In the forest near by the city of Mahilaropya, there had been a huge ancient banyan tree which was rooting all around. A number of crow families dwelled in it, one named Meghvarna was always worried. At some distance many owls were living in a cave on a hill. Aridarman was their chief. Crows and owls are eternal enemies from the very beginning. Aridarman used to come to kill the stray crows getting good opportunity of darkness. So had killed hundreds of crows gradually.
Meghvarna was greatly distressed and wished to do something. Aridarman always attacked during the night that time they could do nothing. One day, Meghvarna called his advisors and asked to do the needful as the enemy was very clever. So they should over come the problem at the earliest.
Meghvarna had five advisors. First, Ujjeevi spoke, “Not to fight to a stronger enemy was causes great loss and damage.” Then the second advisor Sanjeevi said, “Don’t buy peace with a ruthless enemy because the enemy will positively destroy. We must strive to fight and defeat the enemy with full strength.”
Meghvarna called the third advisor, Anujeevi who Suggested “to migrate to some other safer haven as the enemy is powerful and cruel and will finish one by one. We should be united and take an opportune time to attack the enemy and hoist our flag.” Prajeevi spoke after him, I think none of the three courses will work. Better to stay here and battle them. One is always strong in his abode. A dog is always like a lion at his home and so is a crocodile who can make a mighty elephant to come to his feet in his territory. So it is better to give them great fight.”
The third advisor Anujeevi told Meghvarna that I have different opinion of finding some powerful help. We should try to find some powerful allies. We should strengthen ourselves by taking help from many quarters. We had seen that a rope of weak strands is enough to bound a mighty elephant.
Meghvarna in the last called on the most experienced member of his family. Meghvarna apprised Sthirjeevi everything who was old and wise enough. Sthirjeevi gone through all the advice and opined to have a peace treaty with the enemy. During peace, try to earn the confidence but not to trust on the other hand to prepare to fight a war at an appropriate time. He also told to keep a secret and confidential man to know the weakness of the enemy.
Sthirjeevi offered to go to the enemy camp and know the real strength and weakness and to say that we are fallen out and call harsh and ill wards to me and through some blood over me to show the mock fight and to leave under this tree and then shift to some other hill. I shall ver friendly with Aridarman and will know ins and outs then we all will destroy him and his clan.
Meghvarna doing it and left the banyan tree with his entire clan. The secret agents of Aridarman informed Meghvarna has gone from here took charge of the banyan in dark and heard Sthirjeevi moaning under the tree. His condition was miserable with bleeding from his body. He asked the owls to take him to their chief Aridarman himself arrived on the scene. Sthirjeevi told him in halting tones, ‘Meghvarna has done this and wanted to attack you. I wanted to stop him this course. But he became enraged and thought ill. Now be kind as will help in destroying the cruel Meghvarna.”
Aridarman turned to his advisors before going to take the decision. The minister Raktah said, “An enemy is always an enemy. He should be killed.” The another minister Kruraksh opposed as. It is against law to kill someone it is very mean act to kill a sheltered person. Another minister Deeptaksh said, “He is right. A person from the enemy’s side can prove a valuable ally. He will give lot of useful information.”
Two other ministers Vakranas and Prakarkarn forbade to kill the wounded crow. Aridarman ordered to carry Sthirjeevi to his abode and to care him. Raktah did not agree and told Aridarman addressing my lord the enemy should be killed when he is wounded, weak and helpless. You would regret after wards.
Sthirjeevi wanted that Raktah would demolish his plans and he enacted another drama to impress Aridarman asked him to arrange for some firewood to immolate himself. It effected him much and Aridarman gave shelter to wily crow.
Raktah assembled his family and followers and addressed them, “Not to live with fools like Aridarman”
Sthirjeevi thought a plan to destroy the owls and set the cave of the owls on fire. He collected dry grass and firewood and put at the entrance of the cave. Everyday he went to collect firewood and stocked at the cave. The owls take it as if he was building a nest for himself and did not understand is intention.
After collecting sufficient firewood to set fire to the Cave, he sent words to Meghvarna to set the cave of the owls to fire. He asked him to bring lighted sticks. Owls were unable to see in the day, they would die of suffocation in the cave and would be roasted if they come out. Now the crows would kill the day blind owls.
Meghvarna arrived the spot with his large army. The crows had lighted sticked in their beaks. Set fire to the dry grass and wood. A few owls who wanted to come out were killed by hordes of crows. Most of them had been either suffocated to death or roasted alive by fire. Meghvarna came back to the banyan tree with the other crows. He praised Sthirjeevi to skies.
Sthirjeevi said, “It was nothing but suffered some difficulties but only in the hope of future. Living with enemies is like walking on a naked sword. While going false you are finished but now we will pass a peaceful future. The owls were all foolish leaving only one who had known my intention and decided to leave with his family. I feel pleasure to be successful in my mission.