babies. Why not give the cranes an idea which not only would kill the snake but finish the cranes also.
So, the crab said, “Don’t weep. I’ve an idea which will help kill the snake.”
“Yes, please help us,” requested the cranes.
“There is a big mongoose living at a little distance from the banyan trees. You put a few fish all along the path running from the mongoose’s hole to the banyan tree.
The mongoose will eat the fish one by one and then reach the snake’s hole. Now you can yourself imagine, what will happen thereafter.”
The cranes became very happy to get such a brilliant idea. They acted according to the plan.
Thereafter, the mongoose ate up all the fish put all along the path leading up to his home and then reached the banyan tree. There he found the snake in the hole. A fierce fighting took place between them and the mongoose killed the snake.
But instead of going back to his hole after killing the serpent, the mongoose further climbed up the tree and started aeting the baby cranes, one by one. Soon the mongoose ate up all the baby cranes living in the banyan tree.
After eating a large number of baby cranes, the mongoose became very fat and lazy. One day, while he was sleeping on a branch of a tree, he slipped and fell on to the ground and died then and there.