I Stand Here Ironing

Once upon a time, all the birds – the swans, cranes, parrots, cuckoos, owls, peacocks, doves and the rest of them – decided to meet. They had to discuss a subject of most importance. Unfortunately, no crow had joined yet, but they could not wait any longer.

They debated, “Garuda, who is the king of all birds, is always busy in serving his master. He has neither the time, nor the interest to bother about us! There is no point in having a king who does not protect and remains at the position of the king only as a namesake.”

And so the birds discussed, “Let us choose a king amongst us!”

On this, they started looking at each other; suddenly the features of owl attracted everybody. He was powerful, had impressive features, and most importantly he could see at night, when they were most unsafe. They agreed that the owl would be an apt king for themselves.

They shouted, “The owl should be our king! Let us prepare for the coronation at once!”

As decided, the birds collected 108 holy roots, water from the holy rivers, and prepared a lavish and highly decorated throne. They even spread the ground in front of the throne with tiger skin. The Brahmins, they had invited, started chanting from holy books, while the birds beat drums, and beautiful maidens blew conches and sang songs of joy. With a map of all the continents and oceans drawn, the owl was prepared to be crowned.

At the moment the owl was being accompanied to the throne to be crowned, a crow arrived. He asked curiously, “Please let me know the reason of this great gathering, and lavish celebration!”

The crow was indeed known for his smartness, and the birds decided to explain and take his opinion.

The birds explained, “O Crow, Garuda has no time to bother about us. So, we have decided to denounce him as our king and have elected the owl to be our new king. Since, you have just joined, please provide us with your opinion also.”


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