Buddhist Fables

Buddhist Classics

Life and Legends of Buddha

The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C. B. Varma Introduction | Glossary | Bibliography

016 – The Story of the Crows

Once a pair of crows enjoyed the food to their fill and drank liquor. Soon, they got drunk and started playing and swimming on the surf. Thence, came a mighty wave and swept away the hen crow, who was then gobbled up by a fish.

With the loss of his mate the male crow burst into tears. He bewailed. Soon hundreds of crows responded to his cry and assembled there. Upon learning the sad story, the assembled crows condoled and expressed their grief.

Suddenly, one crow remarked, “lo, as we are mightier than the sea, why not we should empty out the sea and save the hen-crow”.

Soon, they started emptying out the sea-water with their beaks; and started praising the female crow by saying, “How pretty was she! How sweet was her voice! How elegant was her look … ! How dared the sea swept her away? We should teach a lesson to the sea.” Thus, they continued with their nonsense gossip. The sea-spirit, however, did not enjoy the load of their waffles. So, he sent forth a mighty wave, which made all the crows fly away.

See Samudda–Kaka-Jataka Jataka Pali No.146